While the first six verses of our chapter stress the unity of the Spirit, something we already have, verses 7-16 stress the unity of the faith, something we need to grow into.
In the first section we are one, for all believers have the Spirit dwelling in them. As the natural body is composed of many members and yet is one body, so we spiritually are many members, yet one body. As the members of this one body we are exhorted to keep the unity that exists by displaying the characteristics of Christ in our lives.
In the next section we are introduced to the risen, victorious Christ riding in triumph, leading His ‘captivity captive’. In His triumphal march this victorious One gives gifts. These gifts are men to be used in the equipping of the church, for it to come to maturity, ‘unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ’, v. 13.
The signs of immaturity are vacillation, ‘tossed to and fro’, and deception, ‘every wind of doctrine, by the slight of men’, v. 14. The deception of these winds of doctrine is that they all contain some element of truth mixed with varying amounts of error. That is why it is so important to receive from the evangelists good teaching concerning the gospel and to have the pastors, those experienced ones to care for us, and the teachers, who will spend time carefully building us up in the truths of God’s word. The foundation of all the teaching and caring must be the word of God. That teaching is contained in the writings of the apostles and prophets. The risen Christ has provided all we need.
The perfection of maturity is seen in the One who is our Head. He is the ultimate perfection of manhood dealing honestly and lovingly with each one He came in contact with. He was without deception of any kind. He was the perfect embodiment of ‘grace and truth’.
This is the One we are to grow into. No wonder Paul could exclaim, ‘but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind ...I press toward the mark’, Phil. 3.13-14. As we look at our lives, can we see that we have ‘grown up into Him’? Today, let us press on.