Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Walking Worthy - Unity in Following

Temple Baptist Church - 12-8-2010

Ephesians 4:7-16


A. We have seen that “Walking Worthy” begins within the local church. If we do not maintain a proper testimony within the church, we will have no positive spiritual influence without the church. Someone once said, “A life lived is worth a thousand sermons preached.” “Walking Worthy” within the local church prepares us for a consistent life lived without the church.

B. We are to walk worthy in our Fellowship. Unity within the local assembly is essential to a good testimony. Satan will always try to begin conflict within the local body through personality conflicts, family squabbles and differences of opinion. Be watchful!

C. We are to walk worthy in our Faith. Doctrinal and Ecclesiastical purity is essential to both our protection and testimony. Satan will always attempt to either get you to compromise what you believe or he will send infiltrators with false doctrine into the local church. Who you “run with” is who you are!

D. Tonight, I want to look at “Walking Worthy” in our Following. The next thing that Satan will do is try to cause you to lose confidence in God’s man through confusion. There are times when you may not agree with your pastor’s decisions through misunderstanding of his purpose. I will touch on this shortly.

E. In these verses we read tonight, we find the gifts that God has given to the local church. In verse 11, we find four gifts: two are passing gifts and two are permanent gifts. We no longer have “prophets” or “apostles” within the local church. We prophesy in that we “forth tell” instead of “foretell.” There are only 12 apostles. One was a lost man and God replaced him with “one born out of due time.” Today, the gifts to the church are the evangelists and pastor-teachers.

F. These are purposed gifts. Often, for birthdays or Christmas, you will receive a gift that you either do not need or do not want. Thank the Lord for receipts! These gifts to the local church are necessary to the wellbeing of the local assembly. Satan knows that you cannot do without them and, therefore, tries his best to deter God’s plan for both your life and the church. In the absence of the Lord (when He resurrected), He let captivity captive and gave gifts to men. He gave the church a pastor in His absence.

G. Make sure that your relationship with the pastor is a right one. The church needs to have a right relationship with the pastor and your individual relationship is just as important.

The Pastor’s Person

1. He is a Pastor! Vs. 11 “Pastor” literally means a shepherd. Hebrews 13 says it all: remember him, obey him, submit to him, etc. This is not a pride thing, it is a God thing! “Walking Worthy” is being in a right relationship with God’s Man. He is both family and friend.

a. A shepherd guides the flock

b. A shepherd guards the flock

c. A shepherd gives his life for the flock.

2. He is a Teacher! Vs. 11 The pastor is not to be a novice and is to be able to teach the Word of God. He is to rightly divide the Bible; he is to feed the flock of God. Learn from him!

a. He Educates

b. He Edifies

c. He Energizes

d. He Equalizes – “all come”

e. He Exhorts

f. He Equips

1. He Is Your Shepherd - Follow Him

a. Follow Him Wholly - Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

b. Follow Him Fervently - Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

c. Follow Him Conditionally - 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (If you do not understand or agree with what he is doing, ask him about it! He may know something that you do not know for a good pastor will never knowingly compromise the Bible or do anything contrary to it.)

2. He Is Your Watchman - Heed Him

a. It Will Save You And Your Family - 1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

b. It Will Keep You From Slipping - Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip

c. It Will Show You The Way - 2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:.

3. He Is Your Preacher - Obey Him

a. Obey and Submit To Him - Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

b. Respect and Esteem Him - Philippians 2:29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:

c. Honor Him - 1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

4. He Is Your Teacher - Learn From Him

a. Steadfastly Follow In Doctrine - Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

b. Obey In Doctrine- Romans 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

c. Separate In Doctrine - Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

d. Be Anchored In Doctrine - Ephesians 4:14 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;

e. Study In Doctrine - 1 Timothy 4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

f. Continue In Doctrine - 1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

5. The Pastor Is Your Friend - Befriend Him

a. Love Him - Galatians 4:15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.

b. Help Him - 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

c. Know Him - 1 Thessalonians 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

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