Reaching for the whole measure
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 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.” Eph 4:12 – 13
I don't know about you but I can be a creature of comfort and habit. Certain patterns and expectations in life are so familiar that I have struggled to think and operate differently. Even when I shift my thinking in an area it can take time for this change of mind to become a change in instinct. We are not simply walking minds but multifaceted beings with interactions between Body, Soul and Spirit. One of these areas has been my understanding of Church and how God leads his body. As one raised in the Church in amazing environments I have seen God use many programs and initiatives to move his kingdom forward. However, often the goal has been functionally to replicate a ministry or Church we look up to. The goal in Ephesians 4:13 however is to "become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ". I don't what you think about that but that is a MASSIVE goal. The path or pattern given in Ephesians contains convictions that lay the platform for this journey. 1. A personal and community security borne from "his Glorious riches" (Eph 3:16), secure and founded in Christ' love (Eph 3:17) How secure are you in 'his Glorious riches'? And his love? 2. A vision determined by God's position and immeasurable ability (Eph 3:19 – 20) Do you really believe God is 'able'? What areas do you struggle with in this area? 3. A commitment to the Unity of the Body (Eph 4:1 – 5) Do you find unity difficult? If so, you are probably not alone in this. Why is it a struggle personally? 4. An understanding that the Gifts given by Christ himself (Eph 4:4:7) are central to the strengthening of the body (Eph 4:11 – 13) If you were to consider your 'leanings' in the five gifts spoken of in Eph 4, which two would you personally identify? Why?
5. A belief in organic growth as the body "builds itself up in live, as each part does it's work" (Eph 4:16b) What 'work' are you doing as part of the body? Do you struggle with an organic approach to the community of Christ? Why?