Ephesians 4:7-16: Spiritual gifts –pastor teacher, part 10.

Thursday, December 2, 2021


Despite our sinfulness and ignorance as believers, the Lord waits for us as He calls to us through experiences and even discipline. We do the same thing with our kids. It takes them a long time to get it, and some never do, but we wait on them, all the while instructing, warning, training, disciplining, knowing that it will take a while for them to see it for themselves. Parents or guardians do this imperfectly, but God does it perfectly.


All believers will come to know Him. We are given the Lord’s amazing eternal life at salvation, and through time we begin to discover how abundant it is. I doubt that any believer who sees it would deliberately choose to put it off while they pursue the vain and rank life of the poisonous flesh and world. But, the believer can be fooled or deceived to a point where he will lay aside the Christian life in favor of base things. This is why it is vital that we continue to follow our Shepherd, no matter what is going on or how we feel, and to heed His voice by listening to and learning His word consistently.


Joh 10:14-15

“I am the good shepherd; and I know My own, and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”


He knows everything about us, we start out knowing little about Him. But because of His constant presence with us and in us, He causes us to know more about Him. We ponder His life, and death, and words and we have endeavored to discover His way; what He requires from us. It is true that He thinks of each one of us constantly. We are not ever alone. Our thoughts, deep and secret sin, He knows well and He is always working to steer us away from danger.


And over time, the Shepherd wins the confidence of our soul.


The Lord Jesus does thousands of gracious acts in our lives that we haven’t recognized, and still, He doesn’t stop. He patiently waits for us to recognize His love.


It is our purpose in this life to come to fully know Jesus Christ our Lord, and to help (not hinder) others to do the same.


Knowing Him. Worshipping Him. Knowing the thrill of being His own and walking with Him. Having a depth of awe and emotion concerning Him that no other excites. These and more are the reasons for maturing in faith and knowledge. The only parallel is the mutual understanding between the Father and the Son.


Joh 17:20-26

"I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me. 22 "And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me. 24 "Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me; for Thou didst love Me before the foundation of the world. 25 "O righteous Father, although the world has not known Thee, yet I have known Thee; and these have known that Thou didst send Me; 26 and I have made Thy name known to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith Thou didst love Me may be in them, and I in them."


It is the work and purpose of the pastor/shepherd teacher to move the flock in deeper understanding of the Lord, and not himself.


Between the Father and the Son there is a delight in knowing one another and being known. Every believer must find that joy. And it is a joy that no amount of people or circumstances can touch.


Our thoughts will be disengaged from what is trivial, and expand to take in the designs of the eternal mind. Gradually our tastes and affections are loosened from lower attachments, and are wrought to a perfect sympathy with what is holy and abiding.


Joh 10:16

"And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also [singular, referring to the entire fold], and they shall hear My voice; and they shall become one flock with one shepherd [Jew and Gentile in God’s unified kingdom].


“I have other sheep, not of this fold (Israel),” must refer to the Gentiles.


The truth of the one flock with the one Shepherd would be doctrinally explained by Paul.


Eph 2:11-22

Therefore remember, that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision" by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by human hands —  12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one [literally -  “made both one”], and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 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 [pronoun usage to emphasize the Person of Christ more than the apostles, prophets, or the building] 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.


“two into one new man” – the flock is composed of eternal, new men under the resurrected and glorified Lord Jesus.


What was to hold this enlarged flock together and supply the necessary protection from external enemies was not hiding from the world behind the walls of a commune or a basilica, but by relying on the Shepherd. The Person and power of the Shepherd provides the Holy Spirit and the inerrant word of God and a presence before God that is always open to prayer.


“fitted together” – same word as used in Eph 4:16 = sunarmologeo: sun “with,” harmos “joint in a building,” and lego “to choose.”


The Greek word sunarmologeo is used in both passages and it is a triple-compound word.


Eph 4:15-16

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 [sunarmologeo] 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.


Paul concludes his paragraph with a dramatic reality, that the saints or sheep, both Jew and Gentile, through faith in Christ, are made into one flock with one Shepherd are being fitted together into a holy temple in the Lord which is a dwelling of the Holy Spirit. Many things have come against this house, but how could they possibly do any damage to it?


Eph 2:21

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.


The great Shepherd and His word and His Holy Spirit are what protect the flock from God’s many enemies, and not our schemes.



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