The Five-fold Ministry Gift to the Church
Scripture: Ephesians 4:11-16
1. Leaders in the Church are (verse 11):
Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers
2. The general purpose for the five-fold ministry (verse 12):
A. For the perfecting of the saints
i. To nurture the child of God from the time of initial salvation, through sanctification, unto glorification. These are the 3 stages in the life of the born again believer.
B. For the work of the ministry
i. The work of the ministry is to pray, preach and teach God’s word, (Acts 6:1-4).
C. For the edifying of the body of Christ
i. To edify means to build up. To provide spiritual nourishment that will advance maturity.
ii. The body of Christ are those who have placed their faith in what Jesus did on the Cross; 1 Corinthians 12:27 states
Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular:
Colossians 2:14 states
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
iii. The body of Christ is edified through the knowledge of God’s word and the help of the Holy Spirit, by means of doctrine (1 Timothy 4:6, 13, 16), with verse 16 stating.
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt save both thyself, and them that hear thee.
1 Corinthians 12, 13 and 14 speaks of the gifts of the Spirit, and Galatians 5:22-23 speaks of the fruit of the Spirit. All these edifies the believer.
3. The specific purpose for the Five-fold ministry (verse 13):
A. The unity of the faith
i. The unity of the faith must be based on truth (John 8:32)
ii. Agreement on the major doctrinal teachings must be at the core of this unity. Doctrines such as Jesus, the Cross, salvation by grace through faith alone, etc. Don’t let minor issues such as Sabbath days, Christmas or Easter observances destroy this unity. Agree to disagree and pray one for another for illumination on such matters.
B. The knowledge of the Son of God
i. See Philippians 3:7-10
ii. The knowledge of the Son of God leads to the creation of a perfect man. Jesus being the Head and we the believers in Him, the body.
iii. The knowledge of the Son of God leads to the individuals within the body of Christ measuring themselves against the stature of the fullness of Christ. We do not compare ourselves one to another. The goal is Christ, so we strife to be like Him.
4. The goal for which the Five-fold ministry seek (verses 14-16):
A. The maturity of the believers (v.14)
B. Believers that can discern between good and evil (v.14)
C. Believers who speaks the truth in love (v.15)
D. Believers becoming more and more like Jesus everyday (v.15)
E. To see the universal body of Christ as One, with each part making its useful contribution to the whole, namely, the edifying of itself in love (v.16).
The gift of the Five-fold ministry to the Church, is to edify the body of Christ, resulting in the body maturing in Christ Jesus to the edifying of itself in love, hence bringing glory to God.