One of the ways I study the Bible is to look at a passage that is so positive in nature and then think about the impact its truth has if the positive conditions in that passage are not met. Such is the nature of part of the letter Paul wrote to Ephesus. Paul described the results of every member being joined to Christ and the mutual edification which follows.
“But, speaking the truth in love, (you) may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—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. This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind” (Eph. 4:15-17).
The passage begins with an affirmation of truth and the proper communication of it. Some preach the Bible but seem to rejoice that they have the truth and use it to belittle those who do not know it. The body of Jesus cannot function unless we know truth and preach it in love.
Then there is the description of every member’s growth being tied to the head, Christ. What happens to the body when a member’s spiritual nourishment does not come from Christ. The answer is that the body of Christ is sick. Increase the percentage who are not being nourished by the head, and the body, the church, get even more diseased.
Next, the passage presents a picture of every joint of the body supplying the other parts of that body. A joint is where two members of the body touch each other, and God’s plan is for that connection to so impact both parts that the needs of the entire body are supplied. What happens when we touch other members, but fail to share with them the riches of Christ? The body, the local congregation, is crippled!
When every part does it share, the passage affirms that this causes growth of the body as it edifies itself in love. Now look at the negative as it concerns you. What if you are not doing your share? What if you are around your brethren and you do not seek to supply what another brother needs? What happens when your attendance becomes sporadic and those around you in worship are not edified by seeing you? What happens when in worship you are not diligent in singing, admonishing those who hear you? What happens when your actions keep others from focusing on their worship?
We live in an age where so much energy is given to developing our bodies. Let’s make sure we develop His body!