Psalm 115:1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.
First and foremost, I feel it imperative to say that we cannot do life without God, and without His love every effort becomes meaningless and ineffective. Now, regarding effectiveness, I think God is concerned with our “why.” If what we do is not out of love for people, it is in essence ineffective, though we are productive. Only when we are moved by compassion will our works bring about healing and grace to people. You will never be the one, you will never be it, and other people receiving Christ should always be about only that, them receiving Christ. When others are ministered to, it should be for their elevation and not the fame of your name. Ministry to the saints should be to bring about unity in order to facilitate effectiveness of the body.
1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 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:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive
As ministers we have the capacity and the responsibility to get each other to perfection-to maturity. We have the responsibility to keep each other to the standard He has set for us. Unity in the faith is represented by the body believing together. Unity happens when I can believe and hope for you as much as I can for myself. Unity happens when I can see the capacity for greatness in you and hope for it as ardently as I would for myself. So often I have heard verse 14 referenced when pastors want to support their doctrine, denoting the validity of their view on rapture, grace, immortality, Christmas, whatever. I have come to realize that winds of doctrine are the lies we get offered by people. They are the untruths we allow to sway our hearts and uproot our faith, lies we believe about other people. Like wind they carry us from one opinion to the next, leaving us feeling like we never quite fit in, like we are never quite rooted anywhere. We go from one doctrine to the next in pursuit of belonging, ever searching the words of man for validation and approval.
James 4:11-12 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
James 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Ideas about our or other people’s value and worth not being up to scratch will cause us to be a people divided as opposed to an edified body. Speaking lies and creating disunity among people is one of the things the Lord despises because it hinders us from keeping people to the standard He set for their lives. When we believe the lies of the enemy about ourselves and others we allow our faith to become ineffective, and we live according to man’s word instead of His truth. To bring division and devalue others is the very purpose of gossip. Our testimony turns into poison crippling the body. The result of which is Christians who are hurt and lonely, going off on their own self indulgent tangents, trying for all they are worth to reconcile their hearts to the purpose they once felt. There is no purpose in doing life alone, there is no one man show, there is no doing ministry to validate your faith. Faith is established in the midst of those who can help you maintain a life of love. You need to actually be around people to love them. You do need people in order to minister. A big lie the children of God believe is that we can change the world single handed. Sorry, no. We need each other. Buying into the lies is evidence of immaturity, which means you are inconsistent and insecure in your knowledge of Him.
We are all part of one body. We have a single amazing hope – coming to the full knowledge of Christ; to look like Him, to live like Him, to love like Him. You and I might never agree on a subject such as the rapture. We don’t have to. Unity in the faith is when I am not tossed about by your doctrines, and when I don’t implement crafty tricks to convince you of my opinions. Unity is not when we all agree, or have the same doctrine; it’s when we can all bear with one another. When people decide to embrace their brothers’ diversity, and bridge gaps of different views in order to sustain the body as a whole, to relent their need to be right in order to allow everyone into the fold- then we have attained unity in the faith. The body then starts serving and edifying each other. We can no longer live for ourselves, I am not one, but we are one. The body needs to look like one that edifies each other when someone is down, not kick them, allowing love to elevate the body as a whole; bearing with one another in disagreement, letting mercy triumph over wrongs suffered, letting peace reign and love has its perfect way with our hearts when it comes to others.
Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
Colossians 3:9-10 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
The body needs healing. We need to determinedly believe in each other, to persistently call each other to be holy, and to keep each other accountable to the standard set in the word of God. There is a hope, and as much as we hope for ourselves, we need to hope for others. All of Ephesians 4 talks about working to edify the body, this should encourage us to care about our brothers, about their capacity and their function in the church. This is how we attain and maintain unity in the faith, when we joyfully carry each other’s burdens and bear each other up daily. This way we will see the kingdom of God manifest in glory, through all His people. His is a kingdom of Sons and not only one man. I earnestly pray for each of us to become well acquainted with the gifts and calling of our brethren, that we will be so excited about the life God has given them that we will learn to sincerely celebrate each other. I pray we might be so completely convinced of other people’s callings and good works that our love will scream loudly. May we treat our brother as though he has the best calling, like he should have the most hope of attaining what he longs for, like he has all he needs to mature in Christ. Because, we are not in this for ourselves we are in this for all of us.