If we put together Ephesians 2:15 (Christ creating the one new man in His body on the cross), Romans 15:6 (with one accord with one mouth glorify God), and 1 Cor. 1:10 (speak the same thing, be attuned in the same mind and in the same opinion), what we get is that in the one new man we need to take Christ as our person especially in regards to our speaking.
In the church as the reality of the one new man we all need to take Christ as our person and then we will all speak the same thing with one accord with one mouth, thus glorifying the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Whenever we speak in the church life – and in all our daily living – we need to answer one basic question inwardly, Is it ME speaking or is it Christ speaking? Am I the person or is Christ the person in me speaking right now?
If all believers in Christ take Christ as their person, they will all speak the same thing, and there will be no more division in the Body of Christ.
May the Lord have a recovery purely of Christ – Christ as our life and Christ as our person. When Christ is our life within, our living without, and He is the One speaking through us all, He will speak the same thing, and God will be glorified.
For this to happen, we need to hold Christ as the Head, acknowledging that He is our Head: He can take decisions, He has His feelings, He is the One thinking, and He is the One speaking.
If we take Christ as our Head, holding Him as the Head in a practical way, we CANNOT have different interpretations of the Bible. But whoever does not hold Christ as the Head has an opinion and thinks he is the head, so he can interpret the Scriptures the way he wants.
Paul told Timothy to charge certain ones in Ephesus not to teach different things but to teach God’s economy, which is in faith (1 Tim. 1:3-4). The only thing we can teach and speak is what the Head teaches and speaks, and this is God’s New Testament economy. Anything other than this can divide the Body and create yet another denomination.
Only one kind of ministry builds up the Body of Christ and never divides: the unique ministry of God’s economy, which is God Himself being dispensed into man as the Spirit to produce the church as the Body of Christ to consummate the New Jerusalem.
If we Hold Christ as the Head we Cannot have Different Interpretations of Scripture
We need to take Christ as our life for the church as the Body of Christ to come into being, and we need to take Christ as our person for the church to be the one new man in reality. If we hold Christ as the Head, acknowledging that He is the Head and coming absolutely under His authority, we cannot have different interpretations of Scripture (see 1 Tim. 1:3-4; Col. 2:19).
In our physical body it is not the hand or the foot that does the thinking and the interpretation but the head. In the Body of Christ it is Christ, the Head, who does the proper interpretation of the Scriptures.
How can we be one in faith and have the same interpretation of the Bible? It is not by agreeing on certain doctrines or arriving at a common ground in others but by holding Christ as the Head. If we hold Christ as the Head we acknowledge that we are NOT the Head; we are members of the Body, and all authority is with the Head.
All our relationships with the other members of the Body need to be through Christ as the Head. All our growth is into the Head and out from the Head. We cannot be related to other members apart from being under Christ as the Head. We are one in the Body of Christ as long as we take Christ as the Head.
We can have fellowship with other believers only when we take Christ as the Head. Our common fellowship and our ground for being one with other believers is Christ, our Head.
As members of the Body the interpretation of the Scriptures does not lie with us but with the Head. If we don’t take Christ as the Head, we may have a different interpretation of the Bible than that of the Head.
Christ is the unique authority in the Body; He knows each member, He supplies each member, and He directs each member. If we all hold the Head, Christ, we are crossed out and Christ is the One who is expressed in us.
As members of the Body we need to see what our place in the Body is: we need to hold to the Head and acknowledge Christ as the unique and supreme authority in all things, and we will grow in life in a normal way being supplied from the Head through the joints and sinews (see Col. 2:19).
If we hold Christ as the Head, we will all have the same understanding of the Scriptures, since Christ cannot possibly say one thing to one member and something else to another.
If all believers in Christ all over the earth would hold Christ as the Head, there will be no denomination, sect, religion, or free group – there will be only the one new man where Christ is in all the members and Christ is all the members, as they hold Christ, the Head.
Lord Jesus, we acknowledge that You are the Head of the Body: You are our Head. Lord, we come absolutely under Your authority and take You as the Head. You are the unique and supreme authority in all things in the church, in the universe, and in our life. Lord, we receive the life-supply from You, our Head. We receive our growth, our life, our direction, and our ground for oneness from You as the Head. Keep us in the Body as members holding You as the Head so that we may be properly related to one another and have the same interpretation of the Scriptures, the one coming from the Head!
Only the Ministry of God’s Economy Builds up and Never Divides
What is the unique ministry that builds up and never divides? Throughout the centuries the Body of Christ – His genuine believers all throughout the earth – has been divided and scattered because of different teachings and ministries.
If we read the Bible carefully we will realize that there’s only one kind of ministry that builds up and NEVER divides – this is the unique ministry of God’s economy (see 1 Tim. 1:3-4). Paul told Timothy to stay in Ephesus and charge certain ones not to teach different things rather than God’s economy, which is in faith.
The only thing and the same thing that we should teach and emphasize is God’s economy. There are many things in the Bible, and there are many doctrines and practices found in the New Testament; they are all good and scriptural, but if they are emphasized and taught apart from God’s economy, they will lead to division in the Body of Christ.
If we teach the matter of studying the Bible, being spiritual, experiencing Christ’s death and resurrection, foot washing, head covering, baptizing in water, meeting on the Lord’s day morning, prayer meetings, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, etc – yet apart from God’s economy, sooner or later we will make a division in the Body of Christ.
Our teaching and speaking in the church life should not be measured by right or wrong, good or bad, but: is this God’s economy or is it something apart from God’s economy?
On the one hand, we should NOT follow someone blindly; on the other hand, we need to follow the teaching of God’s New Testament economy and stick with those who speak God’s economy.
This means that we all need to take Christ as our person in the matter of speaking, and we need to speak the same thing: God’s New Testament economy.
God’s New Testament economy is the Triune God being processed and consummated to become the life-giving Spirit and be dispensed into His chosen people as life and life supply to produce members of Christ to form the Body to express the Triune God corporately.
If we teach anything besides God’s economy (read more online regarding God’s economy), the issue will be different opinions and eventually division.
Because of human pride, many faithful servants of the Lord and preachers of the gospel sought to speak something different from anyone else before them. They thought they knew better and they wanted to speak “something new”.
But we need to come back to the pure revelation in the Bible and speak and teach the same thing: the economy of God (Rom. 15:6). The way to be preserved in the eternal oneness for the one new man is to teach the same thing, God’s economy.
We need to put aside our pride, deny our self, take up our cross, and be saturated with the teaching of God’s New Testament economy, emphasizing nothing else but God’s economy for the building up of the Body of Christ and the reality of the one new man.
Lord Jesus, thank You for the ministry of God’s economy, the unique ministry that builds up and never divides. Lord, keep us in this ministry, enjoying Your divine dispensing for the producing and building up of the Body of Christ, the corporate expression of the Triune God. Lord, save us from teaching anything from the Bible apart from God’s economy, which is in faith. We want to be preserved in the eternal oneness for the one new man by teaching the same thing, the economy of God!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Ed Marks’ sharing in the message for this week, and portions from, Elders’ Training, Book 3: The Way to Carry Out the Vision, pp. 45, 47-48, as quoted in, the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Vision, Practice, and Building up of the Church as the Body of Christ, week 6 / msg 6, Crucial Experiences in the Practice of the Church Life (3) How to Realize the Church Life in a Practical Way in the Reality of the One New Man (you can buy this morning revival book here).
- Picture credit for 1 Tim. 1:3-4 and more spiritual quotes on this topic via, Christian Pictures Blog.
- More on, God’s Economy:
# What is God’s economy and what does the Bible say about God’s Economy?
# A must-read for every Christian: the Economy of God (book by W. Lee).
- Hymns on this topic:
# The faith is the economy, the economy of God / The household administration, the dispensing of our God / The truth is the contents, the reality of the faith, / According to God’s economy. (Song on God’s economy)
# The faith which once for all was giv’n / Unto the saints of old, / Has been committed unto us / To guard, defend, and hold. / This good deposit is the mark / Of God’s economy, / Without it we will miss the aim / Of His recovery. (Hymns #1285)
# Oh, may a clear, controlling vision of / The Lord’s economy direct my heart, / And burn in me until my spirit’s wholly set afire! / With spirit strong and active we’ll press on / To consummate God’s goal— / New Jerusalem, Hallelujah! (Song on God’s Economy)
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