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Devotional - week of December 10, 2006


unity through truth and service

  

And He Himself gave 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 … Ephesians 4:11-13a

 

The New Testament and observation of today’s church life indicate a strong need for a continual emphasis on the theme of Christian unity. In Jesus’ great prayer found in John 17, He repeatedly asked the Father for oneness among His followers.

 

Ephesians 4: 11-13a is one of many passages of Scripture that deals with the theme of oneness in the church. This passage says that church unity begins with God’s gift of pastor-teachers to the churches. It is essential that we give appropriate attention to the word “teachers.” When God gives a church a pastor who is a teacher, the first essential component for church unity is in place.

 

The responsibility of a God-given pastor who is also a teacher is to equip the members of the church to do the work of the ministry.

 

Teaching a person basic biblical theology is important in preparing him for the ministry. However, sound theology is not all the preparation one needs. A believer is equipped for the ministry by knowing how to permit Jesus to minister through him.

 

When a believer experiences his oneness with Christ, Jesus ministers through him.

 

The result of Christians walking in oneness with Christ is the building up of the body of Christ. The result of building up the body of Christ is the building up of unity in the church.  

 

Ephesians 4:11-12 says that when the members of the church are equipped to minister, the church will be built up:

 

… till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God … Ephesians 4:13a

 

Many church leaders today seem to be so consumed with how to get more and more church members that little or no attention is given to individual Christian growth. Under such circumstances division in the church seems inevitable.