Ephesians 4:7‐16 (NIV) 7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says: “When He ascended on high, He took many captives and gave gifts to His people.” 9 What does “He ascended” mean except that He also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very One who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe. 11 So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
This is the written revelation of the heart, mind, plans, purposes, and methodology of our God. He has clearly provided believers with His plan for building and mobilizing the Body of Christ, individually and collectively.
NOTE: In response to the damnable doctrine that the apostles are no longer being added to the Body of Christ by our God, ask the spiritual common sense question, “Is the Body of Christ built up; are we unified in our faith and knowledge of the Son of God; are we mature reflecting the full stature of Jesus Christ? No; then apostles and all of the five fold ministry are still being added to the Body by our God!
Our God gives five-fold ministers the grace, gifts and tools to complete their assignments in the building and mobilizing of the Body of Christ. Whenever I hear the word apostle or apostolic, the terms building and mobilizing come to heart. The early church was an apostolic church that built and moved (meeting together in smaller groups; then coming together to hear their leaders). All believers, every ministry and church should be moving apostolically; we should all understand that we are co-laborers with our God, working toward a common goals: fighting the same enemies, winning souls, and developing leaders, as we build the Body of Christ together, according to the specifications revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ.
Whether one stands in the “five‐fold” grace gift of an apostle, or flows as a part of an apostolic team, they should understand the ultimate purpose and goal of ministry is building the Body by winning souls, speaking the truth in love, developing strong disciples, training and releasing leadership into service for our Lord. This is the operation of building the Body.
Jesus Christ, The Author and Finisher of our Faith at Work
Let us take a look at our Chief Apostle; Let us follow Him in the Scripture
1. Sent by God (to do His will, His way)
2. Gathered His men
3. Taught them, getting them rooted and grounded in our God’s truth; taught them about the Kingdom
4. Watched over them, teaching, guiding, correcting and encouraging them to bring them to maturity
5. Leadership training: Built their confidence, teaching them to walk in the grace, authority, and power that was on His own life.
6. Sent them out 2 by 2 to do the things He did (Mark 6:7: He gave them authority over evil spirits).
7. Encouraged them to take all they learned and been commanded by Him to the nations, and to keep the pattern going (Matthew 28:18-20)
Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith, our Chief Apostle has shown us the apostolic process of building the Body of Christ. This is Ephesians 4; 7-16 in operation. Jesus, who has the Holy Spirit without measure ( John 3:34) embodied the five fold ministry, using all grace given to Him to get believers rooted and grounded in God’s Truth and the reality of His kingdom, trained as leaders, and released them into service. Ephesians 4:7 tells us He dispenses this grace among His people, so that we can continue the pattern.
We understand that the Apostle Paul had clear revelation of the Apostolic operation, as he writes Ephesians 4, (may we sees as Paul sees). We see Paul following Jesus’s apostolic pattern, as He speaks to Timothy:
2 Timothy 2:1-2 (KJV) Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
We understand that all we are, all we achieve and gather is by the grace of our God:
Ephesians 2:8 (KJV) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Our God never leaves us alone in this process. Trailblazing new paths, rooting up unsound and establishing sound doctrine, furthering the Gospel, building and mobilizing the Body of Christ, and governing the spirit realm are distinguishing characteristics of apostolic ministry:
• His grace (His Loving help to be and do that which is impossible for us; 2 Corinthians 12:9).
• The revelation knowledge of His character, Love, nature, Word (Scripture and Jesus), and the power, authority, and His Holy Spirit (Hebrews 1:3).
• The revelation knowledge of what a manifested son of God should look like (Jesus Christ; Romans 8:28-29)
Our God has ordained, that apostolic service flow from His revelation knowledge of the Gospel of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Apostolic people have revelation of Jesus The Christ, The Blueprint for the Body of Christ and knows He is what believers should look in their character and thinking, both individually and collectively. They are about the Father’s business, His way (Ephesians 4).
As one of our God’s watchmen, I see Him restoring the framework, authority, and power of the five-fold ministry. All believers should be taught to follow this pattern, understanding this is clearly our God’s plan and He will have His way. His word does not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11).
Let us ask God to help us make full use of the grace He reveals in us and in those around us
• Speaking His Truth in His Love
• Watching and praying for one another
• Praying for and encouraging one another in the faith and service to our Lord
Our God provides THE BIG PICTURE, reflected in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, so that we are equipped to serve successfully! Ministry is so much more than me, my four, my church, my denomination and no more. It is time for the Body of Christ to arise, in Jesus name!