Ephesians 4:11-16 – “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 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; 14 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, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — 16 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.” NKJV
Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Too frequently in modern Christendom we see schisms, sects, divisions, dissension and division with each group claiming to be THE GROUP with the truth. We often strain at gnats and swallow camels arguing over petty points of doctrine that we have made majors and miss the purpose of the Church of Jesus Christ. That has always been disturbing to me.
I recall early in my years of ministry having a weekly radio program and the program just before and just after spent their entire time blasting our program and message. We, to them, were the enemy not the devil. Their purpose was to persuade people that we were in error rather than presenting what they believed to be truth and seeking to minister to the lost, hurting and dying in our community. Their efforts, according to the station management, attracted more listeners to our program than any program on the station. We simply attempted to present Jesus and called for people to receive Him. The fact that we were identified as being members of a particular denomination was enough to bring on the attacks from the other programs. That is not the message of the Bible or the intent of our LORD in building His church.
Sadly, too many in the Body of Christ want to be the head, the visible, the prominent but God did not make all apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors or teachers. He has given each of us a gift(s) and assignment(s) that if we will seek to fulfill those the Body of Christ will be advanced and the Church will be built as never before. The desire of God is UNITY but the pride and prejudice of man produces DISUNITY. Too often we are tossed about on the winds of doctrinal differences and our dissensions, serve to detract and become distractions that prevent people from receiving the Gospel message. As one fabled atheist once said, “If people want me to believe in their redeemer they must appear more redeemed.” There is a lesson to be learned in that for all of us.
The purpose of the gifts or gift ministries in the Body of Christ is to equip believers for service and ministry. They are designed to edify the Body bringing us into UNITY of the Faith and knowledge of the Son of God bringing us to spiritual maturity. As we become spiritually mature we should put away childish things and discern the trickery and schemes of the devil recognizing that those contrary winds that man majors on are secondary to the foundational truths of the Gospel. As we lay aside differences and allow the Holy Spirit through the work of wise master builders to fitly frame and join us together as a unified body (Church) we find that the Church becomes a force for God, continually healing and strengthening itself and perpetually builds itself up in love!
The Church Jesus came to build and is building is not sectarian it is Christian. When we understand that none of us have a corner on truth and none of us know all truth we will realize that we need each other. Jesus said to the disciples who reported someone were working miracles in the Name of Jesus but were not following them, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.” [Luke 9:50]
Rather than major on minors, receive others who have received Christ Jesus through the remissions of sins by faith as brothers and sisters and fellow members of the Body of Christ. We all have preferences in life and in matters spiritual it is no different. In the minors do not be closed minded but in foundational truths be committedly strong.
Blessings as you go through this day!