Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Why Ephesians 4

Ephesians 4:11-16:
11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

14Then 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. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From 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 has been an interesting chapter for me. When I was contemplating the claims of the church I was struck by verse 14. I was struck by it because I could see I had been blown around by winds of teaching. I could see many others were worse than me. Chasing around the latest hot fad in Christianity. Verse 14 calls that a mark of immaturity. But what will be the answer? The word "then" indicates the preceding verses tell us how to avoid this trap. It talks about unity. It talks about serving the body of Christ. Doing the job Jesus wants us to do. Not the job we want but what builds up the body. That is how we become mature. That is how we get the fullness of Christ.

What do we do instead of being tossed back and forth by the waves? We speak the truth in love. How are those opposites? We don't fly around thinking maybe this guy has the truth or maybe that guy has the truth. We can speak the truth. We must speak it in love. That is how we grow into Christ. The head of that body.

Pauls uses the phrase "in Christ" a lot. What does that look like? It involves being joined with other Christians who all play a role. Some are ligaments. So close unity is important here. Paul has just talked about one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Every time I thought about the rock from Matthew 16 I was struck by how it seemed the exact opposite of "being tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching". That if we wanted to really grow up we needed a solid foundation. Not chasing something better but standing firm and letting Jesus build His church.

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