Ephesians 4:7-16; Spiritual gifts – evangelist and pastor teachers.
length: 66:09 - taught on Nov, 4 2021
Thursday November 4,2021
I hastily closed 1Co 14 in our last meeting due to time. But I think we gleaned the main point of that chapter. It is really a part of chapters 12-14 in which spiritual gifts and divine love are taught by Paul and then used as a spotlight upon their own conduct in Corinth in two large areas: their use of spiritual gifts (particularly prophecy and tongues) and the method of their actual church meetings. Paul stated chapter 14 with the command to vigorously pursue love, and that because the Corinthians had choses the wrong side in the conflict of glorification of God or self.
The entire epistle is about this conflict. It is the war within each believer between the flesh and the Holy Spirit (GAL 5:16-17). This war refuses to remain within the soul of the believer.
The results of the battlefield of the soul (glorification of God vs. self) spills over into our families and marriages and congregations.
We cannot eradicate the effects that the condition of our souls will have on the people around us. For some, the solution is becoming a hermit. But what we don’t do for others is still a significant effect. Our only remaining option as believers is to win the battle in the soul (pursue love!, 1CO 14:1) and have and good and eternal impact on our corner of the world, especially our churches and our families and our neighbors.
Pursue (present active imperative of dioko = eagerly seek all the time) love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.
The teachings of the prophets were producing edification (building up), exhortation (helping, motivating), and consolation (paramuthia - literally to speak close to, or comfort).
Use of gifts in the church - “Let all things be done for edification.”
Everything we do while we are gathered together should have this statement in mind behind it.
What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
How wonderful it would be for someone to have the talent or gift to write a psalm, a poem or a song, and share it with the congregation. There were more than a few speakers in a church service in the first century. With order and leadership; with love, it must have been wonderful.
I wonder if we could all think of our own services, which I’m sure you’ve noticed, are very uniform. No rules are given for church organization (other than that there must be leadership) or procedure in the Scripture, but Paul lays down the overarching law, “Let all be done for edification.”
If we keep this grand rule in mind, then there is no need for suffocating formality. We may use spontaneous prayer or prepared ones. We may sing three songs, two, or four on Sundays. We may use devotionals if they are edifying and available. Someone may have a talent that can be shared, like poetry or music, or a story, etc. As long as it is never edifying self but the whole body of the church. Again, if what we are doing is making the faithful more and more like Christ, then it is to be preferred.
As Marcus Dods writes concerning this passage: “They who sincerely attach themselves to Christ cannot fail to end by being like Him. But lack of expectation is fatal to the Christian. If we expect nothing or very little from Christ, we might as well not be Christians. If He does not become to us a second conscience, ever present in us to warn against sin and offer opposing inducements, we might as well call ourselves by any other name.” I don’t necessarily agree with his conclusion that the carnal might as well not be Christians, but his strong point is well taken. Our calling is as high as the heavens and it was given to us through great sacrifice and cost, so who are we not to reach for all of it.
“evangelists” - euaggelistas = a messenger of good news, preacher of the gospel. (verb: euaggelizo - to bring, proclaim the gospel)
Our NT has this noun only used three times, but the verb is used over 50 times. The verb is bring, or announce, or proclaim the gospel. We are all to do this.
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him; 13 for "Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved." 14 How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!"
The entire phrase “bring glad tidings” is a translation of the verb (participle) euaggelizo. And, interestingly, this quote from Isa uses the same verb in the Septuagint.
How lovely on the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news (euaggelizo in LXX),
Notice that it is used in conjunction with “they who are sent,” sent being the verb apostello, the function of an apostle.
But the ones spiritually gifted to do it are evangelists.
The two other uses of this word (the noun), one describes a man named Phillip (“Phillip the evangelist” ACT 21:8), and other is an exhortation from Paul to Timothy to do the work of an evangelist (2TI 4:5).
In neither case is the function of the title expanded upon.
And that is it. Therefore, it is impossible to get a detailed job description of an evangelist, other than translating the word, which is a combination of angelo (messenger) and eu (good).
Opinion differs on whether the gift was solely a function, or if it was an office. We cannot say for sure.