"The Diversity of Spiritual Gifts" Page 4 of 4 (series: Lessons on Ephesians)
by John Lowe
Verse 16 is difficult; therefore, I will summarize it by making three remarks:
1) Christ’s body is made up of many members (Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:12) who, although different in obvious ways, yet are part of one body, which is the universal Church. In 2:21 it is likened to a holy temple built with many stones―“In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.”
2) The Church grows by the action of Christ on its behalf. And He exerts a unifying action on the body by means of His work through “every joint” which He supplies. This last thought takes us back to verse 11 and makes possible the connection of “every joint” with Christ’s gift of the ministry. Christ works through the minister; and they’ll in turn have the responsibility to see that “each part is working properly.” That is, each church member fulfills his part in the life of the corporate hole.
3) By this chain reaction of Christ―his ministers―his people, the whole body is edified as “love” becomes the “atmosphere” in which this process of mutual encouragement and responsibility is exercised, with each part of the Church playing the role appointed for it. Christ, the head, imparts His risen life and bestows by the Spirit His gifts of ministry. His ministers fulfill their mission by equipping the saints (4:12) and of being the ligaments of the Church’s cohesion to Christ and one another. Christ’s people make the contribution needed for Christ’s plans to be realized for the bodies building up and growth into Him. And above all, it is a growth in love―“Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity (love) edifieth.”(1 Corinthians 8:1).
So, then, spiritual unity is not something we manufacture. It is something we already have in Christ, and we must protect and maintain it. TRUTH UNITES, but lies divide. LOVE UNITES, but selfishness divides. Therefore, “speaking the truth in love,” let us speak with one another and edify one another, THAT ALL OF US MAY GROW UP TO BE MORE LIKE CHRIST.
Scripture and special notes
[1} Saints means “all God’s people.”
[2} “I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.”… “Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.” (1 Corinthians 14:5, 39)
[3} “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8)
[4} “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)
[5} “13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse,
deceiving, and being deceived. 14But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:13-17).
[6} “1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” (Hebrews 2:1-4)
[7} “18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
[8} “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;” (Ephesians 3:5)
[9} “To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:” (1 Corinthians 12:10)
[10} “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” (Ephesians 2:20)
[11} “19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. 20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
[12} “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28)
[13} “1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1 Peter 5:1-4)
[14} “Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;” (Romans 12:7)