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. For our work to be effectual, we must be involved in four things:
- Learning – to work effectually, we must learn some things. We must learn to hear, fear, obey and know God.
- Training – to work effectually, we must be trained to do some things. We are trained best by the example of, instruction of, and entrustment from others who train us.
- Serving – to work effectually, we must serve the body with what we have learned and in what we have been trained to do. We must serve with a servant’s heart, attitude, and character. If we forget these things, our work in not as effectual.
- 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 imparting. Effectual working requires imparting.
Imparting increases helpers – 2 Tim 2:2 – we are to take what we have learned and teach it to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also. Every part of the body is to be involved in the effectual working of the body, according to Eph 4:15-16. So, the more people helping in the work, the more capacity the body has to make increase unto the edifying of itself in love. In discipleship, for instance, Randy, Tony, and I have each been discipling others in the church. Now, it would be good for some who have been discipled to “teach others also.” If you teach what you have been taught, there will be more people discipling others and, therefore, more people discipled. We have noticed that those who have been discipled are more likely to be involved in the work of the ministry and to be faithful.
Imparting assures constancy – 2 Tim 3:10-15 – Paul wrote, “continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.” Imparting what you have learned to others keeps the work in the body from changing. Men seem to always want to change their methods and techniques in the ministry. It’s as if we need a new way of doing things in order to be effective. Yet, I have found that whatever worked in the Bible is what still works best today. God’s plan is the best plan. You need God’s word, God’s power, God’s wisdom, God’s Holy Spirit, and God’s presence to work effectually. I was taught that God preserved his word, Ps 12:6-7; I have taught you the same thing. The apostles gave themselves to prayer and the ministry of the word, Acts 6:4. I was taught that those are the two most important things we can do as preachers. I have taught you the same thing. The Holy Spirit gave the disciples power to witness, Acts 1:8. I was taught that the Holy Spirit is the one who witnesses through us. I have taught you the same thing. And on this goes. God is able to do his work through his word, his Spirit, and his people when we do what he told us to do nearly 2,000 years ago.
Imparting provides continuity – 2 Tim 4:1-6 – Paul wrote, “the time of my departure is at hand.” He left and Timothy was still here to carry on the work. The work in the body keeps going past our labor. At this stage of my life I am more aware of this fact than any time before. Someone must carry on the work when we are gone or are no longer able. It is our desire to impart what we have been given to those who will continue the work and impart what they have been given to others, as well. Moses was succeeded by Joshua. Elijah was succeeded by Elisha. Jesus was succeeded by his apostles. Paul was succeeded by Timothy. There must always be someone to carry on in the work. God may not have someone to carry on in this work at Bible Believers Baptist Church, but he will always have someone to carry on in his work till Jesus comes. Jesus said, “Occupy till I come.”
Conclusion: We want to impart what we have been given to those who will labor with us and impart what you receive to others who will continue the work of the Lord, his way. Without imparting the effectual work of a generation to the next generation, that generation’s work dies with that generation. We don’t want that to happen.