How did you learn how to read, write and do math? How did you learn how to cook or drive the car? How did you know how to raise your children or work at the job you currently have? All of us have been equipped by others to do even the simplest tasks in life. Even the DIY (“Do-it-yourself”) projects we take on are the product of learning from someone, even if it is the someone behind a book or TV show.
Father Bryan Owen wrote the following:
Tertullian, one of the crabbiest of the early church fathers, once said in a sermon, “Christians are made, not born. Christianity does not come naturally. You don’t get Christians out of people’s loins [something I would never say in a sermon!], you get Christians out of the baptismal font.” This faith is not primarily a matter of digging down deep within yourself, thinking it through, closing your eyes and trying real hard to believe. This faith is something that is told to you, given to you, lived before you, a gift .
From the day Adam was created and placed in the Garden of Eden to care for it (Genesis 2:15) to the leadership of Moses and the formation of Israel to the calling of those twelve disciples to this very day, God has been birthing and gifting His people and even more importantly, equipping them for service within God’s redemptive mission.
One cannot just be baptized or come to faith and stop there. It’s like remaining a baby all your life. We were not created to remain babies or even children.
God’s Word clearly states the purpose of life:
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. – Ephesians 4
Parents equip their children in many ways, but the most important equipping happens as they read and discuss those stories of faith in the Bible, pray with their children and bring them into the life of the church.
The community of the church equips children, young people and adults through Sunday school, confirmation, in adult studies, worship and through various experiences and training which prepares people to serve God and neighbour. The goal of equipping is that we together might know our place in the body of Christ and with others, become Christ-like.
To be equipped is not optional. From the beginning to the end of life we are to learn and grow in all aspects of life, but most importantly, to learn and grow in our relationship with the Triune God and with His people, the Church.
To be equipped is not optional, but is the Spirit-led desire of all who have been born again by water and the Spirit. It is a life long journey of walking with Christ and with His people, so that we can live life together, serve others and bear witness to the Source of life, Jesus Christ.
How is your life being equipped for God’s purposes?
We pray that God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit would move and equip you to grow in faith, love and obedience to God’s will in Christ Jesus our Lord.