Ephesians 4:15b, 16 …may grow up in 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.
God joins each one in the body for the purpose of the whole body. We are to live for the well-being of others. Every person’s journey in life is about finding relational connections with others that are purpose appointed for the authority of life. Authority is all about bringing life to others. It is never about taking. It is never about control or manipulation. Authority is all about supplying life to others according to the birthright, maturation process, and the substance of life given by God to each one for the sake of others.
1 Corinthians 10:24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.
When we find the place of our responsibility in life, that responsibility is given for the sake of giving life to others. Even in the practical aspects of the world, when we are responsible with what has been entrusted to us it benefits others. When we are irresponsible we cause problems for others. There are many cancers in the world and cancer cells in a body are cells that live for themselves and become out of control in their existence in a body. They divide and seek to consume other body cells for the sake of their own uncontrolled freedom. I believe that there are many cancerous cells and tumors in the body of Christ and in the world. There are many people who seek to live for themselves and see the freedom of their own lives as more important than bringing the substance of life to others. Authority is not about getting our own way in life. It is about being a life source for others. The original mandate of mankind was to be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue, and have dominion (Gen. 1:26-28). Fruitfulness comes from blessing. We are His blessing in the earth – a source of life for the world! Multiplication comes from fruitfulness. Whatever is fruitful, multiplies. We are not to add others to our cause; we are to activate others into the cause of Christ and the cause of life to the world. To fill is to fully complete something. In the kingdom of God our fullness leads to the inheritance of others. The places of inheritance (gates) in the earth are meant to be the possession of our children and your children’s children. To subdue is to conquer with the power of life. It is a place of the influence of life. Subduing is the testimony of the full power of God’s grace at work in the earth. Dead things come alive by the power of God’s grace, dark things become filled with life, and dysfunctional situations become whole when touched by the power of God’s grace. To subdue is to overcome death with life. Dominion is the manifestation of truth. True dominion is everything as it should be. It is truth! It is nothing lacking, nothing needed. It is nothing lost and nothing needed to be gained. It is the testimony of that which is fully dependent upon God, attached to God, and manifesting God in the earth. Truth is being who we were created to be. Truth crumbles every lie. We make a great ‘us’ and a very bad ‘someone else’ and whom we are is meant to bring life to the world. Who we are is also dependent upon who others are and who others are is dependent upon us.
God wants His family fully alive in the earth. He wants that family to be fruitful, to multiply, to fill, to subdue, and to have dominion in life. God has given grace gifts to His Church in order to see His Church become the source of heaven’s life to the world.
Ephesians 4:11-16 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 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 by which they lie in wait to deceive, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in 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.
These verses reveal that the servants of the body (five-fold expressions of ministry), live to bring life to the body in a way that seeks to:
- Equip the saints for the work of ministry
- Edify the body of Christ,
- Help the body members to come to the unity of the faith
- Help the body members to come to knowledge of the Son of God
- Help the body to come become a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
- Prevent the body members from remaining little children, but to grow up in maturity
- Protect the body from being tossed to and fro and being carried about with every wind of doctrine
- Protect the body from the trickery of men, who come in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive
- Teach the body members to learn to speak the truth in love
- Serve to produce a functioning body that grows up in all things into Him who is the head– Christ—
- Help the whole body to be properly joined
- Help the body members to be knit together
- Help every joint (body member) to supply life to one another
- Help everyone to find their place of effective working
- Help every part to do their share
- Serve to cause growth of the body
- Help the body to edify itself in love.
The actions and attributes of the body of Christ are more important than the nouns that serve to aid in seeing those actions and attributes made manifest. An apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, mentoring, and pastoral body is more important than the apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, and pastors that live for the purpose of bringing life to that body. Every member is sent and sends others for the purpose of life. The body of Christ releases the expressions of life that bring life to the world. The lost are restored by the expression of life given through the outstretched arm of the body. Discipleship of others is the way of helping others in giving life to the world. The body of Christ is an expression of the pastoral care of God among mankind.
These things offer true principals for every aspect of life. All people were born to live for the wellbeing of others. Human ministry is to give life to others. Everyone is alive to edify others. The unity of faith is the unity that comes from each and everyone hearing the voice of God their Father in their own lives. Each of us has a role to play in the authority of life that assists others in hearing God and becoming expressions of him in life. Intimacy with God in all things is the secret to functioning is the true authority of life. It takes humanity working together to reveal the fullness of who God is in all of His goodness and glory. Who we are brings stability to others because we live to give life and never to take life from our fellow man. We must be who we are for the sake of God’s love in this world. We must be properly joined to one another in order to induce one another to dance in the testimony of God’s glory. Everyone has his or her place of effective work. It is a place of submission under others and submission to tip in the direction of others in order to give them the life that we each have been given. When we all do our share we become the testimony of God’s authority of life in this world.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson