Apostles, prophets, and teachers -oh my…

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Ephesians 3:4–7 (NASB 95)

4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; 6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, 7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.

Explain / Examine

Jesus and the apostle Paul revealed Jews and Gentiles as one family. Paul implies that we must have spiritual understanding to apply the knowledge in our lives. The New Testament apostles and prophets reveal the knowledge and mystery we revealed in the Old Testament. We are one body of believers. How do Jews and Gentiles live this out without understanding it? It is God’s grace that allows Paul to be the minister of the Gospel to the Gentiles. It is not of his own choosing, but we all have purpose and assignments.

What is the application?

How do I live as a partaker of the promises of Christ Jesus? First, that means that I will also partake in the suffering of Christ Jesus. We have been grafted into His family and did not live under the Old Testament laws, and yet we get the benefits of eternal life with Him. The vineyard owner and hiring the workers. But does that mean we only get the blessing that comes with it? Not at all! If we are to look more like Christ, then we must live as He did. The suffering servant. We are to love others. Have a life as a living sacrifice. We are to pick up our cross daily and follow Him. A cross! A symbol of excruciating and humiliating death. Now, it is a symbol of hope. But to place ourselves in the context of when He told His followers to do this, they knew exactly what He was asking. He wants them to die. Die to ourselves. Die to our own kingdoms and follow Him one hundred percent into His. So, how am I doing? How are others doing? I think about my purpose and assignment in this life. How I got to where I am, and what God wants me to do. The vision He has given me. Can I live up to it? Not in fear that He won’t stop loving me. More of am I living up to my potential? Am I doing everything He asks of me? Am I leaving something on the table because I lack in different areas of my life? In 1 Corinthians, Paul mentions an order of first apostles, prophets, and teachers. I know I fall somewhere between prophet and teacher. That is because I feel somewhat gifted in clarifying God’s truth. It’s not that I feel I should excel in it, but it’s more of why I only feel somewhat gifted. Am I not believing God and utilizing Him fully in the gifts and abilities He has given? If it not for the apostles, prophets, teachers, evangelizers, and every other believer doing their part, would we even be here today? God can move His gospel however He chooses, but He chooses us. His people. We have work to do. Am I doing all the work assigned to me? Or am I being distracted and preoccupied with second things taking priority? Money, sex, and comforts of this life.

My response.

Father, one day in the future, I long to hear, “Well done!” But my fear is that I will not have listened to You enough. I worry that daily life and struggles drown out Your voice, and I chose my ways over Yours. Help me hear You through the loudness of life. Help me follow Your ways. You want us to be as little children dependent on their fathers. And we need to grow in our knowledge and understanding of You to be mature believers. You are a God of complexity and simplicity at the exact same time. You are the God of order and not chaos. You give the power to be at peace in complex situations. You give us grace and mercy so we can show grace and mercy to those we would rather not show it to. I want to do it better. Help me surrender. Amen.






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