There are three areas of responsibility assigned to the church by her head—evangelism (the work of preaching and teaching the gospel so that the lost can be saved), benevolence (the work of doing good to all men and practicing pure and undefiled religion before God), and edification (the work of nurturing spiritual growth and maturity within the members of the body of Christ).

          In each of these divinely assigned areas of responsibility, God has made sufficient plans and provisions for their maximum performance. Ephesians 4:7-16 gives a glorious thumbnail sketch of how this is true in the realm of edification. Note these salient points:

          The incarnate Christ victoriously conquered Satan and destroyed the works of the devil. Thus, He can graciously grant forgiveness and sonship to each member of His body (vv. 7-10).

          The ascended and coronated Christ gave gifts of revelation, confirmation, and instruction of the Word to some so that all the saints had all things pertaining to life and godliness (v. 11). Thus, all the necessary equipment for edification was once for all time delivered to the saints.

          Because of the fullness and all-sufficiency of His provisions, every spiritual nutrient needed for growth into spiritual maturity could be found in the milk and meat of God’s final revelation to humanity (vv. 12-13).

          When the truth (not the words and wind of false doctrines—v. 14) is spoken in love, spiritual growth and development will occur (v. 15).

          When each member of the body does what it can do, the growing body will be healthy and able to edify itself in love (v. 16).

          When we walk worthy of the calling with which we have been called and are content to follow God’s plan and use His all-sufficient equipment, Christ is glorified and the church is edified.

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Author: jchowning

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