Original Research - Special Collection: Theological perspectives on the Presbyterial church governance system

Begeleiding en toerusting tot goeie werke as noodsaaklike deel van gemeentebediening

Gert Breed
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 58, No 1 | a3065 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v58i1.3065 | © 2024 Gert Breed | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 February 2024 | Published: 30 April 2024

About the author(s)

Gert Breed, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Abstract

Leading and equipping people for good deeds as a crucial part of parish ministry. The article examines the role that equipment for good works, as an integral part of church ministry, can play in revitalising and help congregations to grow. The investigation is conducted through an exegetical analysis of Ephesians 2, focusing on verse 10. The results of the study of Ephesians are then compared with other Scriptures where good works are mentioned. From this research, it becomes clear that good works do not play a role in the justification and salvation of believers, because it is solely the work of God’s undeserved grace. However, good works are an integral part of God’s purpose in his redemption of humanity. Humanity is not saved by good works but rather unto good works. According to Ephesians, good works serve to proclaim the greatness of God’s grace towards believers. God prepares the good works for believers. Believers are enabled to do good works through the gifts that Christ and the Spirit give them, and the equipment they receive through the special services. From the Gospels, it is evident that good works were a characteristic of Jesus’ mission, and therefore also the calling of his disciples. In the pastoral letters, good works are described as part of Christ’s purpose for which He acquired a people for Himself. The ultimate goal of equipping from the Word, is the ability to do good works. Therefore, good works testify to maturity in faith, reliability, and dedication. A lack of good works puts a question mark on someone’s faith. The conclusion from the research is that deliberate equipping of members to actively do good works, should be an integral part of church ministry. Each member of the congregation should be held responsible for using the opportunities that God creates for them, to do good works. The lack of a structured ministry of equipping members for distributing God’s grace by good works, can be a leading cause of stagnation and decline in congregations.

Contribution: The article contributes to practical theological reflection on ministry in the church through in-depth exegetical analysis and comparison of Scripture with Scripture. The place of equipping for good works, which is often overlooked in reformed circles, is highlighted here.


Keywords

Leading; equipping; good works; parish ministry; exegesis; Ephesians; Evangelical; Pastoral letters

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

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