"I want you."
These three words conjure up an iconic image in my mind. J.M. Flagg's 1917 U.S. Army recruitment poster. You know the one to which I'm referring. Uncle Sam, pointing straight and true, with his steely eyes and star-studded top hat calling for ever person to join the war effort.
The image was used to recruit soldiers during both WWI and WWII. And the message was quite simple. No matter who you are, you're invited to join the cause. In doing so, you would help Uncle Sam, and your fellow citizens protect the UNITED States.
Regardless of your view on war, I'd like to propose that God has a similar message for His redeemed. The message is that no matter who you are, you're both invited, and needed for a great cause; the building up the body of Christ, until unity!
As we've learned Paul teaches that apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers are God given to equip saints for the works of service. But he also reveals that the saints do the works of service. In other words, everyone is needed. And today we discover that this is directly tied to unity.
Let me ask you a few questions: Do you think the "big C" church is unified? (spoiler alert: the answer is no) What does Paul imply will usher in said unity? (hint: everyone working together) What does the church sacrifice when we continue to propagate a system where pastors do all the works for the body? (hint: unity).
Why then do we keep doing what we're doing?
No doubt you've heard and even quoted Albert Einstein's definition of insanity. "Doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results." Pastors and people alike want unity, but we're never going to achieve it until we stop repeating the same old error over and over. It's time we're all invited to play our part.
So, I want you. Because with you, we can attain to the unity of the faith that God desires.
Challenge: Read Ephesians 4:17-24. In the context of a church, where everyone plays a part, what is Paul warning the church to avoid? Read Matthew 20:25-27 How does this relate to Paul's statement in Ephesians that we no longer walk "just as the Gentiles"? Isn't this "lording it over" precisely what our current system promotes?
I hope you'll join me tomorrow for part 4.