And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
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God has ordained various roles and offices in the Church for the benefit of the entire Church. The ministry is given the responsibility of equipping the members—called saints because they are set apart by God’s special calling—for works of service.
“Service is what unites all the members of Christ’s body from the apostles to the most apparently insignificant disciple (1 Co 12:22). Christ himself set the example (Mk 10:45; Lk 22:27)” (Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary, Vol. 2, note on Ephesians 4:12).
All this builds up the Church, leading toward the beautiful unity and maturity that come from fully following Jesus Christ. He is our example and the One we measure ourselves against.
For more about following Jesus Christ, see “Christ in Us: How Does He Live in You?”