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, - Ephesians 4:11-13
As the saints, we are to work to build up the body of Christ, so that we all have unity in our faith and knowledge of Jesus ~ to mature manhood. I've always read this to mean us ~ until we're mature, as individuals. But that's not exactly what it’s saying. It's saying we are to work toward maturing the body of Christ to act as Christ acted - as a whole. That's a hard concept to get our heads around, so let me say it as John Piper says it: The aim of the ministry is not just that individuals be built up, but that the body take on a personality like Christ's and a strength like Christ's and a love like Christ's and a spirit like Christ's. We cannot stop because we are maturing, we must continue to work until all believers mature and are acting as one unified body.
We have a long way to go. There is still quite a bit of dissension and division in our churches. People leave churches all the time because they disagree with a teaching, or they don’t like how they were treated. Churches act in such hurtful and wrong ways in the name of Jesus - they twist His Word and harshly judge others when they should be displaying a love like Christ. We are far from being a unified body of believers.
This directive means all of us will need to become teachers if we are to train and mature the entire body. We must allow His Spirit and His Word to continue to mature us, then we must take what we have learned out into the world and teach others until our entire church is acting as one Spirit-filled body of Christ. That’s a huge undertaking, but we are called to do it, so we must personally ponder how God would have us work toward this goal in our own lives.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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