By Randy Keene
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Minor Hill
Focal Passage: Ephesians 4:1-7,11-16
In this week’s lesson, the writer points out that when we come to Christ, not only do we become part of the body of Christ but now we have an obligation to support each other. Christians are not meant to go this journey alone.
Little Johnny came home with a few friends from school. Mom asked, “What are you boys up to?” “We’re just playing war Mom,” was the response. Later she made some cookies and milk, stepped out back and they were all sitting down under the shade tree. “I thought you boys were playing war,” she said, Her son replied, “we are Mom. We are all generals.”
In the church we know today, we have a lot of “generals” and few foot soldiers. Paul tried to express to the church this was a team effort and that the team needed all the players to play their position and play it well.
Paul says in our text “making every effort …” I heard a preacher say once, “He made us different so that He might make us one.” Look at the virtues Paul lists: humility, gentleness, patience and bearing one another in love. In my 25 years of pastoring churches, I can humbly say that we, as a church, need to be more effective when disunity erupts. Remember, blessed are the peacemakers.
The truth is that we work for the benefit of others in the body of Christ. The things that make Jesus who He is should be a reflection of the local New Testament church. If the outside community hears of or sees a church united, then glory be to God. If not, then shame on us.
In the next section of text we have a description of some of the offices in the church — prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastors and teachers. I suggest a good study on each office with the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message. God has given gifts to each believer. It was your birthday present when you got saved.
Sometimes the trouble for the local pastor is that some of the church members either haven’t figured their gift out yet or they just never have unwrapped it.
Either way, it affects the body of believers, and pastors should encourage the membership to deploy their gifts and work together for the good of the church.
Paul ends this point by telling everyone what would happen if we could all come together. With the church growing and glowing, we will no longer be like little children. I don’t need to elaborate on that do I?
With the gifts being properly used for the glory of God it will promote unity and love that will make for a healthy church. The body will grow as people use their gifts and because of healthy growth we see greater things come forward.