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Church Growth and Unity

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says,

“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”

(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so 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. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from 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.

–Paul the apostle (Ephesians 4:1-16)

Walk in Integrity

“John could hardly believe what just happened, but there was the evidence right in front of him: where before he had just had one copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, now there were two, exactly identical. He picked up the second volume and paged through it, noticing that it contained the exact words that he had just finished reading in the first book—every line, every page number, every chapter heading was exactly the same! He had bought the first book at a store just the day before, and had finished it that afternoon. And how did he come by this second copy, you ask? Why, he simply uttered Geminio! and it appeared. He tried it again, and there lay on his desk three identical copies of his favourite book. ‘I’ll try once more,’ he whispered, and after saying that magical word, he then had four of the same book.

“You can scarcely imagine how overjoyed this boy was at his new discovery. Not only did he learn that he had magical powers, but now he could share with his friends this book that he had found so much delight in! He gave the three surplus copies to his closest friends, Harold, Jean, and Frederick, but it wasn’t long before all his schoolmates learned of his power in duplication, and had requested copies of their own. But how great was their astonishment when they took their new Harry Potter books home and found that they, too, possessed that same spell-casting ability! Before long these magically-produced books were spreading like an epidemic, and book publishers began wondering if things weren’t getting a little out of hand…”

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