Grace was given to us by the measure of Jesus Christ’s faith.
Ephesians 4: 4-7, 4,There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.
Verse four is the cement of truth for why we should “keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” from verse three. There is only one body of Christ not multiple body parts of Christ called denominations. One Lord, one faith (John 14:6), “Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”. One baptism, (Acts 19:4, 5) 4 “Then Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus”. This is the baptism of salvation, and is the most important action a believer in Jesus can take. There is a second baptism which Jesus first spoke of, and Paul emphasized throughout his letters; the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Some people believe the Holy Spirit baptism is optional for the born again believer, but according to Jesus Himself, this is necessary (John 14:16, 14:16, 15:26, 16:7, Acts 1:4 & 5). There is only one God, but the fact the He wants to be our father, as well as, our God should be very humbling and uplifting at the same time. Uplifting in that even though He is omnipotent, and above all others, He chooses to be a Father to us and have a Fathers relationship with us, His children. Humbling because He also is in all of us, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”, 1 John 4:4. In 1 Corinthians 6:19, we are told that we, individually are the temple of the Holy Spirit; in 2 Corinthians 6:16 we are told that the those who gather together in Christ as a church, are the temple of the Holy Spirit; in 1 Corinthians 3:13 we are told that the body of Christ, the church, is the temple of the Holy Spirit. All three are true and confirmed by Jesus when He says, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them". Romans 8:11 is confirmation that individually we are also the temple of the Holy Spirit.
The greatest truth for the purpose of the body of Christ to be in unity is that God is no respecter of persons, (Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11), “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift”. Each one that accepts Jesus as their Lord and savior receives the same gift of grace according to the measure of Christ. What is the measure of Christ? He gave us His all, His life, so that we may have life and life more abundantly, (John 10:10). His gift of salvation was without restraint, and has no exceptions, it is complete. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning”, is how James 1:17 says this. The word declares the Jesus dies on the cross for our salvations and in Ephesians 2:8 the word assures us that “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God”.
Why is it that God can show us this great level of grace and we show so little to our fellow brother or sister in the Lord? This is because natural human thinking is to walk by sight and not by faith, which is contradictory to 2 Corinthians 5:7. From birth through all of life we are taught what we must do to get a pat on the head and not a pat on the seat of the britches. We clearly see and know what is wrong when we look at fellow Christian’s actions, but choose to judge ourselves by our good intentions. We cannot beat ourselves up for this way of learned thinking, but we must change our thought process to line up with the word of God. We can only do this by washing our minds in the word of God. In the book of Philemon Paul is stirring up the faith in Philemon to do the right thing regarding Onesimus, a returning runaway slave who, at the hand and teaching of Paul, is now Philemon’s fellow brother in Christ. By Jewish law a runaway slave must be stoned if found; Paul having been raised by the Pharisees is painfully aware of this. Instead of keeping Onesimus, Paul uses the opportunity to help Philemon stir up his own gift of grace. Verse 4-7 reads, “I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, 5 hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, 6 that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. 7 For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother”.
When we acknowledge everything good thing that is in us as a result of the gift given to us by the measure of Christ’s gift, then not only is our head lifted, but we are able to extend the same grace to a fellow saint who may have not done right by us. This is the unity of faith that God wants His church to walk in.
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