Sermon Summary and Discussion Questions | "The Equipped Church"
God's plan in and through the church:
1. Phase 1: Christ builds his church through word-governed teachers (v11)
The Lord distributes a variety of teachers with different gifts in order to equip the people. He gives the church "apostles," namely those who are gifted to establish and build churches in new places. He also gives leaders called, "prophets," who have the gift of prophecy to protect and encourage the church. "Evangelists" are given to proclaim the gospel and equip the church in the task of gospel proclamation. "Shepherds" are given to provide leadership and care through the preaching of the word and ministering to the people. The governing factor in all of the leadership is the word of God and the gospel message.
2. Phase 2: Christ builds his church through word-equipped saints (v12)
Christ builds his church through the "equipping" of the saints for the work of ministry and the careful preparation for gospel labor. The saints are equipped by the leaders through the word. This shows the importance of teaching healthy doctrine for the building of a healthy church.
3. Phase 3: Christ builds his church through a word-shaped unified church (v13-16)
The trademark of a unified church is shown in three ways: (1) the church has a unity of faith in the knowledge of the Son of God. (2) The unified church pursuits mature manhood, in order to obtain the measure of Christ's stature. That is, the fullness of Christ's character is expressed in the church body. (3) The unified church is continually growing in Christ with speech that is truth given with love. They are compared to joints and ligaments that are interconnected to strengthen and support each other.
4. Further equipping opportunities
- Membership class
- Women's book studies
- Sunday school
1. How did Brian's message challenge or encourage you to see the role of the body of Christ in a different way?
2. Brian helpfully showed us the centrality of God's word and the gospel for the life and unity of the church. In what ways are the word and the gospel vital to the growth of a healthy and unified church?
3. At the end of his message, Brian mentioned three ways to be further equipped. Were there any of them that interested you? What are some further ways you can be more active in the life of the body at SGCL?
4. This passage talks about God's gift of various leaders to the church. Spend some time in prayer, giving thanks and praise to God for our pastors.
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