THE WAY TO PERFECT THE SAINTS
Now we need to see the way to perfect the saints. The gifted persons need to minister Christ to others. They have to help others realize Christ, know Christ, experience Christ, and grow in Christ. This is the intention, the ultimate goal, of the teaching of the apostles.
THE WINDS OF TEACHING
Ephesians 4:14 says, "That we may be no longer little children tossed by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching in the sleight of men, in craftiness with a view to a system of error." Here I would ask you to mark or underline the word "teaching." This verse does not speak of the wind of heresy, nor the wind of mere doctrines, nor the wind of wrong teachings. It simply says "every wind of teaching."
Recently, I gave some messages in a conference, and there were three to five brothers there who would challenge me with some questions after each meeting. They came to me asking, "Brother Lee, what about predestination?" "What about absolute grace?" "What about the free will?" If I had spent the time to talk, discuss, and argue with them about all these matters, all the meetings there might have been spoiled. These kinds of teachings are like the wind blowing people away from Christ. Sometimes the wind may become a hurricane that can bring in a lot of damage. It causes people to forget about Christ and His expression, His Body. Instead, they begin to argue about different kinds of opinions and doctrinal matters. This is to be carried about by the wind of teaching.
In verse 14 the apostle mentioned the wind of teaching, and in the previous verse he mentioned the oneness of the faith. The oneness of the faith is something altogether contrary to the wind of teaching. Suppose five of us brothers come together. We have been regenerated and saved. We are in Christ and we are one. We have the oneness of the faith. We praise the Lord together, pray together, worship God together, and fellowship with one another. It is really good and wonderful. Then, one day, one of the brothers asks a question, "Brother Lee, how about the rapture?" Right away there is a danger, even a snare, before us. If we are not careful, we will open all the windows for the wind to blow in. Then we can no longer pray together because of our different views about the rapture. Eventually, we may even become divided and separated from one another.
If you have learned the lesson, it is better not to ask this kind of question. And if you are asked this kind of question, you have to learn to say, "Brother, anyhow, one day He will come to take us. Let us love Him and live by Him." This is the best answer. Do not allow yourself to be tempted to argue about doctrines. Keep yourself from being carried away by the wind of teaching. As long as you have the oneness of the faith, it is good enough. The faith consists of the seven "ones" in Ephesians 4: one Lord, one God, one Spirit, one Body, with one faith, one baptism, and one hope. As long as we have these seven "ones," it is sufficient.
Then verse 15 says, "But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ." The truth is the reality, which is Christ Himself. We have to hold to Christ and grow up into Him in all things. Then, what is the outcome? Verse 16 says, "Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love." This means that out from the fountainhead, the source, the all-inclusive Head, we will receive something of Christ and minister something of Christ to one another. In this way there will be a great measure of Christ within us and among us. So we will have the growth of life and the transformation of life. Eventually, the Body will be built up by itself in love.
Brothers and sisters, this is the life for us to practice the church. I do ask you to pray about all these things that you may see something in these days.
(The Life and Way for the Practice of the Church Life, Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)