Eph 4:15-16 says, “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
For the body to increase unto the edifying of itself in love, there must be effectual working in the measure of every part. Tonight we want to discuss effectual working. For our work to be effectual, we must be involved in four things:
- Learning – to work effectually, we must learn some things.
- Training – to work effectually, we must be trained to do some things.
- Serving – to work effectually, we must serve the body with what we have learned and in what we have been trained to do.
- Imparting – to work effectually, we must pass on to others what we have learned and been trained to do by teaching and training them.
Tonight we want to talk about learning. Effectual working requires learning.
We must learn to hear God – at an early age, children should start learning the words of God, 2 Tim 3:15. They should apply themselves daily to knowing what God said. Jesus knew these words perfectly. When he was 12 “all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers,” Lk 2:47. In Jn 7:15, “the Jews marveled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” He didn’t have their formal education. God taught him. Is 50:4 shows you how Jesus learned, “he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” And don’t think that God won’t teach you or your children. The Holy Spirit “shall teach you all things,” Jn 14:26. In Lk 10:21 Jesus thanked his Father because, “thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed then unto babes.” Did you see that? He revealed them unto babes. Therefore, “as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby,” 1 Pet 2:2. There is no effectual working without a knowledge of the Bible.
We must learn to fear God – when God spoke to Moses in Horeb, he said, “Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.” David said in Ps 34:11, “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: and I will teach you the fear of the Lord.” We must fear God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” Prov 9:10. If you don’t fear God, you will never be able to teach your children the fear of God. There is no effectual working without the fear of God.
We must learn to obey God – it’s one thing to know what God said, it’s still another to obey him. In Deut 5:1, Moses said to Israel, “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep them, and do them.” The Lord always wants us to do what he said. Jesus always did what his Father told him to do. Heb 5:8 says, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” Imagine how important it must be that we learn obedience if Jesus had to learn it. Phil 2:8 says, “he became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Obedience will often be accompanied by and accomplished through suffering. You must be willing for your children to suffer to learn obedience. There is no effectual working without obeying God.
We must learn to know God – there is a general of ignorance of God among young people. They just don’t know who he is. They may be saved but they are clueless about God. And that’s because they haven’t applied themselves to learning to know God. For most of them, their altar could be inscribed, “To the Unknown God,” Acts 17:23. You must learn to know him. You might ask, “How can I know God?” In Matt 11:27, Jesus said, “neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” Jesus will reveal God to you if you care to know him. Jer 9:24 shows you that we can know and understand God. There is no effectual working apart from knowing God.
Conclusion: Do you want to be part of a body where your work is effectual and contributes to the body increasing unto the edifying of itself in love? Do you hope that your children will want to be a part of that body? Then you and they must apply yourselves to learning to hear God, fear God, obey God, and know God. When you hear him, fear him, obey him and know him, he can use you in his body to help it grow up in to him in all things.