A Generation Matures
This study will focus on the prophetic
promises that state that the church will mature.
We will identify obstacles we must overcome in order to mature.
We will see what maturity looks like and what it will produce.
Prophecies of the churches development
Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church.”
“build” is the Greek word “oikodomeo.”
It means “to build” as in “building a house.”
Matthew 13:31-32, “The kingdom
of heaven is like a mustard seed,
which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds,
yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree,
so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”
This parable speaks of external growth
of the kingdom of God in the church age as
external and seen by all the nations.
Matthew 13:33, “The kingdom of
heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into
a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
The yeast does not speak of growth
but of influence in all areas of the world.
It is not loud, but gradually but surely spreads everywhere in the dough.
John 13:35, “All men will know. . .if you love one another.”
John 17:18, “As you sent me into
the world, I have sent them into the world.”
John 14-17 “world” is used 38 times.
John 17:21, “That all of them may be one. . .May they be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
Jesus intention was that the church would also attract the world.
Romans 11:11,13, “Rather because
of their (Israel’s) transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles
to make Israel envious. I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles,
I make much of my ministry in the hope I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them."
Israel is to become envious when
it sees the church having “adoption as sons,” having the “divine glory,”
the new “covenant” etc. All the things that belonged to Israel in the Old Testament. (Romans 9:4)
Revelation 2:5, “Repent and do the things you did at first.”
Becoming like Ephesus in Acts 19
> in-depth doctrinal teaching,
> extraordinary signs,
> massive outreach to surrounding communities, and
> changing societies values and life style.
Revelation 3:1,2, “You are dead.
Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die,
for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.”
Spoken to the church of Sardis which
is prophetic of the reformation in 1517.
Finish the work of the church.
Revelation 3:8, “See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.”
Spoken to the church of Philadelphia which is prophetic of the 1700-1800’s. Go!
Ephesians 4:4, “There is one body
and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when
you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all
and through all and in all.”
4:11, Jesus gave postions
of leadership in the church to assist people in attaining maturity
as one body made up of individual believers
4:12, These leadership positions
are to “prepare God’s people for works of service”
“Prepare” is the Greek word “katartismon” and “is a medical technical term for the setting of a bone.”
The noun describes the dynamic act by which persons or things are properly conditioned.
The word speaks of equipping and then placing.
Leadership is the placement and equipping of people for the work of the ministry.
4:12, goes on to say the leadership
is placing and equipping people so that the
“body of Christ may be built up.”
The word for “built up” is “oikodoman.”
This is the same Greek word used when Jesus said, “I will build (oikodomeo) my church.
People doing the work will cause the church to be built through the process of
development and growth as Jesus said in Matthew 16.
4:13, “become mature” is “teleion
Which means “perfect man” or “mature man” “teleion” is “that which has reached
the set goal, perfect, mature” “andoa” is “a male person.”
It is never a female.(“anthropos” is general word “mankind”)
4:13, “attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
“whole measure” is “metron halikias”
“metron” is “that which is used for measuring.”
A vessel or graduated rod for measuring. “halikias” is “age, full age, ripeness of age.
Verse 12 “build up” is stature, verse 13 is character.
Verse 12 is assembling, verse 13 is function.
This indicates that the church will
become mature at the level that it fills up the
measuring vessel that is used to evaluate maturity.
That vessel is none other than Jesus Christ in his ministry.
The church will mature in character and function as Christ did.
This is what it
will look like:
The perfecting gifts . . . . .place and equip people for work
The people . . . . . . . . . . . build and develop the church
The body develops. . . . . .maturity is:
a) unity in the faith
b) unity in the knowledge of the Son of God
c) reach maturity
d) function as Christ did on the earth
This is what it will
not look like:
(“You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk being still an infant
is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for
the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish food
from evil.” Hebrews 5:13-14)
b) People tossed back and forth by the waves
c) People blown here and there by every wind of teaching
d) People blown by cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
Love: The Supporting Ligament
Ephesians 4:16 “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.”
Love holds the body of many parts
Love enables the variety of parts to move together.