Today we continue to look at Unity and Diversity. We will begin as we have in the past with the diagram of the pyramid of unity that we have been discussing.
Today we will look at growth. Many times we find ourselves “spinning our wheels” in our Christian growth. What does it mean to “spinning our wheels”? Well simply, a lot of action but no movement. Have you ever felt you were “spinning your wheels”?
First, we find that growth is reaching out to matching the fullness of Christ. We are to work to mirror the life of Jesus and with the heart of Jesus. Secondly, we find that as we grow, we will grow up from being infants being tossed back and forth by the teachings of this broken world. If you are not connected to the foundation, the waters of the world will take you away.
Paul tells us that AS we grow, we will no longer be infants. The word being used by Paul, only used in this passage, refers to a ship being tossed on the seas. This imagery referring to the world.
We aren’t being told this to change the world. But instead, we are to root ourselves to be unchanged by the world. And this leads us to speak love to one another. Are we keeping each other accountable? Do we reach out to those who might have been caught up in the winds of the world?
If that is true of us, we won’t be influenced by these movements. And it doesn’t say that we slam one another with truth and beat each other up. We are to speak with love and to be aware of the those who are struggling. We are not to focus on the struggle of our fellow Christians, it is to focus on if they are staying close to God in the struggle and rooted in the foundation of Jesus.
Paul begins to get excited here and praises us as the body of Christ. Each of us a part held together and strengthened by the ligaments of love. But the world will suffer because of their disconnected nature and will have hardened hearts. And as the world loses sensitivity with God, they instead fill that void with the sensuality of the world around them. As they move further away from God, they run straight to themselves and full of greed they indulge in every kind of impurity.
But we go back to this. If you are committed to the process of growth in God’s truth and the perfect life of Jesus, you will be blessed. We are not to isolate the struggle. The struggle is either a symptom of this idolatry of the world, or it is a clash between ourselves and the person God is making us into. And we are to welcome the struggle from growth, and we are to stand together in love and stand firm on the foundation of Jesus.
15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, (ESV)
16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. (ESV)