Summary of passage: Jesus descended to the earthly regions and ascended higher than the heavens. He gave some to be prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastors and teachers to prepare God’s people for works of service so the body of Christ may be built up until we reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining the fullness of Christ.
Then we will in all things grow up into him and we will no longer be infants swayed by others. We will be a part, growing and building itself up in love.
6) Apostles (provide a foundation), prophets (speak God’s word), evangelists (spread God’s word–the Good News of Christ–to others), pastors and teachers (equip and prepare others, shepherd others in the ways of God through teaching His word) to prepare God’s people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining, to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
7) Personal Question. My answer: We all reach unity (forgiving each other and at peace and having the same beliefs) and knowledge in Christ. So this entails teaching others about Christ and modeling Christ-like behavior. I can teach my kids the Bible and show what a Christian walk looks like. I can tell others (friends, family, strangers, etc) the Good News. I can invite them to BSF and bible studies to learn more about Christ as well as to my church.
Most importantly, I can offer up encouragement and pray for others. The simple words of “Can I pray for you right now?” can go a long way in bringing others to Christ.
8a) Our goal is to reach a spiritual unity in a common faith and to know God and Christ and who He is (spiritual maturity) with the goal of attaining the fullness of Christ (becoming like-Christ). Then we will be mature trees with strong roots, standing firm in our beliefs and never wavering or being deceived by the devil and his workmen.
b) By living, breathing, and knowing the Truth of God. Using it as a weapon against the Enemy. Put God as our center, stand firm in Christ. Live in him, be rooted and built up in him, strength our faith, and be overflowing with thankfulness and gratitude. Live in God’s world and not in this one.
Read and know God’s word. Pray. Then pray some more. Walk in His ways. Avoid the noise of this world that tries to crowd out His voice. Listen and God will speak.
9a) Tell others about God. Proclaim His goodness and His work in your life. Be a witness. Always look for opportunities to influence others.
b) Always speak from the heart. Never pressure. Just witness. Tell the good in your life and how Jesus is the cause of it. Give God the credit. Out loud and to others. At every opportunity God gives.
c) Do my Bible Study!!! Pray. Pray some more. Pray with my kids. Pray for others. Decide today to discover God’s purpose for my life and each and every day strive to attain it. Never putting it behind something else. Make it a priority. Behave according to God’s word. Model Christ’s life. Ask for forgiveness when sin and begin anew each day with no regrets. Forgive others. Encourage others. Love others.
d) I have a job to do, a part and role to play to build up the body of Christ. So I must do so. Teach my kids God’s word. Grow them into who God wants them to be. Discover them and help them discover God’s purpose for their life. Bring others into the Body by inviting others to church, bible studies and functions, or speaking God’s words of comfort to others or praying. Pray for the body of Christ, for the Church, for every member. Support the church in every way in their ministries.
In essence, do my part so that the whole may grow and build and spread God’s love and mercy.
Conclusions: Much better than yesterday. Great lesson for thinking about what our role is in life and in God’s purpose for our lives. Prompting us to think of ideas to spread His word in love, to live out His word, and to build up the whole–of which we are called to do as expressed so eloquently by Paul in this passage.
Use this as a brain-storming lesson–brainstorm ways in which you can continue to live out God’s purpose for you and bring others alongside you in the process. Many people think of evangelism as missionaries. But we are all evangelists. Even if we merely live by God’s standards others will see that. It can be as simple as wearing a cross necklace or earrings. We are voicing we are His either verbally and non-verbally (preferably both) but always in the way God calls us to.
We listen. We obey. We follow. Doesn’t get any simpler than that.