Ephesians 4:7-16
Walking Worthy of the Work

This chapter is so rich that it is difficult to cut into the middle
of it. It deals with the offices or the gifts that God has given to
the church.

The title I selected comes from \\#1\\.

Eph 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,
beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation
wherewith ye are called,

A vocation is a trade, craft, or work. One of the greatest privileges
for a Christian is the privilege to serve!  But our challenge is not
only to serve our Lord but to do it in such a way as not to shame
make our Lord ashamed that He called us.
    1. I do not want to shame Jesus by quiting.
    2. I do not want to shame Jesus by failing.
    3. I do not want to shame Jesus by chosing sin over Him.

Let me give you three words which are inter-related to this text.
    1. Grace - Grace is the SOURCE or means of what God does in us.

Eph 4:7  But unto every one of us is given grace
according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

        a. Grace is not just the opposite of mercy.  It is the power
            of God working in and through us to accomplish Godís
            will.
        b. We like to think of saving grace and we should.

Tit 2:11  For the grace of God that bringeth
salvation hath appeared to all men,

        c. In that verse, grace is not salvation, but grace brings
            salvation.
        d. Grace was all the work that God did to bring you to the
            place you would accept salvation.
        e. The events, the situations, the people, the opporunities-
            everything that brought salvation to you is a part of
            that grace.
        f. God works hard to get a person to Jesus and that work is
            grace.
        g. Grace is God working in and through your life to
            accomplish His will.
        h. The grace that is being spoken of in Ephesians is not
            saving grace but serving grace.
        i. It is the same concept but here God is working to bring us
            to serve Him after we are saved.
    2. Gifts
        a. God gives grace but Godís grace gives gifts.
        b. God, by grace, allows the Holy Spirit to manifest
            Himself in the life of every believer through His gifts.
        c. We all understand that a "gift" is an ability that God
            gives.  It is not our naturally our own.
        d. Just as some are born with gifts (music, art), so the Holy
            Ghost at salvation equips us for His service.
    3. Work - If Godís grace gives a gift, we ought to do something with it.
        That something is to work.
        a. God builds a church for the believers and believers for the church.
        b. Every member must be involved in the WORK of the church.
        c. \\#1Cor 12:7\\ Not only for the profit of the body but also for the
            profit of the individual believer.

    I. \\#11\\ Notice some of Godís Gifts
        A. Some might use this list to say they have not been given any gifts
            for these are not their offices.
        B. This list is emphasizing the office.
        C. \\#Rom 12:6-8\\ This list emphasizes the WORKS.
        D. You do not have to pastor or prophet to have gifts.
        E. We all have them.
        F. Again the challenge is to walk worthy.
        G. Let me digress.  When someone takes a public ministry knowing they
            are bound by sinÖ. When someone allows himself to be promoted in
            that public ministry over years and years, knowing they are bound
            in sinÖ. When they are found out, they should not be given a
            public position again!  They did not walk worthy.  They did not
            have the power of God.  They faked it.  I question not only their
            integrity and character but their call as well.

            If you are still bound, work in the background and learn to control
            the vessel God has given you.  The work of God is not to be disgraced
            by those who can not contain themselves!

    II. \\#12\\ Godís Purpose in Giving the Gifts
         A. To perfect or mature the saved, that is to grow them.
         B. To do the work of the ministry. (I take it that the job of these is
             to motivate and lead in this work not to attempt to do it alone.)
         C. To edify (build up and encourage) the church.

   III. \\#13\\ Godís DurationóThese gifts have a time line.
         A. Until everyoneóthat is a pretty big task.
         B. Have unity in faith and knowledge.
             1. Basically, until everyone believes like God wants them to believe.
             2. That is not necessarily until we all believe the same thing,
             3. but until we all believe to the same end.
         C. The end is until all become perfect (mature) and fully like Jesus.

    IV. \\#14\\ Godís PreventionóThe proper walk in these gifts will prevent
          the church from being tossed about by:
         A. Every change in doctrine.
         B. Every trick of man.

     V. \\#15-16\\ Godís Goal
         A. That we might all grow up like Jesus.
         B. That we might be fitly joined together.
             1. Example - Jigsaw puzzle.
             2. Many diverse pieces accomplishing a common end.
         C. With every part doing something to help the rest of the body.

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