He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.”
This week, we have been talking about finding the “one thing” in your life. First of all, God has created you for a unique purpose. Second, your purpose should be connected to God’s kingdom purpose. That leads to a third truth: Your purpose is to be centered in the local church.
First, every Christian is to be involved in ministry. Most Christians don’t understand that. They think, “My job is what I do sixty hours a week, but then I come to church to relax and soak in some spiritual truth.” No. Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “[God] gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.” My job as pastor-teacher is not just to do the work of ministry; it is to equip you to do the work of ministry. The word “equip” refers to loading a ship with supplies before it sets out on a long journey. Some people think the goal of a church service is to see how many people can be saved. That is not the goal of a church service. You know why? Lost people very rarely come to church. I always present the gospel in a service because some unbelievers stumble in for one reason or another, but the purpose of a church service is to give you the tools you need to go out and reach the people at your work and in your community with the gospel of Jesus Christ. God’s plan was never for just a few paid professionals to do the work of ministry. God’s purpose is to equip all of us for the work of service to the building up of the body of Christ.
Second, our ministry is to be centered in the local church. Some people today think of the church as a second-class Christian organization. They say, “I guess we ought to support the church, but this group over here is doing an exciting work for God, and that group over there is where the action is. But I will give a little pittance of my time and money to the church.” No, the Bible says the church is the one organization that God created to fulfill His Great Commission. There are many fine Christian organizations outside of the church, but they all have one thing in common: they were all created by a human, and they all will end one day. Only the church of Jesus Christ was created by God. In fact, in Ephesians 3:21, Paul said, “To [God] be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.” It was God who thought up the idea of the church. It was God who gave to the church the commission to go into all the world and preach the gospel (Matthew 28:19-20). In fact, when you read the New Testament, you can’t find one ministry or one missionary who was not under the authority of a local church. Now, there are parachurch organizations that do a great work of coming alongside the church to help it more effectively fulfill its ministry. But God’s plan is to fulfill His mission through the local church.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Finding the One Thing in Your Life” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.