7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” 9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
What God thinks about unity may not be the same as humans do. Throughout history, man want others to be exactly like them, but the unity that God has in mind is a diversified one. It is impossible to make everyone the same, but it is also very difficult to unify people who are different, that is why God gives us many gifts. The gifts mentioned in this passage have a two-fold meaning. It means the special ability He gives to EACH believer, and it also means the different types of special people He gives to the church.
Everyone Has a Part
In order to build a church that is united, God has given us many different types of helpers, the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and the teachers. They have different gifts and skills because the believers are different and therefore the church has many needs. Also, there are many different things that a church has to minister to in order to build a church that is after God’s heart. However, all these helpers have one common ministry, to equip the saints for the work of ministry so that together we can build up to the body of Christ, which is the church. Those helpers are important, but it appears to me that every saint is more important, so He sends people to make sure that all the saints are able to do their works.
Grow into Your Role
God has given each one of us an important role in His family but that does not mean we are “re-born” ready, we have to grow:
- In faith. This means we have to understand what we believe.
- In the knowledge of the Son of God.
- To the maturity of Christ. This means we have to be more like Him.
However, these growths are not the Goal, the goal is to build the church through:
- Speaking the truth.
- Joining together.
- Each fulfilling his role and function in the church.