THE MAGNA CHARTA OF THE CHURCH-2013!

Ephesians. 4:1-16- I Therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye would walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye were called with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;  Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

THERE IS ONE BODY, AND ONE SPIRIT, EVEN AS YOU ARE CALLED IN ONE HOPE OF YOUR CALLING;  ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, ONE GOD AND FATHER OF ALL, WHO IS ABOVE ALL, AND THROUGH ALL, AND IN ALL.

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  Wherefore He saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

AND HE GAVE SOME, APOSTLES; AND SOME, PROPHETS;  AND SOME, EVANGELIST;  AND SOME, PASTORS AND TEACHERS;  FOR THE PERFECTING OF THE SAINTS FOR THE WORK OF THEIR MINISTRY, FOR THE EDIFYING OF THE BODY OF CHRIST;

TILL WE ALL COME IN THE UNITY OF THE FAITH, AND OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD, UNTO A PERFECT MAN, UNTO THE MEASURE OF THE STATURE OF THE FULNESS OF CHRIST:

That we henceforth be not 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;  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

FROM WHOM THE WHOLE BODY FITLY JOINED TOGETHER AND COMPACTED BY THAT WHICH EVERY JOINT SUPPLIETH, ACCORDING TO THE MEASURE OF EVERY PART, MAKETH INCREASE OF THE BODY UNTO THE EDIFYING OF ITSELF IN LOVE.

THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD AND THE KINGDOM!

Acts 20:24,25 (Esv)- But I do not account my life of any value or as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, TO TESTIFY TO THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD. And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the KINGDOM will see my face no more.

Paul, the apostle, was addressing the elders in the church at Ephesus in this passage in Acts 20, and exhorting them with the word of the Lord! He went on to tell them that he was “innocent from the blood of all men, and he had not shunned to declare to them the whole or full counsel of God!”(vs. 26,27) Then, in verse 28, he gives personal instructions to the elders: Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to feed (shepherd and care for) the church of God, which He purchased or obtained with His own blood.

It’s interesting that Paul linked the “grace of God” and the “kingdom ” together! And what he told the elders could only be accomplished or done through the grace, or the empowering ability of God! The kingdom of God and Christ is not some legalistic laws and rules of man, but is established in the hearts of men through grace and truth  !John 1:17- The Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came or was realized by and through Jesus Christ

The proclaiming, or preaching of the kingdom, comes through personal loss and genuine humility in walking in the things of God. We do not go forth in our own strength or power, but in His authority! The kingdom is not in word, but in power. (1 Co. 4:20) 2 Tim. 1:8,9- Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not according to our works but because of HIS OWN PURPOSE AND GRACE,…

His kingdom and His grace is revealed in His own purpose and destiny in us.  It truly is not about “us” but about what He’s already accomplished in His eternal purpose in Christ Jesus!  You may be going through things that you never imagined, but by and through His grace and purpose, you will see His glory and power and kingdom revealed!!

Heb. 12:27,28-  Therefore, let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

BLESSINGS,

JB