TEXT: Ephesians 4:11-16
READING: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31
SUBJ: The necessity of truth and love being found together and being the basis of sound doctrine.
AIM: That we might attain to that which anchors us in the midst of every wind of doctrine.
INTR: We shall examine a fundamental teaching of the scripture as to sound doctrine and the place of its application in the local church.
1. Religion is big business in America and there is a proliferation of doctrines, plans, programs and schemes. Men seem intent on reinventing the Bible to suit their own ideas.
2. The Word of God is consistent in its design so that it is true in every age. Compare the steadfastness of the early church Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
3. Consider the gift of God in the person of various ministries (vv. 11-12) and consider the conditions that God blessed then and will bless now. We would seek God’s way of salvation, not the inventions of men to win the world to Christ.
THESIS: Those who cling to the Love of Christ and the doctrine that is centered in Christ are not affected by the “winds” that move many.
I. Consider then the objective standards that anchor believers (v. 13)
1. These are the standards that should be the objective of every local church ministry
2. They are:
1) The unity of the faith. Consider such references as “like precious faith” and “the faith once delivered unto the saints.” This necessarily involves Who is trusted, why He is trusted and personal commitment to the same.
2) The knowledge of the Son of God. Consider Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. See, also, the assessment of Peter and Paul concerning knowing Him in Philippians 3 and 2 Peter 3.
3) A Perfect Man. This is a reference to maturity as opposed to childishness. Colossians 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
4) The measure of the stature of Christ – literally the coming of age of Christ in us.
3. Consider then the divine purpose. Jeremiah 32:38-39 38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: 39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: AND Zephaniah 3:9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.
4. S.F. Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. – The model church in Acts cannot be improved upon by programs, schemes etc. Neither Jesus nor His concept of the church has changed.
5. 1 Timothy 1:10 – that which is contrary to sound doctrine; 2 Timothy 4:3 – will not endure sound doctrine; Titus 1:9 – to exhort gainsayers by sound doctrine; Titus 2:1 – that which becomes sound doctrine.
II. Every wind of doctrine (v. 14) – Ex. “the purpose driven life.”
1. That we be not children (as to knowledge, judgments and being subject to temptations) 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
2. S.A. Hebrews 5:12-14 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
3. The effects of the wind are seen on ships without ballast, little boats.
4. Being the devices of those that would deceive:
1) The effect is to create insecurity
2) Their method is deceit.
3) Their motive is to usurp the authority of Christ and put themselves into a position as mediator. Quite simply, they add to the Word of God.
III. Speaking the truth in love (vv. 15-16)
1. There is no sound doctrine that separates the two. The claims of truth without love are hard and philosophical. The claims of love without truth are empty.
2. The metaphor here is profound using the example of the human body – we grow up into Him – the Head. It is comprehensive – “all things.”
3. Consider the nature of bodily function: nerves, blood vessels, and the work of the various members.
4. The body is able to edify (build up) itself.
5. None of this occurs in the absence of love – Read the scriptures and see that the love of Christ is a universal theme that walks hand in hand with the sovereignty of God.