There are things that need to be established for the body of Christ (church) to come into perfection (maturity) and unity. Be mindful that unity does not speak to everyone believing the same thing, but there must be unity in diversity. I believe a misconception and misinterpretation of what “unity” is has caused the church to get stuck in infancy. If we are going to “grow up into the head” we need to understand and establish some divine principles and offices in our church structure.
What we need are:
- The seven Spirits of God
- The five-fold ministry
- The gifts of the Spirit
- The fruit of the Spirit
Let’s quote the Scriptures:
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:2 – NKJV).
John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne. (Revelation 1:4 – ESV).
“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. ‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.'” (Revelation 3:1 – ESV).
From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God. (Revelation 4:5 – ESV).
And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. (Revelation 5:6 – ESV).
We don’t talk much about the seven spirits of God in church circles, but they are given to the church for the building up of the body of Christ. To some extent, we function minimally in some of the attributes of these spirits but not in its fullest manifestation because our knowledge about them is limited.
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 in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— (Ephesians 4:11-15 – NKJV).
If we look at this in context, unless the five-fold is fully established in our churches, we will be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men.
Many believers depend more on other people’s interpretation of Scripture, than on what the Holy Spirit within may be revealing to them. Our belief system must not be shaped by other people’s opinion, but what others have to say must be given due consideration in light of our own personal journey with the Lord, what the Holy Spirit is revealing to us and Scripture.
If the apostolic and the prophetic ministry is missing from our churches, then there is no correction for bad doctrice, and no spiritual alignment when things are out of whack and this is what we see happening in most churches.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. (1 Corinthians 12:7-11)
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:3-8 – NKJV).
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 – NKJV).
This is worded funny because fruit is not pluralized, suggesting there is just one fruit.
These must be studied, impletmented, developed through practice, established and allowed to function freely within each body of believers for the full benefit of the body of Christ. There is no unity if one part is missing. There can be no maturation or coming into perfection without these.
I have been a silent observer of the church for years, and I am now more convinced that these are necessary for the building up of the body of Christ, and no amount of theology we create to counteract the necessity for these will be of any lasting benefit to us.