but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,Ephesians 4:15(NASB)
Paul explains that the gifts of the Spirit should not be abused for self-satisfaction, nor should they be used to indulge in ungodly, emotional experiences. The gifts of the Spirit are given to help equip other believers in their spiritual service, to edify the Body of Christ, and to help to perfect each member of the Church for the particular ministry to which God has called them.
He adds that the ultimate goal is to bring all believers into the unity of the faith and a knowledge of the Son of God so that the Body of Christ becomes spiritually mature as we are daily being conformed into a measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ until He is all in all. But the maturing believer should never forget that "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."
Spiritual gifts are given for the specific purpose of conforming us into the image and likeness of Christ, as is the Word of God which is given for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness so that every believer may be perfected in all truth and thoroughly furnished for every good work.
When spiritual gifts are used correctly and the Word of God becomes the plumb-line for truth, the dangers of Christian immaturity, instability, and gullibility that Paul identified in this passage, are avoided and believers are not tossed about by every wind of doctrine, nor led astray into ungodly practices, worldly pursuits, unbiblical teachings, false doctrine, or demonic deception.
But when a member of the Body of Christ has been hoodwinked by the enemy or strayed into some cunningly devised fable from false teachers, unbiblical teachings, or worldly philosophies, we are exhorted to preach the Word in truth and to speak that truth in love so that together we may grow is grace as we mature in Him Who is the Head of the Body, even Christ Jesus our Lord.
The purpose and plan of God from the beginning is that Christ is all in all. Being a Christian is not about you and it's not about me! The Christian life is not about 'me, myself and I', but is all about the Lord Jesus Christ and God's purpose and plan in bringing many sons to glory through HIM, by means of His sacrificial work at Calvary. In respect to the dispensation of the fullness of times in which we currently live (the Church age), God's purpose and plan is to bring all things into one in Christ. The things which are in heaven and the things which are on earth - ALL things in Him - to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory in this day and age, and also in the ages to come.
Although much of the Church has fallen into gross apostasy, let us seek to use our own spiritual gifts as instructed by Paul, to develop unity in the faith, to increase in a knowledge of the Son of God, and to bring all believers into spiritual maturity. And may the Word of God become the singular plumb-line for truth, for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness in our own lives. May the Word of God remain the only foundation upon which our faith is built - to His greater praise and glory.
Heavenly Father, I am aware that there are many in the Church that are abusing the precious gifts of the Spirit and distorting the Word of truth. Help me to study to show myself approved unto God and work the works of God in my life for the edification of the Body of Christ and for the greater glory of the Lord Jesus Himself. To Him be all honour and glory, might, majesty, dominion, and power, forever and ever, AMEN.
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