Earlier this week we said that while we all receive gifts to use for the body, some are called to equip others for the Great Commission (Matt 28:16-20): “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4:11-13)

The overall mission for every Christian leader is “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”. This involves leaders training their flock by serving others alongside their church. And we are to be equipped so “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ” (Eph 4:14-15)

After describing Christ as the head, in verse 15, Paul now discusses the rest of the spiritual “body” of the church: “from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Eph 4:16). Each individual part must work together, according to its design and purpose, and in the intended way, in order for the body to function properly. This means that when one person is weak, the rest of the body of Christ suffers. 

A healthy body, functioning in harmony, also “makes the body grow.” Spiritually speaking, when the members of the body of Christ work together in unity, as we should, the church “builds itself up in love.” It attracts others to the gospel of Christ, and those people are added to the family of God (Acts 2:47). A church known for speaking the truth in love will be known as a healthy church, a healthy body. Those in the body all function and function together to accomplish the tasks of the church (Acts 2:42-47).

We are to function together as a body, with each doing their work to build up the body in love, because we need each other as iron sharpens iron (Prov 27:17). “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Heb 10:23-25)

Heavenly Father, thank You that I am part of Christ’s Body and thank You that we are united together in Him. Thank You for the unity we have in Christ and for the diversity of people that have been saved by grace through faith in Christ. Thank You that we are all one in Him and are being fitted and held together, as we live and work according to Your plans and purposes. May we live, and work, and grow together in Him, and help to build each other up in the unity of the faith. This I ask in Jesus’ name, amen.