Ephesians 4:7-117 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
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.)
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Today, in the training room, which is only partially lit, due to a presentation. I looked at my hands, each had three shadows, every layer a slightly different shade. The last two days we’ve examined some of the shadows cast by David and Solomon which pointed ahead to the Church.
Yesterday, was about the resources which David prepared for Solomon. Today, I would like to look at the materials which, The Son Of David, prepared for the Church. The Lord Jesus gave gifts to complete the body of Christ, and to bring it to maturity.
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Of all the things Jesus accomplished in His earthly ministry, one of the most vital, was the training of His Disciples. Along with the Prophets, this group would lay the foundation of God’s Church, on the Cornerstone that is The Lord Jesus.
The Old and New Testament were written by these amazing men. God’s Word impacts a Christian like nothing else. His Word is the reality which was symbolized in the Temple by the golden candlestick.
1 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
It’s no accident that He uses two different words to illustrate a light here. One is lamp, and the other is light, but they do not mean the same thing. Lamp unto my feet refers to an object which lights individual steps. Light my path uses a word that covers everything from daylight to Jehovah.
Path not only means pathway, but traveler. Jesus not only shows us the way, He shows us ourselves in His light. One reveals where to step, and the other, the manner in which to do so. One says here is where you go, the other says, this is how you get there.
That’s why Jesus said He loves a cheerful giver. It isn’t only about the giving, but the spirit of the giver. Don’t only seek to do the right thing, seek to do it with the right attitude.
When applied to your life, The Word will do both a work in you, and through you. God anointed these men to write His book, and another set of men to teach it.
That brings us to the next group, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. Evangelists are sent to edify several Churches, while Pastors and Teachers are assigned to particular congregations for the perfecting, or maturing of God’s flock.
Four relationships in this world, most closely reflect the heart of God. They are the love for a spouse, the love of a friend, the love of a parent, and the love of a Pastor. Each one reflects a facet of God, but for this study, we will focus on a Pastor’s love.
A shepherd will stay up late, wake early, walk days ahead to prepare water and shelter for the sheep, and return to guide them there. Pastor means shepherd, and it’s the spiritual version of what David was when he was called to slay the lion and the bear. The sheep may not have seen the threat, but David did.
You and I may not always see the danger in a choice or decision, but when our Pastor warns us, it’s our duty to listen. We must trust in the realization, this isn’t just any person. God called this person for our welfare.
A Pastor has been given a vision, by God, to where The Lord wants to bring us too. This isn’t only as a corporate body, but He has a plan for each of us. He shares this with The Man Of God He has placed in our lives.
You’ll notice I capitalized the term, and that’s the way we should view him in our lives. A Pastor views himself, not as a master, but a servant. Yet we need to always see them as Servants of The Master. They aren’t seeking their own, but His own.
Caring for the flock as Under Shepherds, who have been entrusted with our care. People are quick to point out those who leaders who may have made a mistake, but aren’t you glad they don’t respond the same way to the Christians they oversee?
Yes they are human, no they’re not perfect, but neither are we. All of us are striving for perfection, or maturity in Christ, and we will only get there together. Contrary to modern opinion, the teaching we receive on a regular basis, isn’t optional in the eyes of God.
Hebrews 10:24 – 25
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers are all gifts that God gave, much like David gave the gold, silver, and other resources for the Temple. Like the goods King David provided, they span generations. These gifts are part of preparing us for our purpose.
The question is, what is that purpose. We’ve spent the last three days talking about the things that bring us to that purpose. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about the specifics of the purpose itself. See you tomorrow …