In Ephesians 4, the office of teacher is given to equip the saints for the work of ministry that they might grow to maturity.
Scripture: John 15:1-17
- In Ephesians 4, the office of teacher is given to equip the saints for the work of ministry that they might grow to maturity.
- We are all called to be ministers of Christ to the world, no matter our occupations.
- The metaphor of the vine in Psalm 80 speaks of Israel being planted by God and being sent to bless the nations.
- The vineyard was a symbol of God’s blessing and peace.
- In His judgment God stops pruning, and briars and thorns grow up (Isaiah 5). In times of blessing, God’s word goes out and regenerates (Isaiah 55).
- In John 15, Jesus is the true vine, who sends forth branches (disciples) for the blessing of the nations.
- God’s Word is the instrument of pruning, and this pruning is evidence of God’s mercy and grace toward His people.
- Branches are cut back to grow stronger and to bear fruit.
- In God’s judgment upon the church He will remove faithful teachers, leaving the unfaithful church to error and decay.
- Believers are to admonish one another in love, but there are also teachers who are given to us by God both for edification and for pruning.
- When the plant is cut back, it becomes stronger; so the church comes back stronger as God’s Word is applied.
- The purpose of discipline is that we may share in God’s holiness and that we might bear the peaceful fruit of righteousness (Hebrews 12:10-11).
- The fruit we are called to bear is holiness and righteousness.
- We are to submit to the pruning shears. We are called to obedience: “Abide in my love” (John 15:9, 10).
- Obedience is the proper response to the teaching of the church. We are to be transformed into holiness (v.14).
- God’s Word is not merely rules; it is the revelation of God’s character and His purposes for the world.
- God calls us into obedience, that we may know His love and His joy, and bear the fruit of righteousness (Rom 16).
- Our calling is to serve the nations, bringing God’s blessing.
- God’s commandments to us are a gift, not a burden; by responding in obedience we enter into His love and joy.
- We are to admonish one another, and to grow up in faith and love. But in Ephesians 4, Paul says we are to speak the truth in love, not cut one another down with machetes.
- We have been chosen and appointed to bear the peaceful fruit of righteousness in a hostile and wicked world.
- What is God’s purpose in giving teachers to the church?
- What is signified when God removed faithful teaching?
- What are the conditions for removal from the vine? What are the conditions for pruning? See John 15.
- How is God’s pruning of His people an evidence of His grace toward us?
- What is the result or goal of God’s pruning in our lives?
- What does it mean to abide in Christ? Is it optional?
- How should we view God’s discipline in our lives based on Hebrews 12:3-11?
- What is our responsibility among believers to admonish one another, and how can we ensure it is done “in love?”
- What is God’s purpose in calling us to obedience?
- How are we active in our roles as ministers of Christ?