THE SPIRIT AND OUR GROWTH
In chapter four of Ephesians I would call your attention first of all to the Spirit: “Being eager to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace” (v. 3, Gk.). Without the Spirit there is no oneness. He is also the seal and guarantee of our salvation. We know that we are saved because the Spirit is within. We may worry sometimes, the way the unbelievers do, but in the midst of our fretting, the sense comes that there is no need to worry, that we can be at peace. It is this same Spirit within that makes us brothers and sisters. Without Him we are Gentiles, not children of God. It is by His constraint that we gather for meetings rather than seek worldly entertainment and excitement. We are here because we have the same Spirit, flowing in us just as electricity flows to the lights in the ceiling and unites them in shining.
The Spirit is mysterious. If you say He is great, I say He is small. If you say He is kind, I say sometimes He would rather trouble you. When you would be at peace, He gives you no peace. Yet when He seems unkind, He is being kind to you. This is the wonderful Spirit by whose working within we grow.
TWO KINDS OF ONENESS
In verse 13 of Ephesians 4 it says, “Till we all arrive at the oneness of the faith” (Gk.). In the third verse it says, “Being eager to keep the oneness of the Spirit” (Gk.). We must keep the oneness of the Spirit until we all arrive at the oneness of the faith. We “drive the car” of the oneness of the Spirit until we all arrive at the oneness of the faith!
The faith referred to in verse 13 does not mean your believing, but rather the object of what you believe. An abstract of our faith would be: Our God, who is triune, became a man by the name of Jesus. He went to the cross and died for us, for our sins. After three days He was resurrected from the dead and ascended to the heavens, where He now is as our Redeemer, Savior, and Lord. At the same time, in His resurrection He became the life-giving Spirit, came into us, and now lives within us as our life, while His blood cleanses all our sins.
This is what we all believe. We have the same faith and the same Spirit. These are what make us one. Whatever our age, nationality, or background, we are one because we have the same Spirit and the same faith.
WIND OF TEACHING
Teaching, as verse 14 says, is a wind which tosses the children to and fro. Sometimes a teaching may bring in a storm or tornado or whirlwind. If you have been carried about with the winds that have blown through the recovery these past two years, it is an indication that you are a child. They may have blown you to the movies, or kept you in bed when you should have been having morning watch, or encouraged you to despise the elders and be loose in your daily living. What will save you from these winds? Your salvation lies in growing up. You are a child playing with toys. That is all right for a while, but you need to grow up. “Be no more children.”
THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD
We also need to arrive at the oneness “of the knowledge of the Son of God” (v. 13). We do not have sufficient knowledge of the Lord Jesus. What, for example, does Colossians reveal concerning Christ? (See Life Message Twelve.) We need to know Him in all these different aspects. Such solid, detailed knowledge of Him will save us from the wind of teaching.
The last matter which affects our growth is found in verse 15, “Holding the truth in love” (Gk.). As we hold the truth in love, we shall “grow up into him in all things.”
There is no way to grow without getting into the Word in a serious way. That is why I have urged you to set aside time for this every day. Some need to study the Word in a thorough way, so that in time to come they may be able to teach and shepherd in the church. Return to the Word. Follow in life and truth. Follow in knowledge and experience, that we may “grow up into him in all things” until we arrive at “a full-grown man.”
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 16, by Witness Lee)