Biola Broadcaster - 1964-01

things, which is the head, even Christ” (4:15). The gifts were given by the ascended Christ to edify the body so that believers might manifest the truth in love. It is not enough to know and speak the truth; it must be manifested in love. While we insist upon a good confession we must live the truth in love. One can be fearless in standing for the truth and at the same time gentle and kind. Truth declared in a cold, contentious manner will neither preserve unity nor promote usefulness. Elsewhere in the epistle the Church is called “His body” (1:23), “the body of Christ” (4:12), of which He is “the Head” (4:15). When each member functions in its proper order “accord­ ing to the effectual working in the measure of every part,” nourishment is added to the body, and “maketh in­ crease of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (4:16). As each mem­ ber looks to the Head, he finds there are no giftless and useless parts, but that each part is a gifted and useful member in a relation of interdepend­ ence to every other part. As the in­ capacitation of one member of the hu­ man body robs strength and limits the usefulness of the whole body, even so a believer who is dwarfed spiritually holds down the increase of the body of Christ unto the edifying of itself in love. Each member receives grace and gifts from the Lord, and all mem­ bers are so constructed to join together fitly. God planned this to be so in the human body and, as it is in the human body, so it is with the body of Christ. I refer you to a phrase used by Paul in verse 12, namely, “for the perfecting of the saints.” Sometimes the word from which “perfecting” is derived is used to mean “to mend.” Beloved Christian, do you need some repair or adjustment? Is your net torn or full of holes so that you are no longer a fisher of men? God in His mercy has saved you, to be sure, but He also made wondrous provision for any adjustments that are necessary in Christian experience. Let Him mend you and cast you out upon life’s sea where souls wait to be rescued. (To be continued, next month) 35

but the taking of the gospel to those who have not heard is a unique privilege. “And some, pastors and teachers.” Not some as pastors and some as teach­ ers, but rather the combined office of pastor-teacher. He is a ruler and feeder of the flock. The pastor needs a heart to shepherd the sheep as well as a mind to teach them. This dual func­ tion he performs as minister of a par­ ticular congregation. His gift is divine­ ly bestowed; so no Bible school, or seminary, or college can make a man a pastor-teacher. The purpose of the gifts is “for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (4:12). Special gifts were bestowed to equip the saints to do the service, and the intent of this service is the building up of the body of Christ. Each gift is a contribution to the whole body. From these special gifts responsibility passes to each mem­ ber. This service continues “till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (4:13). Our blessed Lord gave these gifts that each of His followers should serve Him, and that, service must continue as long as the Church remains on the earth. When Christ returns to take us home to heaven, we shall see the full expres­ sion of unity and possess complete knowledge of Him. There will be no need for the apostle, the prophet, the evangelist, the teacher, or the pastor, because we will have attained perfec­ tion in unity and knowledge. The mem­ bers of the Church will not be as many members in that day, but as “a perfect (fullgrown) man.” We shall be like our Lord, having attained that stand­ ard of perfection of Christ Himself, “unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” This is God’s goal for the Church. Having said that we ought not to remain children, immature and un­ taught, Paul now exhorts the believer to grow up: “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all

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