Paul, John John, Jesus discussed on Agape Baptist Church | Scottsboro, Alabama
Doing a little recap of our series over the last few weeks talking about the unity of the church because unity is for the purposes of evangelism. The reputation of christ is at stake in the relationships that we have with our church family and so we want to we wanted to fix our eyes on a patient chapter four just to understand how we can cling to these promises is a foundation of unity and so the last couple of weeks the first week specifically we talked about this idea <hes> of aim we should all be aiming towards the singular goal of maintaining the unity of the spirit and the body of peace and the reason that we do that is because we have the god who himself is one and we must draw our unity from him and then last week we talked about appreciating one another appreciating the the diversity that is by design this unity that we have does not mean uniformity every person in this in this space does not need to look the same and god has not ordained it to be so because as jesus the victorious warrior rose from the grave he pondered the depths of hell to pour out get to weaken the kingdom of satan and to pour out gifts on his church so as mission can be accomplished and so our unity in the midst of our diversity is a testimony to the victory victory of christ jesus and so this is just one of those awesome things. Maybe you've never thought about unity this way but when you look around and you see people that are different different than you celebrate that because that diversity is by god's own design and so the next a letter that we want to look at ah this week is the idea of us agreeing because we must be careful as a church to insist upon unity unity in the right places and to celebrate diversity in the wrong places. That's really a diversity in the right places unity in the right places and diversity in the right places prices. We must have those categories step in our mind very clearly to understand if god is designed to church in a certain way then there's some ways we need to be unified that we saw that the first week then then there's some ways we need to celebrate diversity. We need to be diversified. We sell we saw that last week but if we insist upon unity where there should be diversity the body of christ is going to be hindered so i don't what do you mean ryan well. You know if you if you are somebody else would have have the mindset that we we every person who comes into the showroom needs to look the same or needs to dress. The same or has a certain standing in the community. That's we shouldn't insist on unity. We should insist on diversity in those areas but if we also if we insist upon diversity where there should be unity body. The body of christ is also hindered. Give me some examples of that well doctrinal league who is jesus. We all need to be unified right on that. What does it take for a person to enter into a relationship with their creator. God we all need to be in unity on that and so what we're talking about here it is very critical to the formation of a biblical church and not that a gop as not a biblical church what we're saying is we're starting point <hes> here together and we want to all come to a fresh understanding of what god has called us to be. We looked at that and the last sermon series what he's called us to be individually now. We're looking at what he's he's called us to be corporately and so finishes chapter four be getting pick up in verse eleven and actually i want to i want to actually pick it up in verse seven and read through our passage today so that you get it in context so visas chapter for beginning in verse seven. We dealt with this last week. It gets a bit grace was given each one of us. According to the measure of christ's gift and paul's about to say this was cry skip that when he when he ascended on high he led a host host of captives and he gave gifts to men in saying he ascended what does it mean but that he also descended into the lower regions of the earth he who decent is the one who also also ascended far above the heavens he might fill all things and that those last those last three words fill all things is the point there. Where does the church gets. It's diversity it gets it from the risen victorious christ pouring out his spirits which fills all believers and what is it the result of that feeling look at what it says in verse eleven and he gave some to be apostles prophets the evangelists the shepherds and teachers. There's two equip the saints for the work of ministry for the building up of the body of christ until we all attained the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the son of god who mature manhood to the measure of the stature of the fullness of christ so that women no longer be children tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine by human cunning by craftiness and deceitful schemes and so we're going to see two areas this morning of agreement but just as we've been doing every week we have a commitment. It's kind of a pre invitation invitation if you will. I'm going to help you understand what it's gonna. Look like specifically they respond to this to this invitation. As we talk about this idea of agreeing agreeing with one another what we agreeing about well we're going about at this commitment right here. I commit to being unified in the belief that god's word alone unleashes life into the church. I commit commit to being unified in the belief that god's word alone unleashes life into the church and we'll we'll dig into that as we go throughout the arrested this message. So where do we need to agree well. We need to agree first of all on god's designed for the church when he do agree on god's design nine for the church and so let's look at once again beginning in verse seven paul gives us a vision for where our diversity comes from it's from our victorious savior pouring out the spoils of his victorious resurrection on the church these spoils our gifts and we talked about last week's spiritual gifts and that was actually a way that i gave you the practically to fill the imitation last week is you can go to the website baptist dot com and you can click on the the main menu there it says discover your gifts and many of you have done that you've sent those to me and i'm grateful for that and there's some there's already some just some incredible opportunity a tune into that i see with the people responded and filled out that spiritual gifts assessment sent those results to me because that's the way that god wants to use uh-huh uh-huh together is knocked that once again. I don't expect all of you to look like me. We don't want that kind of unity. Got help us right but but what i'm saying is there's a marvelous diversity and the people that have sent me their gifts so that you get this beautiful mosaic nick of the body of christ you get this beautiful beautiful picture of as we come together. We don't all look like and that's my god's design and not only do we all not look like but what god wants to do through us we'll be fulfilled through us as we come together and commit to be used by back him and so this generosity of resurrected save your results not only the diversity in the giftedness by intentionally design and part of our spiritual gifts but it also is in giving us something very specific to let that that life continue to flow because that's that's what that's what may jesus distinct from the other teachers of his day. Do you remember that you remember how when jesus i came on the scene and the gospels and people said he teaches with such authority and jesus noted that that authority in john chapter four he noted that that authority came from it came from spirit and truth and it was alive live that was flowing in him and as people came in touch with that life and it was an abundant life that jesus wanted people to experience through him. It was like contagious ages c._s. Lewis actually calls it the good infection right and i share this with you. I think i shared it with you a couple of weeks ago this this idea of of when somewhere around people that have this life flowing through them. I mean it just can't help but the rub off on us. I mean you can see jesus flowing through people and so there's this really awesome thing that happens when we unite with him and we we are filled by his spirit and we've got his word and our hearts and our minds lines. Is that same life that flowed through jesus flows through us but i'm gonna ask you where does that. Life come from. I commit to being unified in the belief that god's word alone unleashes life into the church that life comes from god's word heard saturating your heart and your mind that is that is what the spirit of god uses to bring the life of jesus inside of you. This is not a revolutionary idea but i find it's one of the most most incredibly untapped resources in american christianity as we don't get this idea. We think we think well we do scripture memory for kids because it's fun to hear my kids say baba versus right or you know we mm-hmm we talk. We preach their scripture because that's just what we're supposed to do now. There's a there's a reason for four encouraging our kids the memory scripture and i'm going to tell you the best way you're gonna. Courage your kids to do it. Your drink is by doing it yourself <hes> but there's a reason that we do that. There's a reason that we go through scripture like we do here on sunday monday mornings and that when you gather with your g groups that you go through scripture the way that you do there. There's a reason that because god's word alone unleash life and let me prove it to you. This is not this. This is not a new testament creation. This is in flowing with the biblical narrative and we'll just start creation right because those four points of scripture are what creation fall redemption option arrest rations so let's go back to creation in the beginning god created the heavens and the earth didn't he genesis chapter one verse one and the earth was without form form and void right and the spirit hovered the spirit of god hovered over the waters and then what is it said and god what spoke spoke there you and god said let there be light. We just kinda. We're so amazed by the thought of god's speaking into ended the nothingness and they're being life that we neglect just land on that word said god said god spoke god speaks and as he speaks what happens alive comes into existence where there was not like now there is my that's. That's where we just kind of. You know we kind of get used to reading these things over and over and we missed his the incredible awesomeness thinking about any other way to say it of of the fact that god look into the nothingness and spoke and then what we know as creation came into existence and it all happened happened because he spoke and john picks up on this just to show us that it's not this story in the old testament that's funded on a flannel graphs somewhere right or watch video about john picks except on it and john chapter one verse one and he says in the beginning was the what why where it's come from i come from somebody speaking them out right in the beginning was the word and the word was with god and the word was got right and so jesus is john onto say the what made flesh the word makes less and so jesus himself says i have come to give you life and that life is found john john chapter fifteen as we abide in his words his words abide in us you see all coming together here and so and so as we think about it just not skip over justice yaqoob or seven what came from the mouth of god that gave adam life. It was breathed on atom right so whatever comes from god's mouth and that's what i want like. I don't want to mess around with anything else. I want what comes from i. I want his works. Which is why second timothy chapter three verse sixteen and seventeen says that all scripture is god what god i think we're seeing fame here. I don't know what bottle title study in the church this great all scripture is god breathed and is profitable just to skip to be in there because he lists a bunch of the things to make the man or woman of god complete perfect fitted for every good work and so god has a design for your life of how you find life so they can flow through you you and out of you. It's not by accident. It is by design and so we as a church that's for individuals we as the church must must the flip must flash that out corporately as we gather together. This is what the offices of the church church have been given to us for god's word has been given to build the church to bring life and a culture of death and to help broken people find uh wholeness and therefore god has given the church individuals committed to proclaiming his truth and each one of these offices n._f._l. N._f._l. Fans chapter four beginning verse eleven are defined by their relationship to the word of god and how they use it in their the ministry. That's how i want you to understand and interpret efficient chapter four because that's what paul's doing here paul saying that out of the richness of the victory of the lord jesus christ he has poured out gifts on his church spiritual gifts yes but callings as well and in specific callings related to the word of god going forth from the words contained in this book to the gathered people of god he gave the apostles the prophets the evangelists the shepherds and teachers these offices are all defined as they and how they relate to the word of god so apostle. Let's start with the apostles and prophets apostles and prophets. I've already had some of you that have sent me your your spiritual gifts assessment and one of your guests is apostle ship and your way to second what does that mean as god calling me to be another paul well oh not necessarily right not indefinitely not in terms of speaking out more revelation that we will record and say it's binding for the entire church coach. That's what we did with the original apostles but that's not we do with this gift of apostle ship here in here in this verse here in this chapter in fact what what an apostle when you think about a possible think about frontiers mun frontier missionary somebody who goes and that kind of lewis and clark for jesus right and this could could this could refer to the mission field could refer to you having a heart for for the name of christ being spoken where it never has before those places exist and we need people we pray that god would raise up people from this church to go out and take the name of christ where it's not been named but but just speaking on a broader level somebody who has the spiritual gift of apostle ship has this desire they see this desire manifested in them to carve out new new areas in the midst of the broken -ness of our world and maybe even our own community like some people look into the darkness darkness that exists in our community and they say i would never go there. Maybe they're just afraid or they've got that feared out or whatever and then there's some people people who say i'll charge the gates of hell with a water pistol right. Just let jesus just let me out right. That's that's that's the spirit of an apostle and we see that by looking at paul and his desire to take the take the name of christ were never been named for those places actually exists in our community and then he says prophets now once again don't think prophets and you're gonna go to your neighbor and be like hey you're if you don't you know or don't go to work today. 'cause you're going to counter person and it's going to change your life. That don't don't think about a fortune teller. That's not that's not what a profit is. A prophet takes aches the revealed word of god and speaks it to a specific person at a specific time and a specific place and they apply apply what god has already said to that person's life in a way that causes that person to come to a fork in the road obedience or disobedience seeks profits in that lay still exist in in our fellowship in our in our church. We need people who had the boldness to go and to say hey. I'm reading this in god's word and i'm just saying we're hey. We don't want up with this and we need to pastor. We need to be you know we need to be doing. Doing we need to be doing this or we need to recant this area. We didn't like those kind of spiritual. Gifts still exists for the benefit of the church now. Not many passengers are going to send up here and tell you hey if you got the spiritual gift of prophecy. Don't be afraid to come talk to me. Pastors like i don't know about that. It'll be the prophet y'all y'all just listen right but but listen if the if the body of christ is gonna function the way god's design it we've got to what celebrate the giftedness this of god's people as he's poured it out on us and so yeah the postles in profits but i want to tell you i think paul's got something else in mind here. Look in chapter two verse nineteen phasing chapter two verse nineteen. This is where reading in context helps us out immensely phase in chapter two verse nineteen paul and talking to the jews and gentiles here in the church at f._c._c. soc- says he says i want you to know the love of christ that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled with all an ostrich and filled with all the fullness of god and and actually i want you to skip over with skip. I'm invasion chapter three. I'm sorry finish after two verse nineteen here again. I'm in the right place so then you're no longer strangers strangers and aliens but you our fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household got built on the foundation of the what aw apostles prophets okay so so in another place in the same letter paul pairs these two words together in a way that should stick out asa significant paul saying that the church in ephesus that their unity that their their love for one another their salvation shen had made a church had been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. I think in one way paul is policy talking about how the profit's kind of being the summary title of the old testament and the apostles who were kind of these new testament prophets who are going and declaring the word of god and he's thinking about aww peter and thomas and all these other apostles that walk with jesus all of these other apostles they're going and they are kind of paving the way and and seeing the church grow and they're writing letters like this one to the church that's binding on that church as as as the commands of god and i think i think paul is making a broader statement to say listen. He's given you the word of god he is giving. When you the apostles and prophets he's given you the scriptures so that you can be built up and if you notice that's exactly what the rest of equation chapter therefore says he actually goes on to talk about evangelists right gave the apostles and prophets the evangelists whatever evangelists evangelist used the word god to invite people into a relationship with christ. That's what an evangelist is to do what to build the church. Numerically they have a special giftedness sadness and calling to go out and to preach the gospel and to see a harvest. I remember sitting around a table. In time of the famous album evangelist junior hill he gave me one of the most <hes> incredible statements that helped me understand how god calls people somebody asked question they said i said junior hundred you know that you are supposed to be an evangelist list and he said it's because every time i opened up the word of god all i could think of was how to use that passage to invite people into a relationship with jesus christ. I was like oh wow that's me. That's not that i'm gonna vangelis but every time i open up the word of god i'm drawn to. How can this be pass it. How can this passage edge be used to shepherd the hearts of god's people and to teach them and equip them because that's what i am. I'm a shepherd and a teacher. I'm not an evangelist. I celebrate right the roles or the role of evangelism but evangelist has a specific calling to use the word of god to invite people into a relationship with christ. I'm the next one a shepherd teacher this this notice the some people dump these together because the new testament words used here shepherds and teachers in in other contexts context like first timothy chapter three we see paul using this same word for pastor they shepherds and teachers and so what we do passers declared the message of the apostles and prophets those who do know christ evangelists are focused on those who don't uh-huh kreis pastors and teachers are focused on those who already know christ and need to continue to be equipped edified and encouraged with the the word of god the message of the apostles the prophets those three words. They're equipped define courage or a kind of a summary of the next few versus <music> to equip. He says to equip the saints for the work of ministry. Now i know football just started back right and the scots were high school have their kick cookout kickoff kickoff cookout on on friday night right and all those guys. They didn't just get get their pads ads and stuff like that. They've been practicing it for a while but there's a day that comes when i show up their practice and maybe you're just running you don't have helmet but then they throw in a helmet but you don't have shoulder pads then after a couple of days they throw on the shoulder vets and what do they do. They give you the equipment necessary so that you you can play in a game right and so what does the pastor supposed to do to show you the necessary equipment that you need to live the christian life you see that and where does that. Where's that equipment found in the word of god and specifically second peter chapter one that we've already talked about the promises that you cling to you as you walk through this life and so i'm called do quip you. I'm called to edify you. That's what it says for the building building up of the body of christ that means to instruct you and sound doctrine so that you know what's right and what's wrong and then i'm also called to encourage you to encourage you look at this next this next verse that is such an incredible says so that we may no longer be children tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine by human cunning by craftiness and deceitful schemes you remember satan has no new strategies and so as a pastor got his called me to help you understand how satan would seek to tempt you and divide you away from his call on your life to to encourage you to stand against the schemes of the enemy much like paul's going to do an occasional chapter six when he tells them to stand firm and so you may may laugh at this but you guys kind of a kid at heart and so this is this is how i think about my job every sunday when i get up here okay. How many maybe you had some of you may still have them those little cars that when you pull him back right it creates tension and then shoot again some of your on you know what i'm i'm talking about. You kind of have this cars that you pull back and they're like ooh. That's sound make but you get the picture right. That's what i see my job as every every sunday. That's why i love my job is that god has a purpose for you. Each week ghana's a design and a desire for you each tweak and believe that as i come in here and faithfully proclaim god's word to you equip encourage and edify you that it's like me pulling back as an individual believer so that you can shoot off into what god has for you this week. Have you ever thought about that way. That's that's that's. That's why i get so pumped about sharing with you what god has for us in his word and we do the same in the mid week just in case some of you need a little little extra. You know right and wednesday night. It's that's what we do too and that's why that's why kira and just and that's why we insist upon the word of god being in every ministry of church is because we believe the word of god alone unleashes life into his church and you're saying okay ryan. It's getting kind of late here. We just had taken ordination where the deacons in this passage because we kinda smith smith the whole service saying they have a really important role and yet here in phasing chapter four. They're not present the politics forget about them now. He didn't forget about let me i tell you why the deacons are people who because there's only two two roles in the church that are mentioned in the first chapter three pastors and deacons and what paul is talking about efficient chapter four her is he's talking about how you can according to verse one chapter four to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called hold. The church can be unified how the people can be encouraged and equipped and that happens through the message of the apostles and prophets. That's the job bob of the pastor and as max has so eloquently already said in at from acts chapter six verse to the twelve apostles recognizing that this was their god ordained sacred calling to fix their eyes upon the spiritual aw nourishment of a congregation they said we also recognize that the physical needs and the connectedness and the peacemaking and all those kinds of things that max mentioned are necessary necessary for the church as well and we can't do it by ourselves and so there is this god ordained partnership partnership where the pastor's focus on the spiritual needs and nourishment of the congregation and the deacons focus on on the physical needs and nourishment of the congregation see that got better search. This is how how much god loves. You and god cares for you as they. He's put people who i can promise you not just speaking for me but are devoted to you as a church family. This is how much god wants you to fulfill your purpose this. This is how much god wants you to cling to his promises and to know that you've got a family even when broken this has hit your your family. You got partners in the gospel. Even when you feel like you're alone you've got to work. This is what the church is. Four and these deacons ends are exemplary leaders and servants of you as a church family so praise god aw he's clearly defined these roles for the church so that the word of god can go forth and i want to challenge you your responsibility having witnessed this this ordination today having studied this passage. Today is to insist that pastors will be pastors according to chapter four that if there's ever a pastor that gets into this pool pit and does it break open the word of god that you challenge them but that's his calling and if there's ever a deacon because you've got insist upon diggins being vegans if there's ever a deacon who is not serving the church faithfully that you insist that those deacon served this church faithfully that is your responsibility as a congregation to speak life into into us if we ever if we ever fall down on her job and that's why we are the way we are congregational governed as a church family and so when we talk about ecclesial when we talk about the church and its design. It's not boring stuff because it's the way that god wants to unleash his love and his life into into our midst and so for some of you for some of you man. Maybe you need to go study over. I of the chapter three and you need to ask god called me to be a pastor has got called me to be a deacon and let those words challenge you took took be called out of the worldliness to be called out of the half-heartedness and you can step up into those roles and ministry if god's called you to do that. I really do believe that. God wants to raise up pastors and missionaries and christian leaders out of this congregation and i really do believe that god wants to raise up more and more deacons weakens out of this congregation and he will do it as you engage in his word because the investment that you make in god's word will never return void and he said well ryan. I can't be a pastor <hes> because we recognize that offset pastors limited to man. So what do i need need to do. What what did they say behind. Every good man is a better woman women. I wanna challenge you that some of your men they need to be encouraged and affirmed the need to step into this role. They need to know that you see that in them. As you and we'll study this in a few in the future future but as you affirm god's calling on the man that god's putting your life then you will see a life flow your family and your church family. I can speak from i can speak personally of the kind of impact that the words the my wife speaks to me has <music> on me. I would not be who i am today apart from her speaking that life into me.