Ephesians 4:7-16 Growing & Maturing

by | Jun 7, 2023 | Ephesians, New Testament

I. Jesus, The Gift & Grace Giver

A. Every Christian Gifted/Graced V. 7

1. Jesus gives gifts to every member of the Body of Christ, without exception.
2. The gifts are given according to God’s grace, not earned or deserved, but given.
3. Measured out (metron) according to God’s sovereign will
4. Some gifts are more obvious, but all are needed for optimal spiritual health.
5. When part of our human body doesn’t function, the whole body is affected.
6. When Christians don’t live by God’s design, the church is negatively affected.
7. Judges 1:5-7 Defeated kings were disabled by cutting off their thumbs and big toes.
8. Life continued for them, but usefulness was reduced, and fighting was impossible.
9. EVERY part of the Body of Christ is important.

B. Jesus, The Victorious Giver Vs. 8-10

1. V. 8– This is a Hebraism; a Hebrew saying. Quoting Psalm 68:18
2. A king would conquer a foe and lead him captive back into the city.
3. The king would be elevated in a victory procession/march.
4. He would take the captured treasures of His foe and distribute gifts to his people.
5. The application is this: Christ conquered Satan, Hell, and death for His church.
6. He has risen from the dead, ascended into Heaven, and gives gifts to His church.
7. V. 9– interesting and controversial verse.

a. Some say– He descended from heaven, before ascending back. True.
b. Some sayLower parts of the earth= the grave, hidden from man’s sight.
c. Others say– the place of the faithful dead, where He announced victory. ▪
d. Read Matthew 12:38-40; Acts 2:25-35; 1 Peter 3:19, 4:6

i. Jesus didn’t evangelize the dead, but made a victory announcement
ii. Luke 4:18, 16:19-31, Matthew 27:50-53, Hebrews 11:13, 39, 40

8. V. 10– Jesus “fills all things”: makes complete, furnish, supply, finish.

a. Jesus thoroughly and completely defeated the Enemy: Satan.
b. Jesus thoroughly and completely equips His church.

II. Gifts/Grace & Their Purpose

A. Leadership In The Church V. 11

1. Apostles- 1st century leaders who established doctrine. Ambassadors.
2. Prophets-Those who speak forth God’s Word, predictive or otherwise.
3. Evangelists-Those who preach the gospel.
4. Pastors/teachers– one office with two titles.
5. All four offices needed by the church, but they are appointed by Jesus, not by men.

B. The Purpose Of Leadership In The Church V. 12

1. equipping of the saintsliterally- for the restoring of things, for putting things in their place, for perfecting, maturing, bringing to completion.
2. Equipping also has the idea of “to put right”; it was used for the setting of a broken bone, and for the mending of nets.
3. The work of the ministry is done by God’s people; leaders in the church have the responsibility to equip people to serve and to direct their service as God leads.
4. Chuck Smith– “The primary purpose of the Church isn’t to convert sinners to Christianity, but to perfect the saints for the ministry & edification of the Body.”
5. 2 Corinthians 13:9 “And this also we pray, that you may be made complete.”
6. for the edifying of the body of Christ– To build up in knowledge, truth, holiness.

a. To edify through teaching God’s word, praying, encouraging.
b. To edify by correction, exhorting, admonishing, rebuking.

C. The Corporate Responsibility And Goal Of The Church Vs. 13-16

1. 13a-Understanding the same things about Jesus.

a. Walking in the same truths with Jesus and each other.
b. Unity based on shared knowledge & experience re. Jesus. Organic unity.
c. Guzik- When gifted offices work right and the saints are properly equipped, there is
increased maturity and greater intimacy in our experience of God.

2. 13b-Paul compares a childish, immature church, to one that is mature, and more adult in its wisdom, understanding, actions, self-control.

a. Gifted offices and mature saints work together to accomplish this.
b. NOTE-sadly, being an older saint doesn’t always mean one is mature.▪

3.V. 14 Jesus said we need to enter the kingdom of God with childlike faith.

a. But there are some aspects of a childlike life that are not to be held on to.
b. Children can be gullible and immature and can be easily deceived.
c. No firmness, no settled course. No clear understanding of a life with God.
d. Follow every new teacher, or new phenomenon. Impressionable.
e. No careful, methodical, examination of the Word. Spiritually unstable.
f. by the trickery of men– Speaks of throwing the dice

i. Some people live their lives haphazardly.
ii. Their lives are as inconsistent as the throwing of the dice.
iii. Not a lack of good intentions but lacking a knowledge of truth.
iv. Lacking a mature Christian to come alongside regularly.
v. They fall prey to the trickery of men, spiritually and in other ways.

4. V. 14 in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting

a. They deceive those who are spiritually eager but immature

5. V. 15- speaking the truth in love– instructing, correcting, restoring, rebuking

a. Whatever is said…should be said with love as the motivation
b. may grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Christ;

i. Maturity is described as the growing up into Jesus, who is the head.
ii. This defines the direction of maturity; we never grow “independent” of Jesus, we grow up into Him.

6. V. 16 The evidence of maturity.

a. The leaders and the saints are all doing their job
b. Every part does its share, with every part and joint providing what it can supply in a coordinated effort.
c. When this happens, it naturally causes the growth of the body (both numerically and in spiritual strength), but especially growth for building itself up in love

7. Some people think of the church as a bus driven by the pastor, who takes his passive passengers where they should be going.

a. That is not the Biblical view of the entity which is called the church.
b. God wants us to see the church as a body, where every part does its share.