Ephesians

Commentary on the Book of Ephesians

By: Tom Lowe                                              Date: 8/13/17

 

 

Lesson 17: The Diversity of Spiritual Gifts in Contributing Toward Unity (Ephesians 4:7-16)

 

 

Ephesians 4:7-16 (KJV)

 

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

 


Introduction

 

Paul moves now from what all Christians have in common to how Christians differ from each other.  He is discussing variety and individuality within the unity of the Spirit.  God has given each believer at least one spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:1-12), and this gift is to be used for the unifying and edifying (building up) of the body of Christ.  We must make a distinction between “spiritual gifts” and natural abilities.  When you were born into this world God gave you certain natural abilities, perhaps in mechanics, art, athletics, or music.  In this regard, all men are not created equal, because some are smarter, or stronger, or more talented than others.  But in the spiritual realm, each believer has at least one spiritual gift no matter what natural abilities he may or may not possess.  A spiritual gift is a God-given ability to serve God and other Christians in such a way that Christ is glorified and believers are edified.

 

There are three lists of spiritual gifts given in the New Testament: 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 27-31; Romans 12:3-8; and Ephesians 4:11.  Since these lists are not identical, it may be that Paul has not named all the gifts that are available.  Paul wrote that some gifts are more important than others, but that all believers are needed if the body is to function normally (1 Corinthians 14:5, 39{2]).  Paul named, not so much “gifts,” but the gifted men God has placed in the Church, and there are four of them; apostles, prophets, evangelists, and teachers and preachers. We will study these when we come to verse 11.

 

 

Commentary

 

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

 

All believers are to diligently maintain the unity of the Spirit; this does not mean that each is a carbon copy of the other.  Each believer is given a “gift” so that he may function within the body of believers in a particular way.  Paul writes, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal” (1 Corinthians 12:7).  This means that a gift is the Spirit of God doing something through the believer for the purpose of building up the body of believers. It is for the profit of the whole body of believers.  No gift is given to you to develop you spiritually.  A gift is given to you in order that you might function in the body of believers to benefit and bless the Church.  (In this first sentence, can you hear a word of encouragement for the Christian who may imagine there is nothing he can do?)

 

I have heard it said, “We do not speak in tongues in our church.  We do it for our private devotions.” I can say to them categorically from the Word of God that they are wrong.  “Gifts” are given to profit the Church.  No gift is to be used selfishly for personal profit.  In fact, it is not a gift if it is being used that way.  A gift is given to every member of the body to enable him to function for a very definite reason in his position in the body.

 

Suppose my eyes would tell me that they are sleepy and will not get up with me.  Suppose my legs say they won’t carry me downstairs to my breakfast.  I need both my eyes and my legs, and I hope my brain cooperates too.  In fact, all the members of my body need to work together, each member doing the job that it’s supposed to do.

 

Each believer is given a gift so that he may function in the body of believers in a particular way.  When he does this, the body functions.  That is where we find the unity of the Spirit. Along with the gift it says every one of us is given “grace” to exercise that gift in the power and fullness of the Spirit of God.  When each believer functions in his peculiar gift, it produces a harmony, as does each member of the human body.  However, when one member of the body suffers, the whole body suffers.  This means, my friend, that if you do not exercise your gift in the body, you throw us all out of tune.

 

But someone may say, “That’s all good, but how does the believer discover and develop his gifts?  By fellowshipping with other Christians in the local assembly.  Gifts are not toys to play with.  They are tools to build with.  And if they are not used in love, they become weapons to fight with, which is what happened in the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 12-14).  Christians are not to live in isolation for after all, they are members of the same body. 

 

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

 

You already may have noticed that this is a quotation from Psalm 68:18 “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.”   Someone may point out that apparently there is a discrepancy here.  Ephesians says “He gave gifts unto men” and the psalm says, “He received gifts for men.” Is this a misquote from the Old Testament? 

 

In the verse before us the Holy Spirit changes the words and He does it for a purpose.  Back in the Book of Psalms we are told that the Lord Jesus had received gifts for men.  He had all the gifts ready.  Then He came to earth.  Now that He has been here and has gone back to the Father, He is distributing the gifts among men.  He is giving them to us through the Holy Spirit.  Actually this passage shows again how very accurate the Bible is and that this is not a misquote. 

 

“When he ascended up on high” refers to the ascension of Christ.  At that time He did two things: (1) “He led captivity captive,” which refers, I believe, to the redeemed of the Old Testament who went to paradise when they died.  Christ took these believers with Him out of paradise into the very presence of God when He ascended.  Today when a believer dies, we are not told that he goes to paradise, but rather he is absent from the body and present with the Lord (see 2 Corinthians 5:8{3]; Philippians 1:23).  (2) When Christ ascended He also gave gifts to men.  This means that He conferred gifts upon living believers in the Church so that they might witness to the world.  In His ascension, Christ not only brought the Old Testament saints into God’s presence, but He also, through the Holy Spirit, bestowed His gifts.  At the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit baptized believers into the body of Christ and then endowed them with certain gifts, enabling them to function as members of the body.  The Holy Spirit put each of them in a certain place in the body, and He has been doing the same with each new believer ever since.

 

The picture presented here is of a military conqueror leading his captives and sharing the spoil with his followers.  Only in this case, the “captives” are not his enemies, but His own people.  Sinners who once were held captive by Satan have now been taken captive by Christ.  Even death itself is a defeated foe!  When He came to earth, Christ experienced the depth of humiliation (Philippians 2:5-11{4]).  But when He ascended to heaven, He experienced the very highest exaltation possible.

 

 

9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

 

The logical explanation of these verses is that since Christ ascended, He must have, out of necessity, descended at some previous period.  Some see only the Incarnation (Christ in human form) in this.  The early church fathers saw in it the work of Christ in bringing the Old Testament saints out of paradise and up to the throne of God.  We are told that He descended into hell.  It is not necessary, however, to assume that He entered into some form of suffering after His death.  His incarnation and death were His humiliation and descent, and they were adequate to bring the redeemed of the Old Testament into the presence of God.  That would explain His fullness here.  “He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.” I recognize, however, that there are other interpretations.

 

As Paul wrote this letter, another thought may have occurred to him.  Jesus ascended up on high.  But He did not ascend up on high to leave the world; he ascended up on high to fill the world with His presence.  When Jesus was here in the flesh, he could only be in one place at any one time; he was under all the limitations of the body; but when He laid this body aside and returned to glory, he was liberated from the limitations of the body and was able then to be everywhere in all the world through His Spirit. To Paul the ascension of Jesus meant not a Christ-deserted but a Christ-filled world.

 

 

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure (standard) of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

 

I translate verse 11 this way: “He Himself gave some [as] apostles, and some [as] prophets and some [as] evangelists, and some [as] pastors and teachers.” This verse does not refer to the gifts He has given to men, although it is true that it is He who has given the gifts.  What Paul is saying here is that Christ takes certain men who have been given certain gifts and He gives them to the Church.  The gifted leaders are supposed to “equip the saints to do the work of the ministry; the building up of the body of Christ” (translation).  The saints do not call a pastor and pay him to do the work.  They call him and follow his leadership as he, through the Word equips them to do the job (2 Timothy 3:13-17{5]).  The members of the Church grow by feeding on the Word and ministering to each other.  The first evidence of spiritual growth is Christlikeness.

 

Now noticed verse 12, for there he gives the purpose for which these men are given to the Church: “For the perfecting of the saints{1], for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” These gifted men are given to the Church so that it might be brought to full maturity.

 

Then in verse 13 he tells us the purpose of the Church in the world?  It is to complete itself, so that it might grow up.  He says, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” Think about the message here, what we have to look forward to; we will one day be like Jesus Christ.

 

It is the Lord Jesus Himself who gives gifted men to perfect the Church.  The Lord Jesus is the One who has the authority and is the One who bestows gifts.  He gave “some, apostles” to the Church.  The word means “one who is sent with a commission.” Jesus had many disciples, but He selected 12 Apostles (Matthew 10:1-4).  A disciple is a “follower” or a “learner,” but an apostle is a “divinely appointed representative.” The apostles were to give witness of the Resurrection (Acts 1:15-22), and therefore had to have seen the risen Christ personally (1 Corinthians 9:1-2).  The author of Hebrews explicitly describes our Lord as “the apostle…  Of our confession” (Hebrew 3:1).  Jesus is sent by the Father with the authority of the Father to teach the doctrines and words of the Father.

 

An apostle was a man who had not only seen the resurrected Christ but had also been directly and personally commissioned by Him to be an apostle.  He enjoyed a special inspiration.  This is why Paul could state: “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by men, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead); …  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:1, 12).  This office, by virtue of its very nature, has long since disappeared from the Church.  These men helped to lay the foundation of the church—“the foundation laid by the Apostles and prophets” (Ephesians 2:20), and once the foundation was laid, they were no longer needed.  In a sense the apostles were bound to die out, because before very long those who had actually seen Jesus and who had actually witnessed the resurrection, would pass from this world.  But, in another and still greater sense, the qualification remains.  He who would teach Christ must know Christ; and he who would bring the power of Christ to others must have experienced Christ’s risen power.  God authenticated their ministry with special miracles (Hebrews 2:1-4{6]), so we should not demand these same miracles today.  Of course, in a broad sense, all Christians have an apostolic ministry.  “As My Father has sent Me, even so send I you” (John 20:21).  But we must not claim to be apostles, as many preachers do today (especially TV preachers).

 

“The Twelve”—the apostles called by Jesus (Luke 6:13) were trained by Him, equipped to serve Him, and sent into the world by Him (Matthew 28:18-20).  The Apostle Paul was added to this group of 12 (“as one untimely born” as he puts it, 1 Corinthians 15:8{7]).  When his apostleship was attacked as inauthentic he defended it vigorously, arguing that all the necessary prerequisites for apostolic ministry were present in his life.  He had seen the Lord and had been commissioned personally by Him; the signs of an apostle were evident in his ministry; he had been received into the fellowship of the other members of the apostolic band (1 Corinthians 9:1-3; 15:6, 9-10).  Acts 14:14 refers to “the apostles Barnabas and Paul, while Galatians 1:19 seems to indicate that the Lord’s brother James was regarded as an apostle: “But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lords brother.” The apostles mentioned in the well-organized lists of the New Testament are apostles in the sense that they are given responsibility for the whole church (Matthew 28:18-20{7]).  Their central task was to provide authentic and authoritative witness to Christ.  That witness was in turn authenticated, as Jesus’ apostleship and revelation had been, by the “signs of an apostle” (2 Corinthians 12:12; Acts 2:22).

 

The prophets were wanderers throughout the time of the “EarlyChurch.”  Their message was believed to be not the result of thought and study but the direct result of the Holy Spirit.  They had no homes and no families and no means of support.  They went from church to church proclaiming the will of God as God had told it to them.

 

He gave “some prophets.” Here, as in other epistles, this has reference to New Testament prophets.  They were men who were given, as were the apostles, particular insight into the doctrines of the faith (Ephesians 3:5{8]).  They were under the immediate influence and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, which distinguishes them from teachers (1 Corinthians 12:10{9]).  The prophets did not so much for-tell the future as fourth-tell the will of God.  In fourth-telling the will of God, they necessarily to some extent forth-told the future, because they announced the consequences which would follow if men disobeyed that will.

 

The purpose of prophesy is “edification, encouragement, and consolation” (1 Corinthians 14:3, translation).  Christians today do not get their spiritual knowledge immediately from the Holy Spirit, but through the Holy Spirit teaching the word.  There is no one around today with the office of apostle or prophet in that sense; because they were a once-for-all gift.  They themselves passed off the scene long ago, but they are still members of His Church.  His Church exists not only on earth; part of the Church is up in Heaven with Him.  They are part of that host, which is in the presence of God.  In another sense they are still with us today.  Are we studying the Epistle to the Ephesians right now?  And who wrote it?  The Apostle Paul and he is still with us even though he is up in heaven with Christ.  He is absent from the body but present with Christ.  Yet he is still a member of the Church and he is still an apostle to us.

 

Apostles and prophets hold first place in this list, as in 1 Corinthians 12:28.  The reason for this prominence is given in 2:20{10], namely that these leaders in the early church bore witness to the incarnate and risen Lord and were the vehicles through which he continued to express His mind to the church.

 

“Some, evangelists.” The evangelists were traveling missionaries.  These men traveled from place to place to preach the Gospel and win the lost (Acts 8:26-40; 21:28).  Paul was an evangelist (bearer of good news).  They were not evangelists as we think of them today.  There was no committee or organization to set up a campaign.  They went into new territory, and they did it all alone with the Spirit of God who went before them.  All ministers should “do the work of an evangelist,” but this does not mean that all ministers are evangelists (2 Timothy 4:5).  The Apostles and prophets laid the foundation of the church, and the evangelists built on it by winning the lost to Christ.  Of course, in the early church, every believer was a witness (Acts 2:41-47; 11:19-21{11]), and so should we be witnesses today.  But there are also people today who have the gift of evangelism.  The fact that a believer may not possess this gift does not excuse him from being burdened for lost souls or witnessing to them.  Only Philip is explicitly described in the New Testament as an evangelist (Acts 21:8).  Paul urged Timothy, however, to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:5).

 

He also gave “some pastors.” These men were the shepherds of the flock, indicating that the local church is a flock of sheep (Acts 20:28{12]), and it is his responsibility to feed and lead the flock (1 Peter 5:1-4{13], where “elder” is another name for “pastor,” as is “bishop.”).  He does this by means of the Word of God, the food that nourishes the sheep.  The Word is the staff that guides and disciplines the sheep.  The Word of God is the local churches protection and provision, and no amount of entertainment, good fellowship, or other religious substitutions can take its place.

 

He gave “some teachers,”the men who were to instruct the flock.  This is the gift which is mentioned in Romans 12:7[14]; 1 Corinthians 12:28-29; and 1 Timothy 3:2.  While all Elders are to pastor the flock, and must therefore be able to teach, some are particularly called to and gifted in the work of teaching―“Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” (1 Timothy 5:17).

 

In the early Church there were few books.  Printing was not to be invented for almost another 1400 years.  Every book had to be written by hand and a book the size of the New Testament would cost as much as a whole year’s wages for a working man.  That meant that the story of Jesus had mainly to be transmitted by word of mouth.  The story of Jesus was told long before it was written down; and these teachers had the tremendous responsibility of being the repository of the gospel story.  It was their function to know and to pass on the story of the life of Jesus.

 

The people who came into the Church were coming straight from heathen innocence; they knew literally nothing about Christianity, except that Jesus Christ had laid hold upon their hearts.  Therefore these teachers had to open up the Christian faith to them.  They had to explain the great doctrines of the Christian faith. It is to them that we owe our thanks that the Christian faith remained pure and was not distorted as it was handed down.

 

The construction of the phrase “pastors and teachers” with one “some” to cover both words is interesting.  It suggests that there were two functions shared by the same individuals, whose chief task is described in Acts 2:28{12].  These men would be local congregational leaders in charge of established churches which had been brought into existence by the preaching of the apostles and others.  Pastors and teachers were clearly intended to be ongoing ministries in the church― “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).

 

God has given all these men to the Church so that the Church might be brought to full maturity where there will be inhibitions.  You see, the Church is not to make a “nut” of herself before the world; she is not to appear ignorant before the world.  All these men are to prepare the Church so that the believers might do the work of ministering and building up the body of Christ.  The aim of the pastor is that the members of the Church should arrive at perfect unity.  He must never allow parties or factions to form in the Church nor do anything which would cause differences in it.  By precept and example he must seek to draw the members of the Church into a closer unity each day.

 

We call the pastor of a church a minister, but if you are a Christian, you are as much a minister as he is.  You don’t have to be ordained to be a minister.  The pastor has a special gift, a gift of teaching the Word of God so that His members, those who are under him, might do the work of the ministry—they are the ones to go out and do the visitation and the witnessing.  I am afraid we have the church in reverse today.

 

At this point let me say that probably no man in the Church has all the gifts; so do not expect your pastor or your minister to be all things.  Don’t take the viewpoint that he has many gifts.  His business is to build the members of the church for the work of the ministry.

 

 

14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

 

Christ’s purpose in giving men with different gifts to the Church is to develop believers from babyhood to full maturity.  This is the role of the ministers who are Christ’s gifts to the Church with this end in view, namely that the Church will be built up until its final state is reached.

 

The word “children” means infants, and stands in contrast to “mature manhood” (“a perfect man” in verse 13).  The second evidence of spiritual growth is stability—there will be no lack of stability—when subjected to stress and strain.  The description “tossed to and fro” may suggest a nautical picture of a ship battered by angry seas (Luke 8:24 speaks of “raging waves,” using the same Greek word).  The maturing Christian is not tossed about by every religious novelty that comes along.  There are religious quacks waiting to kidnap God’s children and get them into their false cults, but the maturing believer recognizes false doctrine and stays clear of it.  The cultists do not try to win lost souls to Christ.  They do not establish rescue missions in the slum areas of our cities, because they have no good news for the man on skid row.  Instead these false teachers try to capture immature Christians, and for this reason, most of the membership of the false cults comes from local churches, particularly churches that do not feed their people the Word of God.  But those who do receive and believe the Word of  God will not be led astray into false teaching which heretical leaders will seek to promote (see Hebrews 13:9; Jude 12 for similar wording).  Behind all the false doctrine around today, religious quacks, cults, and lack of stability are men who cherish evil plans and practice underhanded ways. 

 

 

15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

 

The third evidence of maturity is “truth joined with love”; “speaking the truth in love” (4:15).  It has well been said that truth without love is brutality, but love without truth is hypocrisy.  Little children do not know how to blend truth and love.  They think that if you love someone, you must shield him or her from the truth if knowing the truth will hurt them.  It is a mark of maturity when we are able to share the truth with our fellow Christians, and doing it in love. “Faithful are the wings of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:6).

 

The believers are not to remain children, but rather that in “speaking the truth in love, [they] may grow up into him in all things.” The believer is to follow “the truth in love”; that is, he is to love truth, live it, and speak it.  Christ is the truth and the believer must sail his little canoe of life with everything pointed toward Christ. Christ is his compass and his magnetic pole.

 

“Which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted.” The body of believers is compared to the physical body and is called the “body of Christ.”

 

The body not only receives orders from the Head, who is Christ, but also spiritual nourishment.  This produces a harmony where each member is functioning in his place as he receives spiritual supplies from the Head.  Also the body has an inward dynamic whereby it renews itself.  Likewise the spiritual body is to renew itself in love.

 

One more evidence of maturity is “cooperation.” We all realize that as members of the one body and a local body, we belong to each other, we affect each other, and we need each other.  Each believer, no matter how insignificant he may be, has a ministry to other believers; and that means that believers must cooperate with each other in witnessing the gospel to unbelievers.

 

Verse 16 is difficult; therefore, I will summarize it by making three remarks:

1)    Christ’s body is made up of many members (Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:12) who, although different in obvious ways, yet are part of one body, which is the universal Church. In 2:21 it is likened to a holy temple built with many stones―“In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.”

2)    The Church grows by the action of Christ on its behalf.  And He exerts a unifying action on the body by means of His work through “every joint” which He supplies.  This last thought takes us back to verse 11 and makes possible the connection of “every joint” with Christ’s gift of the ministry.  Christ works through the minister; and they’ll in turn have the responsibility to see that “each part is working properly.” That is, each church member fulfills his part in the life of the corporate hole.

3)    By this chain reaction of Christ―his ministers―his people, the whole body is edified as “love” becomes the “atmosphere” in which this process of mutual encouragement and responsibility is exercised, with each part of the Church playing the role appointed for it.  Christ, the head, imparts His risen life and bestows by the Spirit His gifts of ministry.  His ministers fulfill their mission by equipping the saints (4:12) and of being the ligaments of the Church’s cohesion to Christ and one another.  Christ’s people make the contribution needed for Christ’s plans to be realized for the bodies building up and growth into Him.  And above all, it is a growth in love―“Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity (love) edifieth.”(1 Corinthians 8:1).

 

So, then, spiritual unity is not something we manufacture.  It is something we already have in Christ, and we must protect and maintain it.  TRUTH UNITES, but lies divide.  LOVE UNITES, but selfishness divides.  Therefore, “speaking the truth in love,” let us speak with one another and edify one another, THAT ALL OF US MAY GROW UP TO BE MORE LIKE CHRIST.

 

 

 

Scripture and special notes

 

[1} Saints means “all God’s people.”

[2} “I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.”… “Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.” (1 Corinthians 14:5, 39)

[3} “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8)

[4} “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)

[5} “13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:13-17). 

[6} “1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” (Hebrews 2:1-4)

[7} “18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

[8} “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;” (Ephesians 3:5)

[9} “To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:” (1 Corinthians 12:10)

[10} “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” (Ephesians 2:20)

[11} “19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. 20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.

[12} “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28)

[13} “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1 Peter 5:1-4)

[14} “Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;” (Romans 12:7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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