July 6, 2008

The Gifts for Men

Ephesians 4:11-12 gives a list of gifts God gave man. He "gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints..." The apostles were the 12 men that saw the risen Christ. Later, Paul was added to the apostles. The prophets were also given to declare God's will to the early church. Like the apostles, this position in the early church was replaced by the roles we still have in today's church. The two groups we still have in today's church are the evangelists and the pastors and teachers. The evangelists preach and teach the Word of God to unbelievers. While the pastors and teachers are the shepherds to the church, under the great Shepherd Jesus. The pastors and teachers are also known as the elders of the church.

With these gifts, the word of God can be taught to both the saved and unsaved people. The evangelists go out into the world and share God's word with unbelievers; while the pastors build up and strengthen the church from within. More often then not, we the believers need to fall into one of these categories. If we are not the pastor or elders of a church, we need to be sharing the gospel with unbelievers in our capacities in society. Why? Because as verse 12 tells us, God gave these men "to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ..." Our duty is to build up the body of Christ.

We have a responsibility to share the good news of salvation with the unbelieving world. If not for the building up of the saints, then it is for the building up of the body. If we are not called to be pastors, we need to be evangelists at work, home, and in all aspects of our lives. If we are called to be pastors and elders, we are to be studying God's word to effectively equip the believers to go out and be evangelists. The pastor/teacher role is a key role in the proper equipping of the saints. These men will be held to a higher standard and will face God for the decisions they make in leading a church body.

Needless to say, both pastors and evangelists are responsible for knowing and understanding God's word, the gospel, and the saving grace of God. To effectively present God's truth, study and prayer are going to be key to a deeper understanding of who God is. As believers, we are blessed with the Spirit to help guide us in the truth. But a deep and strong knowledge and understanding of God comes from the work of constant studying and focus on God's character from His Word\, the Bible. God is great and powerful. His plan is perfect. His wisdom is freely given to those who seek it.

Praise God for His Word.
Praise God for His Wisdom.
Praise God for His Equipping of the Saints.
Praise God for the Gifts that point to His Awesome Will and Glory.