About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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The Unity In The Faith


Ephesians 4:11 through 13 reads: 


"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ."


Much could be said about the above passage but I will limit my comments to the term "unity in the faith" because it is a term I often hear associated with doctrinal unity among Christians.  Allow me to suggest a different association. 


Since our English word "faith" is translated from the Greek word "pistis" which simply means trust, I suggest unity in the faith means unity in trust, a corporate unified trust in Jesus among believers, the church.  This association also best fits the literary context of the passage, which is a healthy productive church.    


As individual Christians we have entered into a trusting relationship with Jesus, but the context of the above passage is not in reference to individual Christians trusting Jesus.  It's about individual Christians living in proper relationship with each other who collectively trust Jesus for all that pertains to church.  As an individual Christian trusts his life with Jesus, so the community of Christians, the church, trusts its church life with Jesus.  It is a corporate unity of trust.   


I believe this corporate unified trust, or common faith, is fundamental to a healthy church, whether it's the world-wide church or a local expression of church.  It's something that we don't think much about these days because we are so immersed in our individualistic western-world culture that we have no clue to the communal nature of church, making the unity of trust unlikely to be realized.       


As individual Christians we trust our lives with Jesus, and in the process we should be attempting to trust each other as we corporately trust Jesus for the life of our local expression of church.  It is a corporate unity of trust, a communal faith.  It's the unity of faith.            

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