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Rev. Oliver Billups, Jr. is the pastor of the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Monroe, La. He is a great preacher. Hear ye him!



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Chapter 4: 11,12,13

4:11-13 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

This text focuses on Paul's letter to the Ephesians in which he explained that each person in the body of Christ has a station in which he exercises the gifts God has given him.

The grace gifts which are given to each believer in different measures. Each serves the purpose of building the body of Christ and preparing it for its mission of witnessing and service. Paul notes that there is one body (v4) which is controlled by one spirit. Each person exercises their grace gift in station for the glorification of God and the edification or building up of the body of Christ.

The gifts that each receive are enumerated in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 Generally they fall in three categories. The first category refers to gifts that require some measure of revelation. Included among these are wisdom, knowledge, and discerning spirits. These gifts allow persons to exercise unusual abilities as it relates to understanding the mind of God and human nature.

The second category of gifts refers to communication skills. These include prophecy, diverse languages and interpretative skills. These gifts allow people to exercise unusual abilities to communicate the word of God to others through, speech, art, music or the written word. It even includes the ability to speak to others fluently in foreign languages and to interpret foreign language.

The third category refers to the power gifts. They include the unusual gift of intense faith, healing and miracles. With these gifts believers exercise an unusual combination of faith in God without doubt and are thereby able to accomplish many miraculous deeds in the name of God including healings and other great deeds.

Paul's point to the Ephesians was that each person has a place to exercise the gift that he has received. Not everyone has the same gift. The church works best when each exercises his gift in his place. Thus, some are apostles; some prophets, evangelists, some pastors and some teachers.

The goal of each person's exercise of a gift is the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12).

The church does not function in its finest capacity if gifts are exercised out of place. Each has an operation and an administration. When they get out of place, the church slows its pace.

Pastors, for example have seven duties as explained in Ephesians 4:12-13. These duties are to: perfect the saints, perfect all the works of the ministry, build up the body of Christ, unify members in the faith and in the doctrine, lead the church toward perfection and help members to mature in Christ. When a pastor does not or is not allowed to function in his capacities the result could mean bad doctrines that creep into the fold, a weak congregation or an immature congregation. However, a pastor who exercises his gifts of prophecy spiritual revelation can lead a congregation to great heights.

The preacher must be in his place.

Chapter 6: 13

6:13 "Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."

Our text finds Paul writing to the Ephesians encouraging to remain committed to the struggle for Christ. In the 6:10 in tells the Ephesians to "Be Strong in the Lord and in the power of his might."

Paul encouraged the Ephesians, and likewise Christians today, to put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to "stand against the wiles of the devil" (v.11). he warned them to remember that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual weakness in high places."

Ancient soldiers, during the crusades, often wore heavy metal armor that protected the vulnerable parts of the body. They carried heavy shields, wore blouses made of canaille, and their hands were covered the heavy metallic gloves. Soldiers who fought without the whole armor could expect to be injured.

Paul encouraged the Ephesians to put on the whole armor of God that they may be able to stand against the devil.

The Ephesians were told to prepare themselves to withstand evil.

Stand.. with their loins girded with truth.

Stand...with their feet shod with the Gospel of peace.

Stand...with the shield of faith in their hands.

Stand..with the helmet of salvation on their heads.

Every child of God knows that the Christian life is not an easy life. Trouble comes on every hand. But we encouraged to stay on the battlefield.

I hear Paul admonishing Christian warriors "Be ye steadfast unmovable, always abounding in the word."

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