Ephesians 4:11-16 ( NKJV )
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Yesterday we talked about the need to come to the “unity of the faith” or the unity of what we believe. The world is looking for a people who know what they believe and live what they believe. In order for this to happen we must be in an atmosphere where we are consistently hearing the Word of God. It is particularly important that we be hearing what the local leadership is preaching as this is the word that God has designed for you and your family. The unity of the faith is not a unity with all Christians in the world, but a unity among those that you are in relationship with.
Today I want to look at some other things from this verse. All are benefits of being rooted in the house of God. The first thing we see is that we are to grow up. It is not the will of God that we be immature in our Christian walk. God expects us to grow. We need to grow in our knowledge of God. We need to grow in our abilities in faith. We need to grow in our character and integrity. This verse speaks of a “perfect man” and measuring up to the fullness of the stature of Christ. That seems like an awfully tall order sometimes, and yet it is what Paul says is expected.
The end result is that we will not be tossed about by the “winds of doctrine. We will not be deceived by the trickery of men. The picture here is of a mature stable person who knows who he is in Christ and is walking that knowledge out in daily life. Since he is not deceived he is in control and successful in his walk. If this is desirable in natural life, how much more that we seek this maturity in our spiritual life.
The benefits of adulthood are many fold. Sometimes we long for the simplicity of childhood. We had no responsibilities. We were taken care of. That can sound good, and there is a time when we are first saved that God allows us to be children. The problem with childhood is that it is limited and unproductive. When we grow up in the natural we trade the carefree nature of childhood for the expanded potential of adulthood. We can do more things. We can travel farther from home. We can make our own decisions and choices. More important we have the opportunity to have impact in our world. The same is true in the spirit.
God desires that we grow up and be adult Christians with the capability to experience the Lord on an adult level He also has a work for us to do and as stable adult Christians we have the capability to affect the world around us. Childhood is wonderful but we were not designed by God to stay children. How does God intend for us to accomplish this growth? We are right back to active involvement in local church.
Of course part of the equation is the input of the 5 fold ministry in our lives. However this verse indicates something else. We come to maturity as the whole body is fit together with every joint supplying what it is designed to supply. We need each other. We need to interact and allow the rough edges we all have to rub against themselves until we are smoothed out. We need to speak the truth in love to one another so that each of us can benefit by what the other has to offer. As we encourage, exhort and sometimes correct each other we grow together in Christ unto the adult church made of adult members that God intends for us to be.
Again all of this is done in love or it produces strife not growth. This love is the putting of my brother or sister’s need above my own need or convenience. As long as love is reigning we will see growth in our own lives and growth and maturity in the church of God. This is what our world needs from us. This is what Jesus always intended for His body. Don’t shy away from commitment to the local house of God. It is the vehicle through which you will fulfill that call of God on your life and through which you will grow up in Christ in all things.
I will be traveling in Indonesia for the next month and will post as often as I can. Check back daily as I will be sharing some aspects of the trip. Once again I would appreciate your feedback at Info@livingwordgreene.com.