Sermon Notes by Pastor Arthur H. Coleman Sr. for Sunday June 8, 2014
Text Ephesians 4:11-16 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (vs12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (vs13) 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: (vs14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (vs15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (vs16) From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
2 Timothy 2:15-19 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.(vs16) But shun profane( not sacred, worldly)and vain babblings( to talk or speak foolishly): for they will increase unto more ungodliness.(vs17)And their word will eat as doth a canker:( anything that causes decay, rotting, or gradual eating away)of whom is Hy-me-nae'us and Phi-le'tus; (vs18) Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. (vs19) Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
The Pulpit Commentary,Vol.20 ,Pages 195-196 , a comment on Ephesians 4;12-16 "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry." Spiritual perfection is the grand aim of all. 1.Perfection In Service. "For the work of the ministry." The twelfth verse teaches that a perfect ministry implies a perfect character. There is no perfect service where there is not a perfect character. A man must be good to do good. 2. Perfection In Unity. "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God."This may mean oneness or harmony of mind in relation to the doctrine and spirit of Christ, a common thought and sympathy in relation to the Son of God. 3. Perfection In Character."Unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Christ is the Standard of excellence, and perfection of character is conformity to him. His character is the measure. To be Christ-like is to perfect. 4. Perfection In Strength. "That we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, carried about with every wind of doctrine." (1) The strength of firmness. Possessing power enough to stand against all the winds and waves of religious opinions. There are some men at the mercy of every new doctrine. Their souls have no anchorage; they are not "rooted and grounded in the faith." (2) The strength of determination."By the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness." The ideas seem to be not influenced by the mere dependence on chance of a mixture of thought and feeling nor the craftiness of heretical teachers.(5)Perfection In Church Growth." Speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ." The two verses teach:(1) That church growth is an advancing assimilation to Christ."We may grow up into him in all things, which is the head even Christ." The true growth of the soul is progress towards a perfect conformity to Christ.(2) That Church growth requires the loving exhibition of truth. "Speaking the truth in love." There is a truth, a reality in the gospel, and the ministry of this truth in love is necessary to promote the true growth of the Church. (3) That Church growth is in every part dependent upon its vital connection with Christ. "From whom the whole body fitly joined together, "ect. (4) That Church growth requires the healthy action of all its members. "By that which every joint supplieth," ect.
St. Matthew 24:11-13 “And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many. (vs12) And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (vs13) But he that shall endure unto the end , the same shall be saved.”
A. The Conditions Of The Last Days That Necessitate The Need For The Secure Spiritual Foundation Of The Church.
1. Instability---Lack Of Firmness, liability to fall, give way or change. Proverbs 24:21-22 “My son, fear thou the Lord and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: (vs22) For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both? St. Matthew 24:11-13 “And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many. (vs12) And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (vs13) But he that shall endure unto the end , the same shall be saved.”
1 John 2:19 “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been for us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
2.Inconsistency---Failure to keep to the same principles, course of action, ect. changeable.
2 Thessalonians 2:15 “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”
Jude 1:3 “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
3. False Religion---Ezekiel 33:31-33 “And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after covetousness. (vs32) And lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but do them not. (vs33) And when this cometh to pass,(lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.”
4. Ceremonialism---Adherence to or fondness for ceremonies(in this sense “an empty form, meaningless formalities). Ceremonialism calls on pageantry(splendid show; or gorgeous display that is mere show or empty display of ritual, to reinforce belief by dramatizing deeds of religiosity. Galatians 4:9-11 “ But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? (vs10)Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. (vs11) I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.”
5. Formalism--- A strict or excessive attention to or insistence on outward forms and ceremonies especially in religious worship. Isaiah 29:13-14 “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: (vs14) Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.”
6.Worldliness---Of or having to do with or belonging to this world, not of heaven. A caring much and/or too much for the pleasures and interests of this world. Ephesians 2:2-3 “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (vs3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
B. The Church Enables The Security, Stability and Salvation Of The Soul By Helping Me:
1. In Still Being Secure In My Salvation Though Testing Will Come--- 1 Peter 4:12-13 "Beloved think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: (vs13) But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed , ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."
2. In Still Being Secure In My Salvation Through God's Guarantee of Safety, Stability and Protection --- Psa.40:1-3 "I Waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. (vs2) He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. (vs3) And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord."
3.In Still Being Secure In My salvation Through Spiritual Receptivity--- 1 Thess. 2:13 "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."
4. In Still Being Secure In My Salvation Through a Deeper Life in Christ--- Eph.3: 17-19 "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (vs18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (vs19) And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."
5. In Still Being Secure In My Salvation Through Christian Maturity --Hebrews 5:12-14 “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. (vs13) For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (vs14) But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
6. In Still Being Secure In My Salvation Through Following Christ's Steps-- 1 Peter 2: 21-23 "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (vs22)Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: (vs23) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:"
7.In Still Being Secure In My Salvation Through Continuing To Press Toward The Mark--Phi. 3:12-14 "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. (vs13) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, (vs14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."