Ephesians 4:7-16: Spiritual gifts – evangelist, part 2.
Tuesday November 9, 2021
Eph 4:12-13: gifts are for pointing towards “equipping” = making mature or fit. For entering into service, edification of others, unity, full knowledge of Christ, perfect maturity, and the stature of Christ.
For [pros – pointing towards] the equipping [katartismos = perfecting, making fit] of the saints for [eis – entering] the work of service, to [eis again] the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to [eis again] the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to [eis] a mature man, to [eis] the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.
The nuances of Paul’s prepositional phrases point us towards the path of the fruitful life of Christ. We have a long and rewarding walk in front of us. It will not be done in this lifetime, but if we don’t start now, our earthly lives will lack the fruit of it.
As a result [hina – another purpose clause], we are no longer to be children [back to vs. 12 – “perfecting the saints”], tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, 20 having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
Eph 2:20 “built upon” – epoikodomeo = to build a house with the prefix epi (upon).
As with all things that we are called to do, Jesus has done it perfectly, and hence tells to follow Him in His manner. We use our gifts to build up the body of Christ. Jesus is the builder of house.
Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. 2 He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. 3 For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. 5 Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; 6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.
The conditional clause in vs. 6b would not mean that salvation is by works but that the writer is encouraging his readers, who are being greatly persecuted, to persevere though the difficulties and stand firm.
Continued in other passages as well is the imagery of the church being a house. In the image all believers are stones, or a part of the house, and they are also sons of the Father who remain in the house, adopted sons who have been set free by Christ. We are also stewards or slaves who have responsibilities in the house, which responsibilities center on others. When we serve the others we build up or edify the house.
“evangelists” – euaggelistas = a messenger of good news, preacher of the gospel. (verb: euaggelizo – to bring, proclaim the gospel)
As we have done somewhat with apostle and prophet, we will do, but more so in these gifts of evangelist and pastor teacher, and that is to see their function in our Lord. We are to imitate Him, and so we find the perfect function of a spiritual gift in Him. It should not surprise us that the Lord functioned in all the gifts, save the gift of tongues.
Jesus was sent (apostle) to preach the gospel (evangelize). Evangelists should mimic Him (as we all should).
His first message to His home synagogue, Jesus was handed the scroll and He turned to the prophet Isaiah, chapter 61 in our Bibles.
And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book, and found the place where it was written,
18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are downtrodden,
19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord."
“preach the gospel” = euaggelizo. Jesus was anointed to preach the gospel to the poor.
Psa 40:6-8 are quoted by the writer of Hebrews as referring to the Lord Jesus. Vs. 9 uses the same noun as Isa 61:1 in the phrase “preach the gospel to the poor.”
Sacrifice and meal offering Thou hast not desired;
My ears Thou hast opened;
Burnt offering and sin offering Thou hast not required.
7 Then I said, "Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me;
8 I delight to do Thy will, O my God;
Thy Law is within my heart."
9 I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation;
Behold, I will not restrain my lips, O Lord, Thou knowest.
10 I have not hidden Thy righteousness within my heart;
I have spoken of Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation;
I have not concealed Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth from the great congregation.
11 Thou, O Lord, wilt not withhold Thy compassion from me;
Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth will continually preserve me.
12 For evils beyond number have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see;
They are more numerous than the hairs of my head;
And my heart has failed me.
Jesus sent out the twelve on what looks like a training mission with the same purpose.
And departing, they began going about among the villages, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere.
“preaching the gospel” is again the one verb euaggelizo.
It would therefore be obvious that God would bless the church with a gift of evangelism, and bless each member of the church with the calling to evangelize.