We are called to equip and build up the body of Christ (Eph. 4:12). The word, “equip” means to furnish or fit completely and the word “build” means to construct something. We are called to furnish or fit ourselves completely with the Word of God. We are to build up the body instead of tearing it down.
We all struggle with prideful arrogance, prideful insecurity and the power of the unholy trinity: Satan, sin and the world. But the good news is that Jesus beat all of these enemies with two sticks and three nails. He took our enemies into captivity as he set us free from slavery. We are priceless not worthless. God is not disappointed in us he is delighted in us because of the cross of Christ.
We are called to equip each other for the work of ministry and to build up the body of Christ through the regular study and application of God’s Word. This is how the church grows and thrives. When we study the Bible individually and communally we are equipping each other to love God and love people. Our authority doesn’t rest in human intelligence or human logic. Our authority rests in the written Word of God. The Word of God is perfect and true and it is the only objective trustworthy source for teaching one another, rebuking one another, correcting one another and training one another in Godliness.
In Philippians 4:9 Paul says, “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Learn. Receive. Hear. Observe. Practice. These five words are keys to equipping one another and building up the body of Christ. Are you learning the Word of God? Are you receiving the Word of God? Are you hearing the Word of God? Are you observing the Word of God in action? Are you practicing obedience to the Word of God?
Satan, sin and the world are barriers that prevent us from equipping others and building up the body of Christ. You must remember that God is not disappointed in you he is delighted in you. Don’t listen to Satan’s lies. Sin will tempt you and trap you. Don’t give in. Practice repentance through authentic confession of sin and faith. The world will call out to you with pleasure and desires. Whatever worldly pleasure God is calling you away from is a small cross to bear in comparison with the cross that Jesus bore for you.
SUMMARY: God is calling you to “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” (12) He is calling you to equip yourself with the Word of God, equip others with the Word of God and build up the body of Christ with the Word of God. He is calling you to learn the Word, receive the Word, hear the Word, observe the Word and practice obedience to the Word.
Sermon Observation: What truths caught your attention in this sermon?
Scripture Observation: What truths catch your attention in these passages?
Ephesians 4:7-16; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 13:20-21; 4:12-13; Colossians 1:28-29; 2:6-7; Philippians 1:27; 3:17; 4:9
Application: What truths do you need to trust and/or obey from this study?
Prayer: Spend some time praying for one another as a response to this study.