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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”—Ephesians 4:11–16 (NIV)
Have you ever thought of the complexity of our human body? The fact that our bodies are made up of 11 organ systems with about 78 organs and trillions of cells just blows my mind! Additionally, these systems and organs and cells all work together for various purposes. Not only can the human body perform all of these chemical and physical processes, but it can also feel emotions, process information, make decisions, and even create new life. This same human body can work together with others in order to build similarly complex things, such as a building. Buildings can contain from the smallest of all nails to the heaviest of all metals, yet they all fit together to create one beautiful structure.
With this visual in mind, I cannot help but see why God inspired Paul to use these analogies to communicate the beautiful concept of unity. When we become a part of the family of God, we become a part of His body and together we form “a holy temple in the Lord . . . a dwelling place for God” (Ephesians 2:21–22 ESV). A body can only function efficiently when every part is performing its duty and working together, and a building can only serve its purpose when its creator designs it and places every part exactly where it should be.
As children of God, we get to actively engage in fellowship and community with one another through being part of a local church where our gifts can be put to good use, our knowledge of God can grow, and our love for each other can be shown. This may look like intentionally spending more time with the Lord in the Word, taking and praying through a spiritual gifts test, courageously joining a small group, and purposely choosing to love those who are difficult to love.
In a time where people can easily feel overwhelmed by division and hostility, especially within the Christian community, it’s important to remember that although God gives various people in the church various gifts and roles, He equips us all with and for the same purpose: to grow together in unity as we serve one another, mature in our faith, and speak the truth in love. This is our mission—one of wholeness, unity, and service for the greater good of the body and the greater glory of God!
Pause: Ask yourself what misconceptions you have about the body of Christ. Perhaps you’ve been hurt by the church or you have not seen many churches supporting other churches. Try to identify those misconceptions and expose them in light of the truth from this passage.
Practice: Perhaps those misconceptions have prevented you from being too involved in church or serious about your fellow Christian family members. Make it a point today and this week to intentionally serve and love others in at least one area of your church or Christian community.
Pray: Jesus, You are the head of the body Lord. I want to play my role and grow the giftings You have given me for the sake of building up the body. Even more than that, though, I want to promote and experience unity through embracing Your powerful love. I ask that You help me see how to do that better today. Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.