Unity in the Body of Christ
4I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call-- 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8Therefore it says,
"When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,and he gave gifts to men."
9(In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?Or the lower parts of the earth? 10He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
11And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherdsOr pastors and teachers,Or the shepherd-teachers 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,Greek to a full-grown man to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright (c)2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. http://www.esv.org