When I was in high school, on two different occasions, I had in-grown toenails in my big toes. To understate it, they hurt so badly. They were so bad that they kept me out of basketball for about a week each time. I ended up having them surgically removed. After that, I was back to normal. Here’s the point, without my toes (or toe) working properly, I could not do what I needed to do.
Well in Ephesians 4, Paul is writing about the church as a body. The body of Christ is to be united. And in the body’s unity comes strength, and this strength is seen when the church is effective in faithfully serving the Lord in the world. In 4:11 he says God gives the church people to be in position to serve the church. The way those people (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) serve the church is by equipping the saints (all members of the church) to do the work of ministry.
And that work is “for building up the body of Christ” (v.12) until we all are mature and Christlike.
So the first half of Ephesians 4 is about the church and what makes it healthy and strong and what builds it up.
Then at the end of this section, in verse 16, he says “when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
Our focus is to be working properly. All of us to be working properly. The body will grow and the body will be built up in love when all of us begin working properly.
Lets start doing our part. We all have different parts. Lets start doing it.
Here are just a few examples:
- About a month ago, we had a single lady here desperately in need of help. A church member noticed me speaking with her. That church member (after speaking with me) then went to the grocery store and bought a load of groceries. We gave them to her. We were careful to explain why we were doing this. In the last month, we have seen God moving in her heart. She is confessing sin and embracing Christ. She is on her way to becoming a church member.
- We had our VBS last month and it was awesome. We had many people come out to serve the church and community. It was encouraging to see so many people wanting to serve. One lady in particular told me that it had been some 15-20 years since she had volunteered her time to serve the church. What a blessing to see God moving in her life!
- Another family nearby has been coming more and more involved over the last year. We have been able to assist them in various ways over this year. Of late, they have even started to now help us in assisting others. Bills have been paid, food and clothing provided, small crises have been worked out, and now they are speaking with us about wanting to follow Christ. They are on their way.
- Another lady that we have had a good relationship with for years, has recently turned her life over to Christ. Jesus saved her. For the last month, this lady has been meeting one on one with an older lady in our church to be discipled. God is working in her life, and she will soon be baptized.
These are just a few of the many examples of how we are on our way to “working properly” around here. God is the source. His grace is our strength. As we are working properly, we are seeing the body growing and being built up in love.