Last year our theme came from Ephesians 4:3 “Maintain the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” We encourage you to “Stay in F.O.C.U.S – Followers Of Christ United in the Spirit.” As God continues to lead us through Ephesians 4, verses 11-16 challenge us to grow mature and mighty in Christ. Not mighty in a way where we exert power and pride, but mighty in a way where we are strengthening our witness, our walk, our worship, and our work for the Lord Jesus Christ!
Let’s look at the passage with fresh eyes. I want you to observe how many times you see the following words: “mature,” “build/built,” “grow(s),” and “work(s).”
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
The author of Ephesians is encouraging the believers in the city of Ephesus to grow up. Staying young as spiritual babies in the faith will leave believers vulnerable to every wind of doctrine and crafty deception. Therefore, Paul, the writer, reminds us that the offices of apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers are a gift of spiritual leadership given to the church to equip the believers towards spiritual growth. This gift of spiritual leadership is to be deployed so that believers become mature and mighty in Christ learning how to minister in the power of Christ in a unified way so that the kingdom of God will be strong on the earth.
Allow me to ask you, how long have you been a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you feel like you are prepared and equipped to do the work of the ministry? If not, why not? What else do you need to become stronger in your faith and ready to serve as a mature minister of the gospel? Are you prepared to sustain your spiritual life and grow it up within yourselves and your family? Have you prepared and equipped those under your influence to grow in Christ and minister for Him?
My goal is to help you get there. The goal of our clergy and ministry leaders is to help you get there. I do not want you to be in the same place you are now spiritually one year from now. For you to grow and mature, you will have to make some commitments.
What will it take for you to grow in your faith, grow in unity, and grow in the knowledge of the Son of God, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ? (Ephesians 4:13) This is the 30th year of ministry for Bridgeway Community Church and we are indeed mature and mighty in Christ. However, we want more and more of those of you who call Bridgeway your spiritual home to become stronger, better, more mature, and more mighty in your faith and service to God through his Son, Jesus Christ.
We must keep growing deeper in Christ, better in Christ, stronger in Christ, and more loving in Christ! Our mightiness is not meant to be the exertion of power and pride, but to grow mighty in a way where we are strengthening our witness, our walk, our worship, and our work for the Lord Jesus Christ!
As a believer, ask yourself, am I becoming mature & mighty in Christ?
Let’s look at the passage again and see what God’s desire is. God desires that we do the following:
- Remain not as spiritual “infants” (v. 14).
- Refuse to be tossed about by the waves and winds of crafty schemes (v. 14).
- Reach maturity in our faith and works (v.15-16).
God wants us to be mature and mighty in our function, faith, fullness, fortitude, and fit. Check it out below:
- Mighty in function (“works of service” – v.11-12, 16)
- Mighty in faith (“unity of the faith” – v.13)
- Mighty in fullness (“fullness in Christ” – v.13)
- Mighty in fortitude (“no longer be spiritual infants tossed back and forth” – v.14)
- Mighty in fit (“love,” “joined,” “held together,” “supporting,” etc.- v. 15-16)
We can and will become mature & mighty together as each “supporting ligament grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (v. 16).
This is God’s desire. This is our theme. This is our 30th year of ministry trying to accomplish our mission to build into one another as we build bridges to our community! My prayer is that you are with me and ready to take on the challenge of growing spiritually and choosing practically three different ways you will commit to your Christian maturity from the list of 30 ways you can step up to the challenge. You can visit bridgeway.cc/thirty to see all of the challenges I have for you this year.
I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in and through you this year as you commit with me to become mature and mighty in Christ.
– Dr. David Anderson
Founding and Senior Pastor