My first grandchild is almost 11 months old. Watching him grow and change and learn has been amazing and fun.
When Micah and his parents (our daughter and son-in-law) were here for Christmas, he was pulling up on everything and walking around by holding on to the furniture. But that won’t be the end of the growing. Soon, Micah will be standing without assistance and then walking on his own.
Micah’s success with standing and walking would be severely diminished if he was missing a limb. While, the human body is miraculous and can rise to all kinds of physical challenges, we need every single part to optimally function like God intended.
The same is true for the body of Christ. The church needs every part, every member of the body, to function as God intends.
When God saved you, He saved you into His family, into the body of Christ. You are one member joined together with all the other members. God designed us for community. His plan for His children is for us to live out our faith in community and to grow together in unity (Eph 2:19-22).
The church cannot be all God purposes without you and you cannot be all God purposes without the local church. Here are a few quick truths from Scripture:
- Every Christian is a member of God’s family.
- A believer cannot choose to separate herself from the body. She is a part (1 Cor 12 15).
- Each member of the body “belongs” to the other members. Christians have a mutual responsibility to and for each other (Romans 5:4-6).
- God gives every Christian spiritual gifts intended to be used for the good of the family (1 Cor 12:7).
- Every Christian has a specific place of service in the body (1 Cor 12:27).
- It takes every member serving where God placed her for the body to grow properly and become mature in Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13).
In Ephesians 4, Paul beautifully describes God’s intent for the church – locally and globally:
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 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.14 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. 15 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. 16 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
As individual members each carry out their “God assignment” in the local church, the body grows together in health and unity. As we all continue to serve together, love each other, and encourage and challenge each other, the church will become spiritually mature. Then the church will be steady and strong, resistant to false teaching and battle-ready to defeat Satan’s scheming. And the best part is that the church will reflect Christ to a lost world.
This is God’s design for a healthy, mature church body. Are you doing your part? Have you obeyed God’s call?
What body “part” are you? Where has God placed you in His body?