Sunday, October 18, 2020

"Gifts To Help Us Grow Up" by Pastor Kerry Doyal [LEFC Sermon Notes]

"Gifts To Help Us Grow Up"
Moving towards Maturity in Love and Unity - from Eph. 4:7-16
Kerry Doyal, Allegheny District Superintendent

It’s Pastor Appreciation Month!  Please let Matt, Heather and their Crew know you’re thankful for them. Get this: the Bible says he is a gift from God.  When you get a gift, it is nice to know its purpose.  So, if I may, why did God give Matt to Lanse EFC?  Ephesians 4:7-16 addresses that very theme. Notice the Pastor’s role and ours. 

7 “Now grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 For it says:
When he ascended on high,
he took the captives captive;
he gave gifts to people.   (cf. Ps 68:18)

9 But what does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower parts of the earth? 10 The one who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens, to fill all things. 11 And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. 14 Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. 15 But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into him who is the head—Christ. 16 From him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building itself up in love by the proper working of each individual part.”  (Eph. 4:7-16 - CSB) 

Here is my summary of this rich text: 

The Ascended and Seated Savior sent us a Surprise!
He Gave us Servants, Spiritual Leaders 
They are to Strengthen and Supply us Saints to be able to serve, 
so that His Body is built up – in quantity and quality! 

We are all to be engaged in ministry until we are all mature: 
United in the faith
Knowing Jesus better and better 
Becoming more like Jesus 

We are not to stay spiritual kids – easily swayed, or deceived 
But, we are to grow up in all ways in Him, to be like Him
All of us are to work together in our unique roles 
so we can grow and bolster each other in love. 

Last time I was here we looked at Ephesians 4:1-6. To help us fulfill our calling, God has given us gifts. Among them are Spiritual Leaders who help ready us to serve, so we can help Christ’s body become mature, more like Jesus (vs. 7-16). 

>      Matt’s Role, as a Pastor / Teacher, is to Equip you, help get you in the game
He is Not an Entertainer and you Spectators 
Not merely an Educator, though an excellent teacher
He is an Equipper, to Help Repair and Prepare you so you can serve
> Your Role, as repaired and prepared ones, is to minister and build up the body; doing acts of service that lead to a healthier Body of Christ. (vs 12)
This is not just a job for the paid pros. Read Titus! 
How long are we to do this, you ask? 

> What does Maturity Look like and include?  Vs. 13 
Being united in the faith  (see John 17 – an obsession of Jesus)
Knowing Jesus better and better (Phil. 3 - That I may know Him!)  
Becoming more like Jesus (fully taught disciples are like their Master) 

> God wants His re-born people are to move to maturity, to grow up in Christ; in all ways. Luke 2:52 – Jesus grew in wisdom, and stature, in favor with God, and man.

> Spiritual Children are easily swayed, fooled, manipulated: (vs. 14) 
They believe every new voice that comes along
They read things and never question if it is Biblical
They fall for conspiracies, heresies, and destructive, divisive teachings 

> As we lovingly speak truth to each other, we all become more like Jesus (15)

> His whole body is to help each other grow, as we all play our active, unifying part, lovingly building each other up (16)

Applying this Passage: 

First, share your thanks to God for Matt.  AND to Matt directly. Don’t let it “go without saying”;  encourage the Old Guy, and Heather and their kids 

Get busy serving!  No one is ever fully ready to do everything – not even Matt.  But you can do something!  Get after it! How can you make Lanse EFC a better place? What needs can you meet?  See Eph. 2:10  

Serve so as to build up the Body. Help it grow in quantity through evangelism, and in quality by helping others grow in Christ. Be purposeful. 

Contribute to the Body’s Maturity (Grow Up). Help maintain unity (review Eph. 4:1-6); help deepen yours and others knowledge of, and love for Jesus.  

Watch after spiritual babies. Warn them if you see them following bad teachers or influencers. Provide good examples, and materials. Be a loving truth speaker

What is the best gift you can give Pastor Matt, or any Pastor, for Pastor Appreciation?  Step up and Grow up!   
Great news, as you help others, you mature as well. Then they are able to help others grow up. 
What a great gift to give to the great gift that Matt is.