In our message, EVERY PART DOES ITS SHARE (Eph. 4:11-16), we continued Paul’s discussion on gifts from Christ to the church. The Bible says, “to each” Christian, the risen Jesus has given at least one gift (Eph. 4:7-10; 1 Cor. 12:7, 11, Rom. 12:3-8, etc.).

To lay “the foundation” of the church, Jesus first made “some to be apostles” (Eph. 2:20; 3:5; 4:11a, etc.). Apostles wrote much of the New Testament (NT), performed miracles, had to see Christ in resurrected form and told others about Him from their eyewitness accounts (Acts 1:21-22; 9:40; 19:11-12; 1 Cor. 15:8-9; 1 Pet. 1:1; Rom. 1:1; 1 John 1:1-4, etc.). As such, the office of apostleship ended with John around AD 98 (John 21:20-23). NT prophets, along with the apostles, explained “the mystery” of the church and laid its “foundation” (Eph. 2:20; 3:2-6, 9-10; 1 Cor. 13:2, etc.). In a time when the Gospels and epistles had not yet been written down, God used them to provide special “edification… exhortation, and comfort” to believers (1 Cor. 14:3; Acts 11:28; 21:9-11, etc.). However, with the completed Bible (canon) which is God-breathed, sufficient, authoritative and inerrant, the office of NT prophet is no longer being used by God in this era (i.e. “God… spoke in time past… by the prophets, [but] has in these last days spoken by His Son…” Heb. 1:1-2; John 1:14; Eph. 2:20; 3:5; 4:11a, etc.).

If you encounter a church with so-called ‘apostles’ or ‘prophets’ today, RUN! (Jude 3-4, Gal. 2:4, 21; 2 Pet. 1:3; Rev. 22:18-19, etc.) That is a mark of a cult and something God wants to keep His “children” safe from (Eph. 4:14; 1 Cor. 10:12-14; 1 Pet. 5:8, etc.).

To counter such errors and build up the body of Christ today, Jesus also gave the church “some” people to be “evangelists” and also “some [men to be] pastors and teachers” (Eph. 4:11b; 13, 15b; 1 Tim. 3:1, etc.). Evangelists like missionaries today proclaim glad tidings- the Gospel (Acts 21:8; Eph. 2:8-9; Matt. 28:18-20, etc.), and pastors today lead and shepherd the local assemblies of believers in the verse-by-verse teaching of the Bible handed down to us through the apostles by God (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-20; Acts 20:28; 2 Thes. 2:15, etc.). This “equips” all Christians to use their special gifts for “the work of the ministry” by “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:12, 15a; Rom. 12:9; John 1:14, etc.). “EVERY PART” is to do “ITS SHARE” and each “joint” is to build up the other in God’s holy “love” (Eph. 4:13, 15b-16; Titus 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:13, etc.).