I found a new online study bible (thanks to friends Thor and Sue Ryan). Mystudybible.com is a marvelous site, allowing instant access to original language and commentaries.
Since then, I’ve been studying Ephesians 4:9-16.
We start off with a word picture. Christ, if he ascended, must have descended. What? The word picture is this – Christ, becoming human and returning to heaven – complete. Then humans, being tossed by the waves and blown by every wind, growing up, with the goal of being mature – complete like Christ.
In the middle, we find that Christ gave us some people to help with our development. These people are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.
These teachers are supposed to train us for works of ministry.
One of the results of maturity is that we won’t be sucked into teachings that are designed to pull people to an individual instead of point people to God. We will serve God’s agenda, and be able to see through deceptions.
Last, as we work together, becoming mature and each doing the ministry Christ has called us to, we will become a unit, building together in love, lifting each other up instead of tearing each other down.
1. Do you know what ministry Christ has gifted you for? What is it?
If you need help knowing yourself more, check out our “Know Yourself” resource page.
2. How does doing ministry help you become more like Christ?
3. How does it ‘sew’ the Body (Church) together when everyone does the jobs they are gifted for?
4. What evidence of spiritual maturity do you see in your life? Where is God still working?