Ephesians 4:11-16

How many of you reading this today have read the Bible from beginning to end? How about more than once? I can’t say that I have gotten through every verse yet. Why? I wish I had a better explanation for you other than I just haven’t gotten to it yet. I think part of it is how unbelievably confusing the Bible can be to read and understand. So, let’s ask this next question. How many of you understand everything that you have read in your Bible? Emphasis is put on the word EVERYTHING. If you and 99 other people all read the same exact passage in the Bible, there is likely to be 100 different interpretations of that same scripture. We all bring our own life experiences to the table as we read and interpret scripture, or any other book for that matter. And since no two people’s life experiences are exactly alike, each person will have a slightly or significantly different take on what is being said. Just look at our current political situation and how people interpret the words of our current sitting president. 

In these six verses in Ephesians, we hear of the people who Jesus appointed to be our role models for how to live. The apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers were GIVEN TO US so that we might better understand what it means to be a faithful follower of Christ. It also demonstrates that we can’t do this faith thing alone. We need each other to lean on, to talk to and listen to, to debate with, and to read and study together. Guided by the words and actions of the “characters” of the Bible, and also the Holy Spirit, we can become more mature in our faith. We can make more sense of what God has in store for us with the help of all of these people. And that is why we need to continue to read and study scripture, and to engage in Bible study groups. It is also why it is important to be part of a church. To surround ourselves with other people of faith, to learn from and grow with each other. Then we have more of a fighting chance at not being “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.”