Read Ephesians 4:1-16
That is one of several different biblical illustrations used to help readers understand the nature of the church. As we saw yesterday, this “body” is intimately tied to a mission that causes it to reach out its hands beyond itself. But that mission is more than external. This body, where Christ is the “head,” is comprised of individual parts…and the individual parts compose a single body. If you are a follower of Jesus, you dare not operate independent of other Christ followers. In fact, here are just a few thoughts from today’s reading that remind all of us how much we must work together.
Dependent. I need you…and you need me. You have abilities and resources and insights from which I can benefit…and vice versa. When you speak truth into my life, I grow. When every supporting ligament does its part, the body is strengthened. We need each other!
United. We are headed in the same direction, right? We are pulling in the same direction. Together, we want to ensure that we are collectively accomplishing God’s purpose to develop people into fully devoted followers of Christ. We have the same goal and attempt to take the same paths to get there!
Prepared. God has given our church gifted individuals who equip us to carry out ministry. Did you catch that thought from verses 11 and 12? Your experience in a worship service or group at Grace is not to be a compilation of lectures designed only to prepare you for a theological exam. No, the body becomes ready to serve as a result of the leadership’s ministry.
Mature. That’s the final result. Individually and collectively, the local church is no longer an infant looking to others for care. It is no longer a limb on a turbulent sea that is driven along by the wind and waves. It becomes stable and clear thinking.
If you are to engage in HIS story and participate in man’s rescue, you cannot do it alone. You need to be closely tied to the local church. Do you need to strengthen that tie? Everybody needs a body.