The Latter Ministry of the Apostle John
Week 5 --- The Perfecting of the Saints unto the Work of the Ministry
Friday --- Scripture Reading: Eph. 4:11-13
“And they said to one another, Was not our heart burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was opening to us the Scriptures?” (Luke 24:32)
Last week we spoke about earnestly desiring the gift of prophesying. To prophesy is firstly to speak for God. A further step is to speak God , that is, to express Him in our words. A third step is to speak God by bringing Him into the spirit of the hearer. This is our experience. We begin speaking for God, that is, allowing God to speak in us. In the second place, we speak God Himself. Eventually, our goal is that He would enter into people’s spirits through our speaking.
For example, when the saints are studying the Bible, enjoying the Daily Food, pray-reading the word and having fellowship among themselves in a family group meeting, this is to speak for God. All those in this meeting can participate in this. When a brother lives by the Spirit, the word of God is within him. When He comes to the meeting he can share, that is, speak the God that is in him and many enjoy Him. This is very good, but he needs to take a further step, which is to speak God into people. This is to dispense God. It is not to transmit something into people’s minds, but to dispense God into their spirits.
When the saints prophesy, we realize, “The word of God came to me.” Just a few words and we know, “Oh! God spoke to me.” A few more words and we say, “These words touched my spirit and came into me.” Therefore we must all prophesy, that is, we must dispense God into people when we speak.
When Paul covers the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry in Ephesians 4, he pays special attention to the ministry of the word. Initially, speaking for God begins as a gift. Later, the more we speak, the more grace we receive. When we dispense God into people’s spirits through what we speak, then it has become a ministry. We experience Christ more abundantly after it becomes a ministry. The more we speak for God and the more we dispense Him into people’s spirits, the more our ministry is perfected, because it comes from grace.
When we use our gift, we receive grace and it becomes a ministry. When we exercise our ministry, we receive more grace, that is, we have more of Christ. This eventually becomes the fullness of grace. We enjoy grace, and the more grace we enjoy, the more we know Christ. The result is in Ephesians 4:13, which says, “Until we all arrive at the oneness of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, at a full-grown man, at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” So now there are no other things; all that remains is the oneness of the faith, that is, only Christ.
Verse 13 tells us that we need to grow unto the full knowledge of the Son of God and be full-grown men. However much we know the Son of God determines how much we have grown in life. To know the Son of God is to receive grace, and when we are full of Christ, we are like Him. In such a way, not only do we build up the Body of Christ, but we even cause there to be the spread of this Body. In the past our growth was very peculiar. We had many of our own things. Now, however, the more we know Christ, the more grace we have, and the things of the old man and the natural things are removed.
Grow in life until we arrive at the oneness of the faith
Where does a ministry come from?