Until the Unity of the Faith. Eph 4:12
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,… 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;” –
Question: When does this “unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man”” etc. happen?
Read further in this chapter.
“13. 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;
14 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,”
There comes a time (came a time) when unity of the faith is reached, yet winds of bad doctrine are still blowing. Now is the time when everyone will know the Lord, from the least to the greatest.
Yes, it seems that pastors and teachers were preparatory to this stage, just like the miracle-workers and apostles. In I Cor. 12:27-28 teachers are not set apart from those more obviously miraculous endowments. Here is the passage with various gifts underlined.
27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.
Notice. Teachers are listed right in the middle between prophets and miracle workers. Yet we want to extend pastor-teacher into this present age. Not only extended but overextended, complete with pulpits, pew, and a whole terminology that would be foreign to New Testament believers. It is ironic that many present day pastors preach against the continuation of gifts to the left and the right of that list – and rightly so – yet they do not recognize they are in the same list. There is no Scriptural reason to continue their office anymore than that of prophet or healer.
Or, if they do argue for the continuance of the pastoral office they must also allow all the rest.
Would the Apostle Paul recognize the church of today with the innovation of pulpits and pews? This whole bizarre arrangement of one Christian facing dozens or hundreds of fellow Christians, the majority silent while the one talks?
Do you know what the New Testament Greek word for “pulpit” is? I don’t either. There isn’t one. There is a reason for this.
How about pew?
Our age is very personality-driven, very pastor-authority oriented. And that is not a good thing. And it works against this very unity we have in Christ.
Now this doesn’t take away from all those who have studied much in the Bible, and from the benefit of years and maturity. I definitely want to learn all I can from those people. And I want to be that kind of person. Yet at the same time we still have the Voice in us saying “This is the way. Walk in it.” applying God’s word just as He promised He would
We get into trouble when we mistake the voice behind the pulpit for that Voice.