“Imagining Maturity In Christ” ( Ephesians 4: 13, NIV ) by Carley Evans

Can you imagine “unity in the faith?” Can you imagine “becoming mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ?” Can you imagine not being an “infant?”

Our hope is to become united in our knowledge of Jesus Christ — i.e. no longer divided or “tossed back and forth…by every wind of teaching.”

“Solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:14) The good we seek is this unity in Christ; the evil we dread and should always flee is division, bickering, backbiting, unfounded criticism, and hatred of our brothers and sisters who are in Christ.

“You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before Me; every tongue will confess to God.’ So, then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another.” (Romans 14:10-13)

Our fervent prayer is to be mature in Christ, to stand together as one church — as the whole body of Christ, and as His bride.

“Boast In The Lord” (1 Corinthians 1: 10, HCSB) by Carley Evans

Boast In God’s Power (1 Corinthians 1: 10, HCSB) by Carley Evans

Paul exhorts the Corinthians to “agree in what [they] say.” He calls them to be “united with the same understanding and the same conviction.” Here are two of the most common problems in the church body — disagreement and disharmony.

One person follows Paul; another follows Peter; another follows Apollos; one is Baptist, another is Methodist; another is Lutheran — each rivals of the other in a vain pursuit of human glory.

Paul asks the key question — “Was it Paul who was crucified for you?” (1 Corinthians 1: 12) Then, he reminds the Corinthian church and us that “God chooses what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God chooses what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God chooses what is insignificant and despised in the world — what is viewed as nothing — to bring to nothing what is viewed as something, so that no one can boast in His presence.” (1 Corinthians 1: 27 – 29)

Boasting leads to disunity and disharmony among brothers and sisters in Christ. “The one who boasts must boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1: 30) and not in a human church group or leader. Remember! Your denomination, your church leader was not crucified for you.

Paul goes so far as to say he deliberately comes to the Corinthians with less than brilliant speech and wisdom; instead he says, “I come to you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation demonstration by the Spirit, so that you faith may not be based on men’s wisdom but on God’s power.” (1 Corinthians 2: 3 – 5)

And here is the key to harmony and unity — “faith based on… God’s power.”