(Ephesians 4:16) “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
We just had a triathlon in our city. Even though I run occasionally, it was no surprise that I did not compete. I’m what you call a “casual runner.” I try hard but I wouldn’t call what I do “training.” So what sets a triathlon athlete apart from the rest of us who run, bike or swim? After talking to a couple of people who compete, it’s obvious: They have a balanced, disciplined training program. Not only are triathletes dedicated, they focus on every body part, nutrition, and mindset. They put themselves daily in a well-rounded test of endurance that builds up the whole person.
The Bible describes the Church (every saved person) as the Body of Christ. This Body is designed for endurance, just like the triathlete. Just like an elite competitor, the Body of Christ has a purpose aimed at victory. But just like any athlete, the Body of Christ can be weakened or it can be made stronger. This verse in Ephesians gives 3 keys to understanding what it takes to make the Body stronger and ultimately, more useful and fit for the purpose of God.
Christ Is The Source
“From whom” points us back to the previous verse where the last word is “Christ.” Not only is He the Head, He also places each one of us into a particular place in the Body so that we are “fitly joined together.” In the big picture, this how we are supposed to function as the Church. We aren’t supposed to be a fragmented group of people with our own agendas. He places each one so that we fit together perfectly to work as one living organism.
Every Person Is Important
“…compacted by that which every joint supplieth…” – compacted in the Greek means “to drive together, that is, unite.” There are no insignificant people in the Church. Regardless of our physical or mental abilities, as we are spiritually nourished, there is a strength we bring to the Body (Colossians 2:19). Our individual spiritual growth through understanding is intended to contribute to the strengthening of the entire Body. Unfortunately, too many people mistake intellectual understanding for spiritual growth. When they are around Christians who don’t understand as much as they do, they cut themselves off out of impatience. They wind up isolating themselves from the Body and often feel bitter or combative against other Christians. God designed us to work together and allow for others to grow in grace. Every Christian working in close contact with other Christians is critical.
Love Is The Key Ingredient
Love is the key to strength in the Body. Without love, there is no growth. It is the motivation behind grace. If we truly lived under grace, wouldn’t love be our identifying characteristic? If every Christian would value and esteem all the other Christians more than they value and esteem themselves – without conditions – what kind of revolution could we have in the Church?
We need a stronger Church today – will you do your part?
[box]Renewed Thought – The identity of the Body of Christ is gloriously manifested through the members living in the identity of the Head.[/box]