“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22 ESV
“When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” Ephesians 3:4-6 ESV
It is clear then that we are individually a part of the body of Christ, with unique functions as appointed by God. God chose to build His church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ as the chief cornerstone. God gives apostles and prophets revelation for building His church in the right way, at the right place, and at the right time. They are still foundational in the structure of the Church in order for it to build itself up powerfully and properly through love. God appoints us and then builds the Church through us as we all function together, in God’s order.
Prophets have been called spokesmen for God, but prophets are not the only ones who can hear God and express what they hear. Apostles have been called wise master builders, but apostles are not the only wise builders. Those things may be a core part of their capability and anointing, but that is not what makes them who they uniquely are. I’ve seen prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers who are wise master builders and spokesmen for God. In fact, there are many people who are not even part of the body of Christ who are incredibly wise master builders. And, God speaks to all men (Job 33:14-18), even through creation itself (Psa 19:1-4). In fact, all of creation hears the voice of its Creator, whose voice goes forth and accomplishes its purpose (Isa 55:11).
“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.” 1 Corinthians 12:27-28 ESV
“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.” Ephesians 4:11-16 ESV
It’s not about what we can do, but about who we are. It’s not about who can build something, but about building up the body of Christ—and we are all called to be involved in that. It’s about each of us finding and filling our God-appointed place in the body of Christ so that we can be built up together into the fullness of Christ. It’s about each of us finding our purpose, fulfillment, and contentment where God appoints us. It’s about honoring one another according to who God says that we are. It’s a matter of you being you, and me being me—giving one another room to be who we are without a spirit of competition between us. It’s about being positioned for growing up together in love.
Jeremy Caris is the founder and president of Caris Ministries. Since he is called as a prophet and gifted as a teacher, much of his focus involves equipping believers to hear, know, and follow God in their own daily experience. He teaches the foundational truth of the Word with simple clarity, while revealing deep things of the spirit in practical ways. He has the unique ability to demystify the supernatural side of real relationship with a living God and make it an embraceable and accessible reality for all believers. Jeremy has been married to his best friend, Mandy Caris, for twenty years, and is the proud father of two boys.