Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Unity Series: The Body, part 1

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 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. Ephesians 4:14-16 (NIV)

The body builds up the body. The believers in the body build up the body.

How?

Notice, “the whole body” is the church. “Every joint and ligament” are all the saints in the body and the body grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work.

The pastors build up the body only in that they are to train all parts of the body to build itself up and that they themselves are part of the body.

Truth and love are the ingredients in this growth into unity.

At present, the church at large is a dismembered body. The fault is in the lack of truth and the lack of love by the members of the body. The evangelists, pastors and teachers are to give very much truth with very much love to the members of the body which the members, in turn, then give to each other.

Love without truth is a body without bones. Truth without love is a body of nothing but bones. It is also possible to have “pretend love” and falsehood mixed with truth. We see all of this in the church today.

Here is a clear sequence towards unity:

1. It was He who gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers;
2. to prepare God’s people for the work of the ministry;
3. so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV)

The key words are, “so that.”

The direct cause of unity is God’s people doing the work of the ministry. The body of Christ builds up the body of Christ. It is not the pastor’s job. His job is to prepare God’s people to do their job.


(Taken from Day & Night: Unity Series, 2003)

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