Our Commitment

---By Antipas

Scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 9:16-17; Ephesians 3:1-2; 7-9; 4:8; 11-12; Colossians 1:23-29; 4:17; 2 Timothy 2:2; 4:5

I. Revelation and vision in Ephesians 1-2 became a cause for which Paul was confined, imprisoned, and captured in Christ, and which drove Paul, and which should also drive us (Ephesians 3:1).

II. The cause becomes a stewardship (Ephesians 3:2)
A. Of the grace of God
B. Given to Paul
C. For the believers, the church in Ephesus

III. The stewardship results in the constitution of the minister to whom the stewardship is entrusted (Eph 3:7)
A. The content or substance of the stewardship is the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:16-17; Colossians 1:23)
B. The substance of the stewardship is also the church, which is actually a vital component of the gospel (Colossians 1:24-25)
C. The minister operates
1. According to the gift of the grace of God given to him (Eph 3:7)
2. According to the operation of the power of God (Eph 3:7)
3. Laboring, struggling according to His operation which operates in him in power (Colossians 1:29)
D. The function of the minister is to:
1. Announce the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel (Ephesians 3:8)
2. Enlighten all that they may see what the economy of the mystery is (3:9)
3. Admonishing every man
4. Teaching every man in all wisdom
5. In order to present every man full grown in Christ (Colossians 1:28)

IV. The stewardship eventually manifests itself in a ministry
A. The stewards are those who have been taken captive by Christ (4:8)
B. The captives of Christ become gifts to men
C. The gifts manifest themselves in four categories or ministries:
1. Apostles
2. Prophets
3. Evangelists
4. Shepherds and teachers
D. These four ministries are not to be exercised uniquely by the gifts, but are there to perfect the saints (Ephesians 4:12)
1. In order that the saints themselves may do the work of ministry
2. In order to build up the Body of Christ

V. Each believer has a commitment, or a stewardship resulting in a ministry that is unique and particular to him or her. No one's ministry must be, nor can be, identical to someone else's.
A. Paul exhorts Archippus (4:17)
1. To take heed to the ministry which he received from the Lord
2. To fulfill the ministry he had received from the Lord
B. Paul exhorts Timothy to fully accomplish his ministry (2 Timothy 4:5)
C. Paul exhorts Timothy to commit to faithful men the things which he (Timothy) had heard from him (Paul) through many witnesses (2 Timothy 2:2).
D. Eventually, the commitment constituted in us becomes our own commitment, resulting in our fulfilling and accomplishing our own ministry.

(Outline of Saturday Perfect Training, July 24, 2010)

(to listen audio record click here)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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