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Bobby Stafford Spiritual Gifts (Ephesians 4:7-16)   Ephesians / Spiritual Gifts June 15, 2014 Sunday AM Sermon
           

Spiritual Gifts

Part Two

Text: Ephesians 4:7-16

Body:

I. The One Who Gave the Gifts (Verses 7-10) 

II. The One Who Received the Gifts (Verse 11) Verse 11 These offices or works were filled by Christians who possessed spiritual gifts. These were necessary for building and continuing the Lord’s church since the New Testament had not been revealed and written. (Acts 8:14-18)

a. Apostles were those [ambassadors] selected by Christ and who received the Holy Spirit baptism. They were all eyewitnesses of the risen Savior. There are no apostles since the first century.

b. Prophets, the New Testament ones, were spokesmen for God. They were “forth tellers” who were inspired by God to reveal His Word. After the New Testament was revealed and recorded, this office ceased. (I Corinthians 13:8)

c. Evangelists possessed spiritual gifts in the first century. [Timothy and Philip] There was no written New Testament then, so they needed super natural means to preach the gospel. Preachers today are not inspired; they must study the Word to obtain knowledge to proclaim the good news.

d. Pastors and Teachers Since pastors [elders] are also to be teachers, this may be referring to the same office or work. Elders in the first century were endowed with miraculous gifts to perform their work of shepherding. This is possibly the meaning of James 5:14-15.  

III. The Purpose for the Spiritual Gifts (Verse 12) Verse 12 “Equip the saints” was to make fit, to prepare fully. Since the early church did not have a copy of the complete Word of God, those with spiritual gifts were to instruct Christians [saints] concerning how they were to carry out their duties as Christians. This would profit the whole church by equipping them for service. (I Corinthians 12:7) In particular, two areas are listed: work of ministry and edifying of the body. This would include helping those in need, teaching the lost, and strengthening the church. Miraculous gifts are not needed today because the gospel instructs, equips, and motivates us to carry out our responsibilities. (Acts 20:32) 

IV. The Duration of the Spiritual Gifts (Verse 13) Verse 13 “Till” is an adverb of time that sets limit on how long these gifts would be available. That was until the faith was completed; until it was fully revealed. (Jude 3) Once it was revealed and those possessing these gifts died, miraculous gifts ceased. (I Corinthians 13:8-10) When the faith was fully revealed, all the knowledge about Christ that we need was given to man. (II Peter 1:2-3) We attained unity of the faith when the gospel was revealed and recorded. Having this full knowledge of Christ enables us to reach perfection [maturity] in a spiritual since. During the time when spiritual gifts were needed, the church was considered an infant, immature. But with the completed revelation, the church is considered to be a full-grown man. Now we can reach the stage that Christ intended the church to reach. These gifts were never meant to be permanent. (I Corinthians 13:11-12) Consider the condition of a congregation in the first century. Certain members would have particular spiritual gifts. (I Corinthians 14) If a gift was not present [gift of interpretations] the church had to do without what that gift supplied. But now, with the completed revelation, every member has access to the whole faith. We can read and study it and grow as God would have us to do. The church can have unity because all have the Word to follow.

Invitation:

Jesus conquered death and His victory insures our ultimate triumph. For when we trust and obey, we can have the assurance and confidence that a home in heaven will be ours. Are you ready to accept Christ’s invitation? 

Bobby Stafford

June 22, 2014

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