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Issue 2012 #4

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SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE

Beryl Harbidge

"...And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up all things into Him who is the head - Christ - from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love."

Ephesians 4:11-16

Growth ruler

What we're really seeing is that gifted people are to minister until all the church reaches maturity to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. As our children grew taller, we would back them up against the frame of one of our doorways where we marked their progress. It was with much joy that each of us saw how far they'd grown since our last marking session.

Just imagine if each of us at our local churches had a "growth chart on the wall. Would we be able to see where each of us as believer has helped to equip each other, increasing each other's stability doctrinally and practically?

Would we see how we're using our God-given gifts to help each other grow in our relationship with Christ and with each other? Would we see how far we've come from having our own agenda growing in unity? Would we see our progress in becoming more spiritually mature, more like Jesus Christ in all His fullness?

Paul tells us that by speaking the truth in love (both in speech and action), we as believers grow up into Christ who is the source of our growth. Each member of His body is joined together according to the standard of the measured working of each one, causing the body of Christ to grow.

Together, let's look with joy at our steady progress in growing in Him!

by Beryl Harbidge



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