3ABN Sabbath School Panel

The Unified Body of Christ

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: SSP

Program Code: SSP230032S

00:01 This Quarter on 3ABN Sabbath School Panel,
00:04 we are doing a verse-by-verse study of Ephesians.
00:08 Today is Lesson 7: The Unified Body of Christ.
00:12 Grab your Bible... a pen and paper
00:15 and if you do not yet have an Adult Bible Study Guide,
00:18 just go to 3abnsabbathschoolpanel. com
00:22 and download one
00:23 or better yet, go to your local Seventh-day Adventist Church
00:27 get a copy and study together with the group.
00:30 Come on and join us.
00:32 Music...
01:03 Shelley: Hello, I'm Shelly Quinn
01:05 and we're so glad you're joining us for Lesson Number 7:
01:09 The Unified Body of Christ.
01:12 Actually, that's what the whole book of Ephesians is about...
01:16 is the unity we find in Christ Jesus.
01:19 Let me introduce you to the rest of the 3ABN family here.
01:22 They're not only my family, they're yours.
01:25 My Pastor, John Lomacang.
01:27 Lomacang: Good to be here, Shelley,
01:28 I am covering: Together as One in the One.
01:32 Shelley: Amen... Ryan Day.
01:35 Ryan: All right, I have Tuesday's Lesson which is entitled:
01:38 The Exalted Christ, Giver of Gifts.
01:41 Shelley: Oh... that's a great one and my sister in Christ,
01:44 Dr. Yvonne Shelton.
01:46 Yvonne: I have Wednesday's Lesson and it is:
01:50 Gifts of the Exalted Christ.
01:52 Shelley: Oh... Yvonne: Similar to yours.
01:54 Shelley: Glad you're joining us.
01:56 And then, we have Pastor James Rafferty.
01:59 Rafferty: Good to be here, Shelley,
02:01 I have Thursday's Lesson which is: Growing Up In Christ.
02:03 Shelley: It's going to be a beautiful Study.
02:06 James, would you like to have our opening prayer?
02:08 James: Sure.
02:10 "Father, we just want to thank You
02:11 for Your Word.
02:12 We want to thank You for Jesus.
02:14 We want to thank You for this opportunity
02:15 to open Your Word and to grow up in Christ...
02:17 to find in Him the unity
02:18 of a spirit of heart with each other,
02:21 with Your world-wide church,
02:22 we pray for each of the Viewers,
02:24 we ask that You'll guide and direct their hearts to Jesus.
02:26 May Your Holy Spirit be present with us.
02:28 We pray these things in His name, amen. "
02:31 Panel: Amen.
02:32 Shelley: We are so appreciative of this verse-by-verse study,
02:37 there's actually 70 Lessons from six chapters of Ephesians
02:42 and Dr. John McVay did such a lovely job in writing this.
02:47 Our Memory Text for today is Ephesians 4:11 and 12,
02:52 I'll read it to you from the ESV.
02:54 It says, "And He gave the apostles, the prophets... "
02:58 the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,
03:02 for what purpose?
03:03 "To equip the saints for the work of ministry,
03:08 for building up the body of Christ. "
03:11 Ephesians is a book that is just evenly divided
03:17 into two sections of teaching.
03:19 Chapters 1 through 3 is a theological feast
03:25 about the inexpressible riches of our blessings in Christ.
03:30 It gives you your identity in Christ...
03:33 you understand the fullness of God's plan.
03:37 Then chapters 4 through 6,
03:40 Paul gets really practical...
03:43 it is practical Christianity 101.
03:46 So, this week's Study covers only the first half
03:50 of Ephesians chapter 4.
03:53 Sixteen verses
03:55 that are going to stir us to unity forever.
03:59 This is 1 through 6 is an impassioned call to unity.
04:04 Verses 7 through 16,
04:06 Paul identifies the victorious and exalted Christ
04:11 as the source of grace who is equipping us
04:16 to share the gospel
04:18 and he describes how the Leaders of the church
04:21 work together with all the church members
04:25 to contribute to the health and the growth
04:29 of the body of Christ.
04:31 You know, Paul frequently used the human body as an analogy
04:36 for the body of Christ
04:38 saying that there were many members of the body
04:40 but only one Head
04:43 and even though we had unique functions in the church,
04:47 we have only one Head.
04:50 In Romans 12 verses 4 through 5, he says,
04:53 "We have many members in one body,
04:55 but all the members do not have the same function,
04:58 so we, being many,
05:00 are one body in Christ,
05:02 and individually members of one another. "
05:08 You're a member of the body...
05:11 the same body that I'm a member of.
05:13 Panel: That's right.
05:14 Shelley: In 1st Corinthians 12:12 through 31,
05:17 he gives this long list of the various parts of the body:
05:22 the ear... the foot... the hand...
05:23 the eye... the senses of hearing and smelling...
05:27 just to show how necessary each part of the body is
05:31 to the healthy functioning of the body.
05:35 But he says in 1st Corinthians 12:25,
05:38 "There should be no schism in the body,
05:41 but that the members should have the same care for one another.
05:45 And if one member suffers,
05:48 all the members suffer with it... "
05:50 It's just like a little paper cut makes your body suffer, right?
05:55 "And if one member is honored,
05:59 all the members rejoice with it. "
06:02 Panel: That's right.
06:03 Shelley: Now you are the body of Christ,
06:05 and members individually. "
06:07 So, he goes on to talk about in 1st Corinthians
06:11 how all the different functions...
06:14 the various orifices of the body...
06:17 how they all work together to unite the people of God
06:23 so that his idea of a healthy body
06:26 is one that helps us understand
06:29 the goal of God's work in the church.
06:34 So, Sunday is: The Unity of the Spirit.
06:38 We are going to begin with Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 1.
06:43 This is an urgent call to unity
06:46 and then, what Paul does is he lists the virtues
06:50 that lead us to unity...
06:53 qualities that actually focus on the benefit of others
06:58 rather than being overly impressed with self.
07:02 Let's look at Ephesians 4:1,
07:05 he's just finished these three chapters
07:08 of beautiful theological teaching
07:11 and then he says,
07:13 "I, therefore... " that is a transition word,
07:17 Therefore, based on what we've just covered
07:21 in chapters 1 through 3,
07:23 all the things that God has done for us,
07:25 in Christ Jesus,
07:27 this is a call to duty-based on the previous explanation.
07:32 He says, "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,
07:36 beseech you to walk worthy of the calling
07:41 with which you were called... "
07:43 You see, when we're in Christ,
07:45 we are in covenant relationship with the Lord,
07:48 we're in covenant relationship with one another.
07:51 To walk is referring to our actions.
07:56 It is how we daily conduct our life
08:00 it's an attitude...
08:01 it's actions of the high and holy calling
08:05 of being a child of God.
08:07 So, our daily actions
08:09 as we are step by step, God is sanctifying us...
08:14 separating us from sin...
08:16 bring us into greater unity.
08:18 We have to look at the Lord Jesus
08:22 as our source and substance
08:25 so that we can walk in His righteousness
08:29 and I love Psalm 85:13,
08:32 it says, "Righteousness will go before Him,
08:36 and make His footsteps a pathway for us. "
08:39 1st John 2:6 says,
08:41 "Anyone who says that he abides in Christ,
08:44 must also walk as He walked. "
08:48 So, Ephesians 4:2, now Paul's going to start listing
08:53 the virtues that lead us to unity.
08:57 So, he says, "Walk worthy... "
09:00 How do you walk worthy of the calling that you have?
09:04 "with all lowliness... with gentleness...
09:08 with long-suffering...
09:11 bearing with one another in love. "
09:14 So, let's look at those.
09:15 What is lowliness?
09:17 Lowliness is humility.
09:19 I'm going to give you two definitions for humility
09:22 but let's begin with this.
09:23 Being humble means to be appreciative
09:28 of the value of others.
09:30 To serve others...
09:32 Jesus came as the servant of God
09:36 and by His example
09:38 He showed us that a life of self-sacrificing love
09:43 is the root of all humility
09:46 and it is the one characteristic we need to develop
09:52 more than any other one because
09:54 it is the root of His righteousness.
09:57 In Philippians 2:5 through 8,
10:00 Paul says, "Hey, let this mind be in you
10:03 that was in Christ Jesus,
10:04 who humbled Himself and became obedient. "
10:07 You know, Jesus didn't obey God to become the Son of God,
10:12 He obeyed God because He was the Son of God.
10:16 Panel: Hmmm...
10:17 Shelley; So, the Bible also...
10:20 if we look at Ephesians 2:5 through 8,
10:23 describes humility.
10:25 To me the definition
10:27 is that we learn to depend 100 percent on God.
10:33 Did you know there's nothing you can do to merit salvation?
10:37 I don't care what your diet is like,
10:39 I don't care how you dress,
10:40 I don't care how much you give in tithes and offerings,
10:43 I don't care what you do as far as obedience...
10:47 the Pharisees were the strict... it strictly adhered to that.
10:53 None of that saves us.
10:55 Only by the blood of Christ... by the sacrifice of Christ...
10:59 we... we've got to be as Jesus said,
11:03 "Unless you be converted and become like little children,
11:06 you will not enter the kingdom of God. "
11:08 Panel: Hmmm... hmmm...
11:09 Shelley: So, God wants us to put aside pride.
11:13 You know, it was self-exaltation and not depending on the Lord
11:19 that got Lucifer.
11:20 It swelled up in his heart this pride
11:24 that was the root of all sin.
11:27 Okay, so that is the lowliness.
11:30 Let's look at gentleness or meekness.
11:33 Actually, meekness is a product of humility.
11:37 It means to be mild in spirit
11:41 and self-controlled.
11:42 It means you're not going off in temper tantrums
11:45 and fits of rage.
11:46 Longsuffering is the third one.
11:50 That's to be patient
11:52 and do you realize, we've got humility
11:55 which grows into gentleness...
11:58 gentleness actually develops patience
12:02 because we become slow to anger.
12:05 So then he says... let me repeat it,
12:08 Ephesians 4:2,
12:10 "with all lowliness... " or humility,
12:12 "gentleness... " or meekness,
12:13 "longsuffering... " that's patience,
12:16 bearing with one another in love. "
12:19 Now, read it backwards,
12:21 and you'll see how it all comes together.
12:26 It is love that is the root of patience
12:30 which produces gentleness
12:33 which results in humility.
12:35 Panel: Hmmm... hmmm...
12:37 Shelley: The root of all these virtues
12:38 is Romans 5:5 says that God pours His love...
12:44 His self-sacrificing agape love
12:48 into our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit.
12:52 And that's the bottom line,
12:53 believers need to receive this love
12:58 and be cognizant
13:01 of developing these unifying virtues in our behavior
13:06 so that we become reflectors of His love... His light
13:11 and His life in this world.
13:13 That's God's ultimate plan.
13:15 If we mirrored Jesus,
13:19 if we reflected His love,
13:22 if we understand His everlasting covenant,
13:27 people from all nations
13:30 will flock to the light of His eternal humility.
13:35 Panel: Hmmm...
13:36 Shelley: So, then he goes on in verse 3,
13:40 Ephesians 4:3,
13:42 "endeavoring... "
13:43 now, that's "effort" isn't it?
13:45 When you endeavor to do something,
13:47 that takes effort...
13:49 "to keep the unity of the Spirit
13:52 in the bond of peace. "
13:54 And I see that my time is nearly done
13:57 but I have to read this, Colossians 3:14 through 16,
14:01 he says, "above all these things put on love,
14:04 which is the bond of perfection.
14:06 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts,
14:08 to which you were called in one body;
14:11 and be thankful.
14:13 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly with all wisdom,
14:18 teaching and admonishing one another. "
14:19 Lomacang: Amen, thank you, Shelley.
14:21 Lot to cover when you talk about unity and being in one.
14:25 You know, when we go to Ephesians chapter 4 verses 4 to 6,
14:28 let's read these passages,
14:30 if you could follow them with me if you have your Bibles,
14:32 it says, "There is one body and one Spirit,
14:35 just as you were called in one hope of your calling;
14:37 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
14:41 one God and Father of all,
14:42 who is above all, and through all,
14:46 and in you all. "
14:47 Notice it says, there is one body.
14:49 Think about this for a moment,
14:50 do you have to be the same to be in one body?
14:53 When you study... when you study the human body,
14:57 there are about 1300 enzymes in one human cell
15:00 and each of the cells contain different enzymes
15:03 meaning... thousands of types of enzymes in the human body
15:06 but each cell contained about 1300 different enzymes.
15:10 Now, what's the point?
15:12 Each of these enzymes are different
15:14 but they're all in one cell.
15:16 Each of us is different but we are all in one body.
15:19 The Lord doesn't call us because we're just like each other.
15:21 As a matter of fact, the world will be very bored
15:23 if it was all of me...
15:24 Panel: Laughter.
15:25 Lomacang: You know, as one person that got married said,
15:27 "If we both thought exactly the same, one of us is unnecessary. "
15:29 Panel: Laughter.
15:30 Lomacang: And so, God is not calling us
15:32 because we're all alike,
15:33 He's calling us because of our diversity...
15:36 unity in diversity.
15:37 Panel: Hmmm... hmmm...
15:39 Lomacang: So, let's start out by talking about the ones...
15:40 there are seven "ones" in the New Testament
15:42 that I'd like to highlight.
15:43 Let's start with 1st Corinthians 12:12,
15:44 talk about one body.
15:46 1st Corinthians 12:12,
15:48 "For as the body is one and has many members,
15:50 but all the members of that one body, being many,
15:53 are one body, so also is Christ. "
15:55 One body but many members.
15:57 Panel: Hmmm... hmmm...
15:58 Lomacang: We also have one Spirit
16:00 that is the Holy Spirit holding us together.
16:02 But 1st Corinthians 12:11,
16:05 "But one of the same Spirit works all these things,
16:09 distributing to each one individually as He wills. "
16:12 The body distributes to the cells whatever it needs
16:16 in order for the entire body to stay together.
16:18 We also have one hope.
16:19 Titus 2 and verse 13,
16:21 "looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing
16:24 of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. "
16:27 What is that hope?
16:29 Isaiah 25 verse 9,
16:30 "We have waited for Him, and He will save us.
16:32 This is the LORD; we have waited for Him;
16:34 we will rejoice and be glad in His salvation. "
16:37 So, the hope we have is in the coming of the Lord.
16:40 The body... every one of the members in the body
16:42 share the same hope.
16:44 Then we have one faith...
16:45 we contend for that faith.
16:47 But Revelation 12...
16:48 Revelation chapter 14:12 describes it this way,
16:51 "Here is the patience of the saints;
16:53 here are those who keep the commandments of God
16:56 and the faith of Jesus. "
16:57 I'm so thankful that I don't have to make it on my own faith,
17:00 I make it on the faith of Jesus...
17:01 I tried faith... a genuine faith...
17:04 a purified faith.
17:05 Then we have one baptism, not sprinkling... not immersion,
17:09 I mean, not... not sprinkling...
17:10 not dry cleaning... not with petals...
17:13 not with a hose...
17:14 but with immersion following the example of Christ.
17:17 Galatians 3:27,
17:19 "For as many of us as were baptized into Christ
17:23 have put on Christ. "
17:25 What is that one baptism?
17:26 If you're not baptized into Christ,
17:28 you cannot be saved.
17:29 You know, John's baptism only went but so far.
17:32 They said, "So far, John baptized us with water,
17:36 but there's One coming after
17:37 that's going to baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
17:40 But what's the difference?
17:41 One is to repentance
17:42 but the other one is the transformation of a life.
17:45 Panel: Yes.
17:46 Lomacang: Jesus sees us as we are.
17:48 There are many people that are baptized by water
17:49 that are not transformed.
17:51 Panel: Hmmm...
17:52 Lomacang: They go in wet Chris...
17:53 they go in wet sinners, come out...
17:55 they go in dry sinners come out wet sinners.
17:56 Panel: Hmmm...
17:57 Lomacang: So, when we talk about the resurrected life,
17:59 or the brand-new life in Christ,
18:00 we have to unite with Him in His death...
18:03 in His burial and His resurrection
18:06 to come forth to walk in the newness of life.
18:08 That's the one baptism.
18:10 Then we have one God and Father.
18:12 We find the Godhead on which our faith is built.
18:14 John 14 and verse 1,
18:16 "Let not your heart be troubled;
18:18 you believe in God, believe also in Me. "
18:21 Why? Up until that point,
18:23 the Jews had an unmovable faith
18:26 that was anchored on God alone.
18:29 But there was no salvation in God alone
18:31 because Jesus was to be the sacrifice...
18:34 He was to be the Lamb slain by which they would be redeemed...
18:37 slain from the foundation of the world...
18:39 the plan of salvation established long before Jesus came.
18:43 Think about this for a moment,
18:44 all those sacrifices performed in the Old Testament
18:47 would have been to no value
18:49 if Jesus was not victorious on the cross.
18:52 It would have been just a bunch of dead animals...
18:54 dead lambs... dead pigeons... dead goats...
18:57 all that would have availed absolutely nothing
18:59 but when Jesus shed His blood,
19:01 we were not redeemed
19:02 with corruptible things like silver and gold...
19:04 but with the precious blood as of a spotless Lamb.
19:07 Panel: Yes.
19:09 How do we overcome?
19:10 They overcome by the blood of the Lamb.
19:12 and by the word of their testimony.
19:13 And so, you see this oneness brings us to the Father...
19:16 to the Son...
19:18 and keeps us united in the Holy Spirit.
19:20 It is so sad that now a days even in our church,
19:23 there's a contention as to what place the Holy Spirit plays.
19:26 Panel: Hmmm...
19:27 Lomacang: Well, think about the necessity of the Holy Spirit.
19:29 When the Lord talked about blasphemy,
19:31 he says, the sin against the Father will be forgiven,
19:34 the sin against Christ will be forgiven,
19:36 but the sin against he Holy Spirit will not be forgiven,
19:38 not in this life or in the life to come.
19:40 Is that necessary?
19:42 Of course, the devil wants us to...
19:44 to grieve the very One by which we are saved...
19:47 to grieve the very One by which we are sealed.
19:50 Sealed by the Holy Spirit and by promise.
19:53 but that sealing cannot be done
19:56 without the Lamb... Christ Jesus.
19:58 So, when Paul is communicating here in the book of Ephesians
20:01 chapter 4, he's reading verses 4 and 5...
20:03 "We are one in the body... one in the Spirit,
20:05 one hope... one calling...
20:07 one Lord... one faith... one baptism...
20:08 one God and Father of all,
20:10 who is above all, and through all,
20:12 and in all. "
20:14 So, the question is, what is Paul communicating
20:16 through this poetic description of God and the Father?
20:18 The Lesson points out as Dr. McVay brings out,
20:22 he said, "By virtue of His being 'Father of all,'
20:25 God is the Creator.
20:27 The rest of the sentence describes how,
20:30 once the world is created,
20:32 God relates to 'all things,' to everything that He made. "
20:36 And how does He do that?
20:37 He relates to them all through His Son Christ Jesus.
20:41 So, Paul is revealing the spiritual architecture of the church.
20:44 We find in 1st Corinthians chapter 12
20:46 which Shelley alluded to,
20:48 1st Corinthians chapter 12 verses 4, 8, 9 and 11,
20:51 he says, "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
20:54 For to one is given the word of wisdom
20:56 through the same Spirit,
20:57 another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,
21:00 another... the faith by the same Spirit,
21:02 to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit,
21:04 to one... and the same Spirit works all these things
21:07 but one and the same Spirit works all these things,
21:12 distributing to each one individually as He wills. "
21:16 Panel: Hmmm... hmmm...
21:17 Lomacang: That Holy Spirit...
21:18 so, when somebody says, I need the gift of tongues,
21:21 you don't decide that...
21:22 the Holy Spirit decides that.
21:24 He gives to whomever He needs.
21:26 Why would I need to speak in Spanish
21:27 when everybody around me understands English?
21:29 Panel: That's right. Hmmm... hmmm...
21:30 Lomacang: It's not necessary
21:32 so, when somebody says,
21:33 "You need to have the gift of the Holy Spirit...
21:34 you need to speak in tongues as evidence of salvation. "
21:36 No... the evidence of your salvation is not a gift
21:39 it's fruit... by their fruit you'll know them.
21:41 Panel: That's true.
21:43 Lomacang: Not by their gifts.
21:44 So, consider the last seven takeaways...
21:46 I think I can get it in here.
21:47 Unity is the evidence of the Holy Spirit's presence.
21:51 Acts 2 and verse 46,
21:52 unity in the church.
21:54 "So continuing daily with one accord in the temple,
21:57 and breaking bread from house to house,
22:00 they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart... "
22:03 continuing daily.
22:05 That was the unity of the church.
22:06 That was like "cell" groups that we talk about today.
22:08 Panel: Hmmm... hmmm...
22:09 Lomacang: They had that oneness house to house... day by day.
22:11 Then unity of the mind...
22:13 Romans 12 verse 16,
22:14 "Be of the same mind toward one another.
22:17 Do not set your minds on high things,
22:20 but associate with the humble.
22:22 Do not be wise in your own opinion. "
22:24 What does that mean?
22:26 Does it mean that we all think the same?
22:27 No, it doesn't mean we all think the same.
22:30 But like all the passengers in the same plane,
22:32 none of us are alike
22:35 but we all have the same destination in mind.
22:37 We are all under the same pilot's direction.
22:40 We all are being attended to by the same Flight Attendants.
22:42 We all are in the same aircraft.
22:44 God's church is very diverse
22:46 but each of us has a goal to exalt Jesus.
22:49 That's what our goal should be.
22:50 Panel: That's right.
22:52 Lomacang: Each of us moving in the same direction
22:53 under the propulsion of the Holy Spirit...
22:55 that's the one mind
22:56 and we all have that love one towards another.
22:59 Also, the unity of peace... Ephesians 4 and verse 3,
23:03 "endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit
23:06 in the bond of peace. "
23:07 Panel: Hmmm... hmmm...
23:09 Lomacang: How does that happen?
23:10 As far as it is possible with you...
23:13 be at peace with all men.
23:14 Don't wait for Shelley to be at peace with me.
23:16 I must be at peace with Shelley.
23:18 If I want peace, I have to pursue that peace.
23:21 Like a good friend of mine, Donna Gantz says,
23:23 Donna Berg now, she says, "Pursue peace... "
23:26 that means, run after peace like your life depends on it,
23:29 grab its ankle and refuse to let it go. "
23:31 Panel: Smiling. Lomacang: Pursue peace.
23:33 Then unity of the faith... Ephesians 4:13,
23:35 "till we all come to the unity of the faith
23:37 and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
23:40 to a perfect... that's a mature man,
23:42 to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. "
23:45 That's the unity of the faith.
23:47 But what about unity in diversity?
23:49 1st Corinthians 12 and verse 5,
23:51 "There are differences of ministries,
23:54 but the same Lord. "
23:55 Not everybody sings like Ryan,
23:57 it would be boring if everybody sings like Ryan,
23:59 we won't be able to appreciate Ryan.
24:01 But God gives everyone of us what He knows
24:04 would be the gift that He can be exalted through.
24:06 So, don't desire Ryan's gift.
24:08 Pray for God to use the gift that you already have.
24:11 Panel: Amen. Hmmm... hmmm.
24:12 Lomacang: And finally, what holds us together...
24:14 unity and service to God, Zephaniah 3 verse 9,
24:16 "For then I will restore to the people a pure language,
24:20 that they all may call on the name of the LORD,
24:24 and serve Him with one accord. "
24:27 That's what unity in the Spirit is all about.
24:30 Shelley: Amen, thank you, Pastor John,
24:33 that was wonderful.
24:35 We're going to make a brief announcement
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25:16 Shelley: And now we continue in our Study,
25:19 Tuesday's Lesson, Ryan Day.
25:20 Ryan: All right, I'm Ryan Day,
25:22 I have Tuesday's Lesson and it's entitled:
25:24 The Exalted Christ, Giver of Gifts
25:27 and I really enjoyed this because it's focusing on
25:30 verses 7 through 10,
25:32 and it brings out an aspect of this
25:34 that a lot of people question
25:36 because this is one of those texts...
25:37 just a small portion of one of these texts
25:39 that we're about to read that I have noticed over the years,
25:43 even before I was a Seventh-day Adventist,
25:44 there's many people in the Christian world
25:46 that kind of twist one of these texts
25:48 to mean something that it doesn't.
25:49 We're going to bring clarification today
25:51 as to what this text is actually saying.
25:53 So, I'm actually going to go to Ephesians chapter 4,
25:56 we're going to read verses 7 through 10,
25:57 and then we're going to make some comments along the way.
26:00 Starting with verse 7,
26:02 it says, "But to each one of us grace was given
26:05 according to the measure of Christ's gift.
26:08 Therefore, He says... "
26:10 and of course this quotes Psalm 68 verse 18
26:13 or at least a portion of it,
26:14 it says, "When He ascended on high,
26:16 He led captivity captive,
26:18 and gave gifts to men. "
26:20 And then, verse 9 says, "Now this 'He ascended'
26:23 what does it mean but that He also first descended
26:27 into the lower parts of the earth?
26:29 He who ascended is also the One who ascended
26:32 far above all the heavens,
26:33 that He might fill all things. "
26:36 And, of course, we're going to make some comments
26:38 as to what this means
26:40 but this particular verse I was speaking of,
26:41 verse 9 here where it says there,
26:43 and I'm reading from the New King James Version,
26:45 it says, "First descended into the lower parts of the earth. "
26:49 Of course, many people try to tie that
26:51 or pair that with 1st Peter chapter 3,
26:53 and they try to say, "Well... " you know,
26:54 this is where they get the idea where Jesus you know, upon...
26:57 upon, you know, His resurrection,
26:59 He... or during the time He was actually dead in the grave,
27:02 He went into the lower parts of the earth...
27:05 He went into the deep dark dungeons of hellfire,
27:08 where He preached to dead souls
27:09 and to demons and... and all this...
27:11 I mean, there's so many different theories out there,
27:13 but this is not actually what this particular text is meaning.
27:16 It doesn't mean that Jesus took a trip
27:18 you know, several miles into the, you know, deep hot core of the...
27:21 of the earth but rather it's...
27:23 it's actually talking about the earth and its lower regions
27:26 in comparison to the higher heavens.
27:28 And, of course, the author actually uses
27:31 the New Living Translation to make this a little clearer,
27:34 so, I'm reading verse 9 there in the New Living Translation.
27:37 It actually says...
27:39 notice that it says, "He ascended... "
27:40 this clearly means that Christ also descended
27:43 to our lowly world.
27:44 I like that... to our lowly world
27:46 and the same who... the same One who descended
27:49 is One who is sitting higher than all the heavens
27:52 that He might fill the entire universe
27:54 with Himself.
27:55 I love that!
27:57 I love that...
27:58 and so, Christ didn't go into hell...
27:59 He didn't go and preach into...
28:01 to dead people or demons while He was dead.
28:03 Obviously, this is talking about Christ... He did ascend...
28:06 and He... like a war hero and I love that...
28:08 I can just see that in my mind...
28:09 I love a good, you know, war-hero story, right.
28:12 You know, conquering evil... conquering the bad guys
28:16 but yet, you know, entering into this victorious celebration
28:19 as the war hero is coming home...
28:21 it's just a powerful story to... to imagine
28:24 and that's exactly... essentially what Christ had done,
28:26 He had won the victory at the cross...
28:28 He had cast Satan down once and for all at the cross.
28:32 He had defeated death...
28:33 He had defeated sin...
28:34 He had defeated evil...
28:36 He had overcome all of these things,
28:37 and there was a moment upon His resurrection...
28:39 He ascended to the Father, of course,
28:41 we know it had to have happened some point
28:42 after He had the encounter with Mary
28:44 because He said, "Don't touch Me...
28:45 I haven't yet ascended to My Father... "
28:47 but then that same evening,
28:48 He comes back and He was able to be touched by the disciples.
28:51 Christ entered... He ascended as a war hero
28:54 and you can imagine the celebration
28:56 as the Lamb of God was returning,
28:58 you know with... with that blood that had been shed
29:01 having paid the price for humanity
29:03 and He received... you know...
29:05 you know, His kingdom essentially
29:07 for what He had paid for.
29:08 But I just want to bring this out here,
29:10 just a note on Psalm 68 here, the Lesson says,
29:13 Paul here quoted Psalm 68 which reads,
29:15 "When You ascend to the heights,
29:17 You led a crowd of captives.
29:18 You received gifts from the people,
29:20 even from those who rebelled against You. "
29:22 Psalm 68:18 portrays the Lord, Yahweh,
29:25 as a conquering general...
29:27 this is a point that He brings out,
29:28 "a conquering general who, having conquered His enemies,
29:30 ascended the hill on which He...
29:32 His capital city is built,
29:35 with the captives of battle in His train. "
29:37 I love that visual...
29:39 It says, "He then receives tribute...
29:40 He receives the gifts from His conquered foes
29:43 noting that Paul adjusts...
29:45 noting that Paul adjusts the imagery
29:47 to the exalted Christ 'giving gifts,'
29:50 based on the wider context of Psalms... "
29:52 and, of course, he quotes here Psalm 68:35.
29:54 But then he goes on to bring this out
29:56 which I thought was powerful.
29:57 "If we follow the order of Psalm 68:18... "
30:00 which was quoted here in this verse,
30:01 the ascent... "Christ's ascension into heaven"
30:04 which we, of course, see there also in Ephesians 1:21 to 23,
30:09 "it occurs first... " so His ascension occurs first.
30:11 "followed by the descent in which the risen, exalted Jesus
30:15 gives gifts and fills all things.
30:18 This is Paul's way of depicting... "
30:21 what is he depicting?
30:22 "He's depicting Pentecost
30:24 the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost... "
30:26 and we see that there in Acts chapter 2.
30:28 "This view is confirmed by Ephesians 4 verses 11 and 12,
30:33 which identify the gifts
30:34 provided by the exalted Jesus as gifts of the Spirit. "
30:37 And, of course, you know, if you read the book of Revelation,
30:39 we see this beautiful image...
30:41 in which, again, there's this... there's this...
30:43 this huge problem...
30:45 of course, the scroll is in the Father's hand
30:47 and no one can open it.
30:48 But the Lamb of God shows up,
30:50 He's the only One who is worthy to receive the scroll.
30:52 In fact, we read that in Revelation chapter 5,
30:54 verses 4 through 6,
30:56 but it's interesting that in verse 6 it says,
30:57 "I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne
30:59 and of the four living creatures,
31:01 and in the midst of the elders stood a Lamb
31:02 as though it had been slain,
31:04 having seven horns and seven eyes... "
31:06 and here's the hint here,
31:07 "which are the seven Spirits God sent out
31:09 into all the earth. "
31:10 Of course, we know the chronology of that...
31:12 the... the Son of God did ascend...
31:14 He did receive the gifts...
31:16 He gives... He returns the gifts... the gifts
31:18 by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
31:21 Even... Even Mrs. White confirms this in Ye Shall Receive Power,
31:25 page 158.
31:26 And it says this, it says, "Christ ascended on high,
31:28 leading captivity captive,
31:30 and gave gifts unto men.
31:32 When, after Christ's ascension,
31:34 the Spirit came down as promised,
31:37 like a rushing, mighty wind,
31:38 filled the whole place where the disciples were assembled,
31:41 what was the effect?
31:43 Thousands were converted in a day. "
31:45 Powerful, powerful view there,
31:47 and, of course, you see that
31:48 and I just want to confirm this also
31:49 just because I know there's a lot of people who watch
31:54 Sabbath School Panel
31:55 and there's a lot of people who may be not
31:57 perhaps Seventh-day Adventist Christians
31:59 but other denominations who watch and view this Network
32:02 and we're so proud and so thankful to have all Viewers
32:05 from all different Christian backgrounds
32:07 or non-Christian backgrounds,
32:08 but, you know, I just want to confirm something here
32:11 because one of the texts that was often quoted
32:13 when I was growing up in the Pentecostal church,
32:16 that was kind of the foundational core text
32:18 in all of the Pentecostal churches I attended
32:20 was Acts chapter 2 verse 38 which is a powerful verse,
32:24 it's one that we should share,
32:25 it's one that we should live by,
32:26 but Acts 2:38 says,
32:28 "Then Peter said to them... "
32:29 this all happened on the day of Pentecost
32:31 and, of course, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit has happened,
32:34 Peter preaches this powerful sermon
32:36 telling the children of Israel...
32:38 all of those that were present, "Look,
32:39 you murdered the Son of God
32:41 and the Bible says, it pricked their hearts
32:44 and they responded,
32:45 they said, "Well, what do we do about this?"
32:46 Peter's response, Acts 2:38,
32:48 notice what he says,
32:49 "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized
32:51 in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins"
32:55 and then notice... once you do that
32:56 "and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. "
32:59 Now, a lot of people take that and they automatically...
33:02 Pastor touched on this briefly,
33:04 they take that gift of the Holy Spirit
33:05 and they automatically think... oh yes,
33:06 all Christians... when you receive Christ
33:09 and it's genuine and it's pure,
33:10 many Charismatic Pentecostal Christians
33:12 turn that and twist that into meaning that
33:14 the gift of the Holy Spirit that you will receive
33:16 and must receive in order to have salvation
33:19 is the gift of speaking in tongues.
33:20 That's not what this text is talking about.
33:22 This text is referring to the Holy Spirit as a gift
33:26 that God will bestow upon you the Holy Spirit.
33:29 Why? Because you have obeyed Him.
33:30 Acts chapter 5 verse 32, I believe it is...
33:32 it tells us that the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey Him.
33:37 And so, this is what this is meaning here.
33:39 I don't have enough time to go through all of these,
33:41 but if you read 1st Corinthians chapter 12,
33:44 and Pastor read verse 11, He quoted verse 11,
33:47 but you see there that when we...
33:49 that the gifts that Christ gives us through the Holy Spirit
33:52 is powerful... it's again to unite the body of Christ,
33:55 it's for the functionality in the carrying on of the gospel.
33:59 And, of course, more than anything,
34:00 we receive these gifts and we exercise these gifts
34:03 that God gives us through the Holy Spirit,
34:05 for His glory.
34:07 It's not for our glory, it's not for us.
34:08 Many times, God gives us a gift and you know what?
34:11 Pastor referenced my... my singing gift
34:13 and I praise God for the gift that I have.
34:15 Sometimes, you know,
34:17 my human aspect comes... you know, gets the best of me
34:19 and I see someone else's gift, like, Pastor Lomacang
34:22 and Pastor Rafferty... and they have such sharp Biblical minds
34:25 and I think, "Lord, I wish my mind was just a little sharper,"
34:28 you know, I wish I had that gift of comprehension.
34:30 But sometimes, we often do that,
34:32 we see other people's gifts and we kind of like,
34:34 "I wish I had that. "
34:35 But yet, we have to be happy and content
34:37 with the gifts that God has given us
34:39 because God has specifically given you those gifts
34:42 because He trusts you with that gift
34:43 and it's not that He trusts you to use it for your own glory,
34:46 but you used it for His glory.
34:49 It's His gifts... He's bestowing it upon you,
34:51 He's giving it to you freely
34:53 because He wants you to share it with others
34:55 so others can be blessed... can be drawn to Jesus Christ
34:58 and through the light that people see through you
35:01 by using those gifts responsibly and appropriately
35:04 because He has gifted you with them,
35:06 through the power of His Spirit because you have been faithful,
35:09 you have been genuine,
35:10 you are humble
35:11 and you're following Him with all your heart and mind and soul,
35:13 He will bestow these gifts upon you
35:15 and you will be free to use them for His glory
35:18 and I promise you,
35:19 in service for Him, you will never, never, ever be disappointed
35:22 because when you use those gifts appropriately,
35:24 it's the most amazing thing to see
35:26 how God can transform not just your life
35:28 but other people's lives through the gifts that He gives you.
35:31 Panel: Amen.
35:32 Yvonne: Amen... what a blessing!
35:35 Well, I have Wednesday's Lesson
35:37 and it is: Gifts of the Exalted Jesus.
35:41 Here in Ephesians 4:8,
35:45 Paul says, "When He ascended on high,
35:48 He led captivity captive,
35:50 and gave gifts to men. "
35:51 This is actually a reference to Psalm 68:18
35:56 where David alludes to a common picture in his time,
36:00 you see, whenever a king conquered a country
36:03 or a nation or a city,
36:05 he would come back with a host of captives and spoils...
36:09 ascend on to his throne
36:10 and distribute the spoils to the people in his kingdom
36:14 just as you were talking about Brother Ryan.
36:16 Jesus, the exalted King
36:18 who conquered death, hell and the grave,
36:20 ascended back into heaven
36:22 sent the Holy Spirit and through the Holy Spirit,
36:25 all the gifts to the church to bring the church together.
36:29 Notice that these are not just the individual gifts
36:33 that's set forth in 1st Corinthians 12,
36:35 for example, healings and faith as you were alluding to,
36:38 on the word of knowledge,
36:40 these are gifted leaders that Christ has given to the church.
36:45 In Ephesians 4:11, it says,
36:47 "He gave some to be apostles,
36:49 some prophets,
36:50 some evangelists,
36:52 and some pastors and teachers. "
36:53 In other words, He gave the gift of Servant-Leadership.
36:57 Panel: That's right.
36:58 Yvonne: The purpose of these gifts was to build up the church
37:00 and for the perfecting of the saints
37:02 for the work of service
37:04 to the building up of the body of Christ
37:06 and the word for "perfecting"
37:08 comes from the Greek verb, "Katartizo... "
37:11 it basically means: to be restored...
37:13 to be complete... to be full... mature.
37:16 This is a kind of spiritual maturity...
37:18 a kind of grown-up spiritual character.
37:20 So, let's take a look at each of these groups
37:24 of spiritual leaders.
37:26 First, there are the apostles.
37:28 And an "apostle" is a person sent out by God and the church
37:32 to proclaim the Word of God...
37:33 make disciples and establish disciples into a church
37:37 with Christ as the center.
37:39 This signifies one who is sent forth from another.
37:43 In fact, if we break the word down,
37:45 "apo" means from
37:48 and "stello" sent... or sent forth.
37:51 So, this word is: one who is sent forth.
37:54 An "apostle" is "one who is sent forth"
37:57 from another
37:58 often with a special commission to represent another
38:01 and accomplish his work.
38:03 And then the term "Apostellos" really actually refers to the
38:07 twelve original apostles...
38:09 the disciples who were chosen directly by Jesus
38:14 and who actually were witnesses of His resurrection.
38:17 Paul was an apostle who was taught by Jesus personally later,
38:21 he wasn't a part of the original twelve disciples.
38:24 But he is certainly the Apostle Paul.
38:27 The apostles were given authority from Christ
38:30 to proclaim the gospel
38:32 and thus the Apostolic teachings and writings
38:35 became the foundation of the church
38:37 with Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone.
38:40 Panel: That's right.
38:41 Yvonne: Some of the apostles... Biblical apostles
38:44 examples were Peter, James, and John
38:47 and then, also later, Paul, Silas, Barnabas, and Timothy.
38:51 The apostles are able to adapt to different cultures...
38:55 different life conditions.
38:57 They're able to fit in with different groups of people.
39:01 Then the second group of servant leaders are prophets
39:05 and a prophet is a person who shares what God has revealed
39:09 to him or her.
39:10 The new Unger's Bible Dictionary
39:12 defines "Prophet" as "one who is divinely inspired
39:16 to communicate God's will to His people
39:19 and to disclose the future to them. "
39:21 In the Bible, prophets generally are those who proclaim
39:25 inspired utterances on behalf of God.
39:27 Some prophets are foretellers meaning that they are predictive
39:32 and they are also forth tellers
39:35 meaning that they declare
39:37 divinely revealed truth
39:40 for the purpose of sound doctrinal instruction.
39:44 A prophet is one raised up by God
39:46 and his or her charge is to proclaim
39:49 only the word of the Lord.
39:51 It is not for them to give their own opinions
39:56 and say it's from the Lord.
39:57 There are different tests of true prophets in the Word
40:00 and one of them is found in Deuteronomy chapter 18:22
40:03 and it says that if a prophet makes a prediction...
40:06 pronouncement and it doesn't come to pass,
40:08 that's a false prophet.
40:10 Panel: Hmmm...
40:11 Yvonne: So, the Bible lets us know
40:13 who the true prophets are
40:14 and who the false ones are.
40:15 Prophets... Biblical prophets are Elijah, Jeremiah, Isaiah,
40:19 Amos, Moses, and even post-Biblical... Ellen White.
40:24 So, let's compare apostles and prophets.
40:28 Both apostles and prophets were foundational to the church.
40:32 Ephesians 2:20 says, "God's household... the church...
40:35 was built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
40:39 Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone. "
40:43 The apostle gives an authoritative declaration
40:47 of the whole body of truth concerning Jesus Christ
40:51 but the prophet interprets that authoritative word
40:55 and explains the truth so that it becomes very clear.
40:57 Panel: That's right.
40:58 Yvonne: In 1st Corinthians 14:3, Paul says,
41:00 "he who prophesies speaks to men for their up building
41:04 or edification...
41:05 and encouragement and consolation. "
41:07 Prophets make the truth clear, shining and gripping.
41:12 Now, what's the difference between prophets and teachers?
41:15 The prophet tends to deal more with great sweeping principles
41:20 of Biblical truth and reality
41:23 but the more specific areas are left to the teacher.
41:26 So, the prophets deal more with the larger areas.
41:30 Our next group of servant leaders are the evangelists.
41:34 An evangelist is someone who proclaims good news...
41:38 is a preacher of the gospel or a missionary.
41:41 We have with us the...
41:43 the Director of World Evangelism for 3ABN
41:47 but all of you are really evangelists and teachers
41:53 and preachers and on... it's a blessing.
41:55 But the evangelist not only preaches the gospel
41:59 but they travel from place to place
42:01 sharing the gospel and calling for repentance.
42:04 The purpose of evangelism
42:06 is to carefully but simply help unbelievers
42:09 become aware of their sinfulness and lostness...
42:14 if there's such a word...
42:16 and through proclamation of the gospel,
42:18 to declare Jesus Christ as the only Savior of the world.
42:22 The only three places in Scripture
42:25 where the word "Evangelist" is used
42:27 that's Ephesians 4:11,
42:29 Acts 21:8 where Philip is called an Evangelist,
42:34 and 2nd Timothy 4:5
42:36 where Paul exhorts his young protégé
42:38 to do the work of an evangelist.
42:41 The evangelist has a real burden to win souls.
42:44 They may sometimes get impatient
42:46 if you look like you're dragging your feet
42:48 about trying to win souls
42:49 and their theme verse may be Proverbs 11:30,
42:54 which is, the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
42:57 and he who wins souls is wise.
43:00 The evangelist deals with the beginning of Christian life.
43:04 In fact, one online commentator said,
43:07 "The Evangelist is like an obstetrician
43:10 and the prophet and the teachers and pastors
43:14 are more like pediatricians. "
43:16 The evangelist helps to bring new Christians into the world
43:20 and the... and the preachers and teachers
43:23 help to develop them.
43:25 They give them the spiritual exercise
43:27 and spiritual diet and that kind of thing.
43:30 Pause.
43:32 Our final group of Servant-Leaders are pastors
43:33 and teachers.
43:35 Pastors and teachers are actually joined by a conjunction
43:40 in the word, a Greek word: Kai
43:42 which means: that is... or in particular
43:46 and some people have thought that that's just one unit...
43:48 pastors and teachers
43:50 but not all teachers are pastors
43:54 but pastors are teachers.
43:56 And so... so we tend to think really that...
43:59 that it is two separate groups.
44:02 The pastor is related to shepherd.
44:05 There's a Greek word: Poimné
44:08 which refers to a flock of sheep.
44:10 The pastor is the shepherd or leader of the flock.
44:14 He takes care of His sheep.
44:16 Panel: Hmmm... hmmm.
44:17 Pastors can do the work of evangelist...
44:19 they are to coordinate, counsel and disciple believers.
44:24 And then, the teacher is one who is able to teach
44:27 the basic truths of Scripture with clarity and creativity.
44:31 They enjoy giving Bible studies,
44:34 and sharing God's Word in ways that are life-changing.
44:37 Luke is an example of a great teacher.
44:39 So, finally, they are six reasons
44:42 that the exalted Christ left us these Servant-Leaders.
44:45 1. To equip the saints for the work of ministry...
44:48 in other words, to serve one another and the church.
44:51 2. To edify or build-up the body of Christ.
44:54 3. To bring us all to a place of unity of the faith
44:58 and of the knowledge of the Son of God.
45:00 4. To keep us from deception...
45:03 we'll no longer be children tossed to and fro
45:06 and carried about with every wind and sleight of doctrine.
45:08 5. To help us grow and mature in the truth.
45:11 We will grow up in all things into Him
45:14 who is the Head Christ Jesus
45:16 and 6: To work together in unity as the body of Christ.
45:21 Every part doing its share and growing and maturing
45:25 into the image of God.
45:27 So, I ask you, are you a Servant-Leader?
45:30 What gifts has God given you?
45:32 He's given gifts to all of us.
45:34 What gifts do you have
45:36 and how are you using them for His glory
45:39 to bring us all together
45:42 unto the unity of Christ Jesus.
45:46 Panel: Thank you.
45:47 Rafferty: I love that.
45:49 I'd never seen that before, Yvonne,
45:50 that emphasis on the gifts here being: prophets and evangelists
45:54 and pastors and teachers
45:55 and it makes sense
45:57 because the whole focus of this chapter so far
46:00 has been to bring us into unity...
46:01 to have that... as Shelley said, that attitude,
46:03 that lowliness and meekness
46:05 and as... as John as you were saying
46:08 that... that we need to be connected to Christ,
46:11 you know, we need to be on the plane of Jesus,
46:13 right, in order for us to be having the same destination
46:16 and being connected together in one
46:19 and then we need the gifts.
46:20 We need those gifts because
46:21 the Holy Spirit specifically is the One who unites us.
46:24 Panel: Yes.
46:25 Rafferty: And He works through prophets
46:27 and He works through teachers
46:28 and He works through pastors
46:30 and I was just thinking about this... this is really powerful
46:32 because it specifically excludes and specifically includes
46:36 certain aspects of the gifts that God has given in...
46:40 in these verses here,
46:41 so, my name is James Rafferty and I have Thursday's Lesson:
46:44 Growing Up Into Christ
46:46 and everyone that's come before me has made this very, very easy
46:49 basically, how you grow up into Christ
46:52 is by following everything you've just heard
46:54 and I'll little bit of extra here
46:56 because the Quarterly here goes into
46:58 Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 14,
47:00 so we're going another step here in Ephesians chapter 4
47:03 and this is what it says,
47:04 "that we henceforth be no more children,
47:08 tossed to and fro,
47:10 and carried about with every wind of doctrine,
47:12 and sleight of men, and cunning craftiness,
47:15 whereby they lie in wait to deceive. "
47:17 Did you catch all of that?
47:19 Winds of doctrine...
47:20 sleight and fraud of men...
47:22 cunning craftiness and trickery
47:24 and that... that's the same type of phrase that's used
47:26 in 2nd Corinthians chapter 11
47:28 where Paul warns about the church receiving another gospel...
47:33 another Jesus... another Spirit
47:35 and being deceived like Satan deceived Eve
47:38 in the Garden of Eden.
47:39 And then, another gospel... another Jesus... another Spirit
47:43 is going to be something that's going to be very difficult for us
47:47 unless we have good apostles and pastors
47:49 and prophets and teachers,
47:50 because it's coming in a Christian guise.
47:52 Panel: That's right... hmmm...
47:53 Rafferty: And so, what Ephesians 4 is preparing us for
47:55 is the... the worst kind of deception,
47:58 the deception that can come in Christian guise.
48:00 Panel: Hmmm...
48:01 Rafferty: In order for us to withstand that,
48:02 we got to follow the...
48:04 the... the principles that have been outlined for us
48:05 have that meekness of mind...
48:07 be connected to Jesus...
48:08 have the gift of the Holy Spirit...
48:10 the gifts of the Spirit
48:11 and specially appreciate the pastors and the teachers
48:13 and the prophets and the words that God has given us
48:15 to keep us in the unity of the faith.
48:18 The Quarterly says, "Paul perceives an environment
48:20 not unlike our own
48:22 in which various ideas, such as 'winds of doctrine'
48:24 and 'deceitful schemes',
48:25 are thrust upon believers. "
48:27 Thrust upon believers...
48:28 "He uses these three sets of images
48:31 to describe the dangers of a way with theology:
48:34 the immaturity of childhood,
48:35 'so that we may no longer be children...
48:37 the danger of a high seas, 'tossed to and fro by the waves
48:41 and carried by every wind of doctrine'
48:42 and being swindled by clever people like gamblers,
48:45 practice sleight of hand. "
48:47 Right. Panel: Hmmm...
48:49 "Paul uses figuratively the Greek word kubeia...
48:51 'dice playing' to mean 'cunning' or 'trickery'.
48:54 So. Paul believes the divisiveness
48:57 to be an important mark of error. "
48:59 So, he's connecting divisiveness with error.
49:02 "That which nourishes and grows the body
49:04 helps it to hold together is good
49:06 while that which depletes... divides it is evil. "
49:08 Panel: Hmmm...
49:09 Rafferty: So, "by turning from division,
49:11 or divisive teaching
49:12 and doing that...
49:13 and to that of tested trusted teachers,
49:16 we will advance to a true Christian maturity
49:19 and play effective roles in the body of Christ. "
49:22 And the most true and trusted teacher
49:25 in all of the Bible is Jesus.
49:28 Panel: Right. Rafferty: And Jesus is the Word
49:30 and it's really interesting because
49:31 we've got to be careful here a little bit
49:33 because when we talk about divisive teachers,
49:35 we have to remember what it says
49:36 in Matthew chapter 10 and verse 34,
49:38 Jesus says, "I didn't come in peace
49:40 but I came to send a sword. "
49:42 I came to divide.
49:43 Panel: Laughter.
49:44 Rafferty: And we have to ask the question, you know,
49:46 because Christ is the Head of the body
49:47 and, you know, yet, there is some division
49:50 that is caused by Christ or at least by His words.
49:53 When we confess Christ,
49:55 we confess a truth that not everyone wants to receive.
49:59 And so in the context of division, Christ says, You know,
50:02 I'm going to be confessing the truth
50:04 and when I confess the truth,
50:06 those who accept that truth are going to be united
50:09 and those who reject that truth are going to be divided.
50:12 So, when we see people coming in the guise of...
50:17 of Christianity,
50:19 and we see division taking place,
50:21 we can almost be sure
50:22 that the reason that division is taking place is because
50:25 those people who are necessarily preaching the gospel
50:28 or... or perhaps, you know, coming in the name of Jesus,
50:31 or even in the name of the Holy Spirit,
50:32 aren't actually teaching the words of Christ...
50:35 not actually following the Word of God
50:37 and that's where we can find a distinction.
50:40 So, Paul is explaining to us
50:42 how we can navigate these kinds of circumstances
50:44 that even Christ found Himself facing.
50:47 "So, in what ways... " the Quarterly asks,
50:49 "does a healthy church function like a healthy body?"
50:52 And then it quotes Ephesians chapter 4
50:54 verses 15 and 16,
50:56 listen to those verses, Ephesians chapter 4
50:58 verses 15 and 16.
50:59 "but speaking the truth in love,
51:01 may grow up into Him in all things,
51:03 which is the head, even Christ:
51:05 from whom the whole body fitly joined together
51:08 and compacted by that which every joint supplieth,
51:11 according to the effectual working
51:12 in the measure of every part,
51:13 makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. "
51:17 Just got to love that King James language which is so important
51:19 but you can't really comprehend
51:21 everything that's being said there,
51:22 so let me break it down.
51:24 Panel: Laughter.
51:25 Rafferty: Paul is basically saying...
51:26 the first thing we want to do
51:28 is speak the truth in love, right?
51:29 And we want to grow up in Christ... we want to be mature.
51:30 about our relationship with Christ
51:32 and then, our relationship with others.
51:33 And then he says,
51:34 we want to join closely together in our teaching.
51:38 What do you think about this thought?
51:40 You know, we were on the Panel earlier,
51:42 I heard Shelley say to Pastor John,
51:43 "I'm going to be sharing this in coming-up Sabbath School,
51:46 what do you think about this?
51:47 Tell me if I'm wrong on this... " you know.
51:48 We want to do that often, you know,
51:50 throw things out at each other
51:51 and get feedback from one another
51:52 and then, there's going to be efficiency in every part
51:56 because God is the One that's supplying of the lax, right,
51:59 and we're going to be doing this to increase the body.
52:02 This isn't about increasing us...
52:03 this isn't about our glory...
52:04 this isn't about edifying ourselves.
52:06 When we think that a gift of the Holy Spirit
52:08 is speaking in tongues,
52:10 Paul says... that's because you're all about
52:11 edifying yourself.
52:12 But when you speak in tongues
52:14 and no one understands what it... what it means,
52:15 you're just... you're not edifying anybody else,
52:17 right,
52:19 we need to edify the body.
52:20 God wants to... to build and strengthen the body
52:23 and a lot of what God gives to us is not for ourselves,
52:25 it's for other people.
52:27 We want to edify the body but we want to do it in love.
52:30 Panel: Yes... hmmm...
52:31 Rafferty: So, the Quarterly goes on to say
52:33 in Ephesians 4:1 through 16,
52:34 Paul advocates for the unity of the church
52:36 and recruits the addressees to foster it actively.
52:39 While unity is a theological certainty,
52:42 it does require our hard work.
52:45 It's going to happen,
52:46 there is one law... there is one faith...
52:48 there is one baptism.
52:49 Panel: Hmmm... hmmm...
52:50 But we've got to be part of that
52:52 because it's going to require a little bit of self-denial,
52:53 a little bit of lowliness of mind,
52:55 connectivity with Christ,
52:56 receiving the Holy Spirit,
52:58 being taught by apostles and being taught by pastors
53:01 and... and listening to the evangelists
53:03 and, you know, getting going...
53:04 it's going to require that if we want that unity.
53:06 We... we can't just sit back and say,
53:07 "Oh, yeah, we're going to be unified...
53:09 whatever they say, I'll agree with. "
53:10 No... a lot of people go to church
53:12 and you ask them, what do they believe?
53:13 "Oh, I believe what our church teaches. "
53:14 "What does your church teach?"
53:16 "Well, our church teaches what I believe. "
53:17 They don't even know what it is.
53:18 Right. Panel: Laughter.
53:20 Rafferty: We need to pursue truth
53:21 because only the truth can unify us in Jesus Christ.
53:25 Panel: Amen.
53:26 Rafferty: Each of us is part of the body
53:27 and should contribute to its health and growth.
53:29 We all should also benefit from the work of the apostles
53:32 and the prophets and the evangelists
53:34 and the pastor-teachers.
53:35 These like ligaments and tendons join every joint together
53:39 and they have this unifying function
53:41 helping us to grow up together in Christ
53:43 who is the Head of the body.
53:45 So, there are times though
53:47 we read about in... for example,
53:49 1st Corinthians chapter 11:18 and 19,
53:52 when disunity comes and God uses it.
53:55 He uses heresies and the...
53:59 the separation... divisions that come.
54:01 Paul says, "I... I hear there's heresies among you... "
54:03 in 1st Corinthians 11:18,
54:04 "and I partly believe it that they which are approved
54:07 may be made manifest among you. "
54:09 And then he says in 2nd Timothy 2:15,
54:10 "Study to show yourselves approved unto God,
54:12 a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
54:14 rightly dividing the word of truth. "
54:16 In other words, if everything else fails,
54:17 God will allow heresies to come in
54:19 to wake us up.
54:20 Have you ever been woken up by a heresy like,
54:22 "Wait a minute, I don't think that's true. "
54:23 And then you go study it up.
54:25 "Oh, I'm going to study that up. "
54:26 And then you find yourself really getting solidified
54:29 in a certain truth or whatever it is
54:30 that was brought up that you studied out thoroughly.
54:33 Panel: That's right.
54:34 Rafferty: First heresy that I ever studied out
54:35 was the idea that everyone should go to church on Saturday,
54:37 that's right... Saturday...
54:39 I thought, "Saturday?
54:40 That's not the day you should go to church,
54:42 everyone knows you go to church on Sunday,
54:43 that's in the Bible. "
54:44 And I went in the Bible... I studied it out
54:46 and lo and behold... it was Saturday after all.
54:47 And I got solidified in that truth
54:49 through that so-called heresy, right?
54:52 So, Paul is saying, there are...
54:53 there are times when these winds of doctrine
54:55 are going to be blowing
54:56 and they're actually going to be good for the church
54:58 because it will cause us to go back and study
55:00 and... and get strong in the church.
55:03 The Author John McVay asks the question,
55:07 "What kinds of 'winds of doctrine'
55:09 are blowing in our church today?"
55:10 And I thought about that and I thought, you know,
55:12 date setting for sure
55:14 and mean that... as Adventists that's in our blood.
55:15 Ever since I've been an Adventist,
55:17 "Oh, you know, the jubilee cycle... "
55:18 "Oh, it's Y2K... "
55:19 "Oh, it's the Mayan calendar... "
55:21 "Oh, it's the eight Popes... seven Popes... eight Popes... "
55:22 "Oh, you know, it's going to be... "
55:23 it's just one thing after another.
55:25 And, you know, we think about the most serious ones that...
55:28 that are recently developing like the LGBTQ plus compromise
55:33 that's taking place right now
55:34 and the idea that loving sinners means that we shouldn't...
55:37 that we should just condone sin
55:38 and we have other issues that are violations of God's law...
55:43 the principles and then anti-Trinity emphasis
55:46 and the idea that God doesn't, you know,
55:50 punish and that...
55:51 you know, it's just... it's God's... the cross...
55:52 that just a moral influence and...
55:54 The only way we can meet these heresies
55:58 is to go to the Word of God.
55:59 You can't go to your favorite Pastor...
56:01 you can't go to your favorite preacher...
56:03 only... now... hopefully, they are there...
56:05 as it says right here, they are there
56:07 to guide us in the Word of God
56:08 and help us understand the Word of God
56:10 but we need Jesus... the Word
56:12 personally... individually for ourselves.
56:14 Panel: Amen... amen.
56:16 Shelley: Thank you James and Yvonne, Ryan, and Pastor John.
56:20 What a beautiful study!
56:21 We have just a moment for closing thoughts.
56:24 Lomacang: Well, Paul in Philippians 2 verse 2,
56:27 encourages us, he says,
56:29 "fulfill my joy by being like-minded,
56:33 having the same love,
56:35 being of one accord, and of one mind. "
56:38 May you seek that unity by Christ
56:41 as the Holy Spirit leads your life.
56:43 Ryan: Amen, if this experience has not been your own,
56:46 I want to read again, Acts 2:38,
56:47 it brings a beautiful promise.
56:49 "Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized
56:51 in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
56:53 for the remission of your sins;
56:55 and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. "
56:58 Panel: Amen.
56:59 Yvonne: The Lord would have us to come together
57:03 and He gave us gifts of Servant-Leaders
57:06 and He wants us to lead and to help others
57:09 to bring others together
57:11 and that's... He's given us the Holy Spirit to do that.
57:14 We just need to tap into it...
57:16 take advantage of it and be blessed.
57:18 Rafferty: Amen, I love this verse in Ephesians chapter 4,
57:20 "but speaking the truth in love,
57:23 may grow up in Him in all things,
57:25 which is the head even Christ. "
57:27 Shelley: Amen and amen, thank you each and every one.
57:30 My closing thought would be
57:32 that love is the root of patience...
57:36 patience produces gentleness...
57:38 gentleness produces... is... is the result of humility
57:44 and it's all based on love.
57:46 So what the Bible tells us
57:48 is that believers should practice these unifying virtues
57:54 so that God in Christ can fill all...
57:58 that we all grow up together.
58:01 Join us next time for Lesson 8:
58:03 Christ-Shaped Lives and Spirit-Inspired Speech.
58:08 Bye-bye.


Revised 2023-11-20