Ephesians 4:11-16 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
Eph 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying [building up] of the body of Christ,
Eph 4:13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man [mature man], to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
Eph 4:14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
Eph 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Christ;
Eph 4:16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective [proper] working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying [building up] of itself in love.
Having “ascended on high,” the risen Christ has taken His seat at the right hand of the Father (cf. Eph. 1:20), and “as Head over . . . the church,” (cf. Eph. 1:22), He has given “gifts to men” and in particular, He has given “some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.”
NOTE: It is important to remember, that God has a purpose for His church, a purpose intended to accomplish His will on earth.
So, Christ, through the giving of “gifts” empowers those of His church to carry out the work necessary to accomplish the Father’s will – the Trinity working in unison on earth.
This Divine will seeks to have those who make up the church “grow up in all aspects into Him” (Christ). God’s purpose for every believer is well stated in Romans 8:28-29.
Christ has “given . . . gifts to men” (all believers); But “some . . .”
V-11 – tells us that “He gave some . . . gifts” that were not for everyone.
- “Apostles” – gifted men who “sent forth” by Christ. These men had to have certain qualifications, as noted in Acts 1:22-24.
- “Prophets” – gifted men who “were to the Church what the O. T. prophets were to Israel.” They “maintained intact the immediate connection between the Church and the God of their salvation. They were messengers.” (Zodhiates)
It is believed by this writer and many others that these two offices ceased with the completion of the N. T. Their purpose was to lay “the foundation” (Eph. 2:20), and so they did.
Then we have…
- “Evangelists” – these are active in the Church today. They are those “who proclaim good news” (MacArthur). They are known to reach out to non-believers and at the same time they are active in the Church as missionaries and those who mobilize.
- “Pastors and Teachers” – this is one Greek word (poimen). The expansion in English of this one word emphasizes the “shepherd” and “instructor.” The two are clearly put together in I Tim. 5:17. The “elder” who is also the “teacher/preacher” is also noted in I Pet. 5:1-2 and Acts 20:17; 28.
These would be the current day offices that are active in the Church.
“WHY THE PASTOR – TEACHER?”
Christ “gave some as . . . pastors and teachers, for . . .”
- “the equipping of the saints” – from the Greek we get the meaning of “that which is fit, is restored to its original condition.” (MacArthur)
- The “equipped . . . saints” comes to realize their “gift,” and then in turn produce fruit. He or she is instructed from the Word of God by the “pastor and teacher,” the intent always being to bring about maturity.
- “ the work of service” – “service” by every believer within the body of the Church, a “service” that is accordance with God’s Word.
- Equipped “saints,” rightly shepherded and instructed, do the “work of service” that leads . . .
. . . “to the building up of the body of Christ” – like the “building” of a fine house, a “body” of believers with these objectives . . .
. . . “until we all attain to . . .”
- “the unity of the faith” – the Church united in truth (Jn. 17:17)
- “the knowledge of the Son of God” – a CORRECT knowledge
- “a mature man” – probably the chief goal for the Church
- “the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” – that every believer become more like Christ
Clear, distinct objectives set forth for the “pastor and teacher” and for the “saints” to ultimately fulfill Christ’s purpose for His Church. The “WHY” of what Christ does.
And, “as a result” . . .
the “result” of maturity, “we are no longer to be”
- “children, tossed here and there by waves”
- “children . . . carried about by every wind of doctrine”
- “carried about . . . by the trickery of men”
- “carried about . . . by craftiness in deceitful scheming”
The why OF the Pastor and Teacher EXPLAINED.
- He who, as he is “speaking the truth in love” continually labors, continually strives to see the “saints . . . grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the Head, even Christ.”
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Galatia, sternly reproving them for giving in to “false brethren who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.” These “false brethren” were teaching “a different gospel.” He reproved the Corinthian Christians for readily receiving false teachers who were intent by “craftiness” in leading their “minds . . . astray,” and to the acceptance of “another Jesus . . . a different spirit . . . another gospel.”
The “pastor and teacher” has a mandate from Christ: To see that the “saints” are set apart “in the truth,” preaching “the word . . . in season and out of season, that the “saints” may be “established in the faith,” brought to “a mature man.” He is constantly “in labor until Christ is formed in” them.