Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Maturing in Christ

Ephes. 4:8-16 (ESV)
Therefore it says,

"When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men."
[9] (In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? [10] He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) [11] And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, [12] to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, [13] until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, [14] so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. [15] Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, [16] from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. A couple things might be said here. One is that the office of Pastor definitely was instituted by Christ. It is a special office given to the church. And part of the office of Pastor is that of teacher. Second this is for the building up of the body of Christ, so that the saints are equipped to do ministry. Ministry really means service. Here it isn’t that the saints are necessarily supposed to be doing Pastoral ministry, or even evangelism. Though I would hardly discourage people from evangelizing. But the saints do ministry primarily in their vocations, going to work, being a husband or wife, dad or mom etc.
The pastor’s job is to teach, and teach so that the saints mature to the stature of the fullness of Christ so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine. Every wind of doctrine. Doctrine doesn’t change, what was right yesterday is right today, because God doesn’t change. Of course we need to look hard at what is being taught. If what we taught yesterday was correct, than it is correct today. If it was wrong it is still wrong and needs to be thrown out. But we ought to be very careful in our determination of what is right and wrong. All we have is the Bible. We need to study it carefully and understand that there is only one Gospel. We need to discern that. We might also do well to stay away from so called Christian fads. It seems every so many years a new fad comes along in the evangelical world by which someone makes a fortune hawking trinkets, and books with no meat. There are plenty of doctrinal winds and waves, but the forgiveness of sins in Christ is our anchor, the Bible our moorings. Investigate, discern don’t latch on to everything that comes by. And if you find a church where Christ crucified is taught stay there, listen, learn and mature.

1 comment:

steve martin said...

What are you some kind of nut?!

Of course every doctrine is good and equal...there is no such a thing as right and wrong.

In fact, if you advocate that there is...then you are...wrong!!!

How's that for twisted logic?

Nope. There is only one truth and that is Jesus Christ Himself.

Bishop Hanson (Grand Poohbah Hanson)...I hope you can forgive me for pointing out how stupid and wrong your Universalist theology is. (NOT!)