For The Equipping Of The Saints
He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
[Ephesians 4:10-16 NKJV]
Known as the Five-fold Ministry, we are told here in Ephesians that it is gifted to us by the Holy Spirit for the equipping of the saints and for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. This was Jesus stating how His ministry, His presence with us, His Holy Spirit would raise His church to fullness — to grow up in all things into Him.
These verses are revelatory — and I say that as one who is regularly astounded at the amazing truth revealed in scripture — for this is confirming Christ as the embodiment of all five giftings and the channel of God’s grace. Some believers strive to attain proficiency in these areas of faith. It cannot be done, for that comes from ambition and pride in achievement. It comes from the ego, the self, and not from the other, the Christ in us. Ministry must come from the life source, from truth, from the Holy Spirit, and from a deep relationship, an abiding with and in our Lord, or it is no ministry at all.
As already stated, we must see that these five ‘areas of influence’ are, like all good things, a gift from God. A gift is a gift and thus cannot be demanded or expected as a right. I might covet the rôle of evangelist, for example, but I should know that it is not something conferred upon me automatically. It is never a matter of ‘name it and claim it.’
We see that only some are gifted in this way; some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. It may be that this five- fold ministry is also four-fold, as pastors and teachers seem somewhat lumped together — a numerological way of saying this is the grace of God  to us for some who have received the gift to creatively inspire  individuals to grow in the Faith.
We will consider these ministerial attributes in more detail over the coming days. In our next message, we shall look at apostles.
A HOLY COMMAND: Oswald Chambers on Love
We are taught that Jesus Christ was meek and loving, and He was; but we forget the times when He was ablaze with zeal for His Father’s honour.
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“Make Me Like You” — Chosen
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GEORGE and GILL STEWART