Why is it so hard to be in real unity with the whole church? What's the point? Keep Reading…
Ephesians 4:4-13 - There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to one hope when you were called– one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says:
“When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.”
(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions ? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until 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.
Why is it often so difficult to achieve unity in the body of Christ? First, it is easy for us to forget the purpose of our unity. When a group of people do not have purpose, unity quickly disintegrates. The purpose of our unity is not to get along and be nice to each other. It is to care for Jesus' body. It is to ensure that his body shines out to the unbelieving world, attracting them toward relationship with Jesus.
It is when our primary focus rests on individual gifts and roles that our unity begins to unravel. If our purpose is completely wrapped up in making Jesus shine, we would do anything to make it happen. We would put aside petty differences. We would lay down the right to exercise our gifts. We would serve in any role with humility… if our whole purpose revolved around the most worthy One in the universe.
We can only know our true individual purpose in the context of Jesus' body. Are you actively fitting into his body? Or do you prefer independence? Ask the Spirit to show you if your focus is on self or on doing anything needed to make Jesus shine.
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