“…from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” (Eph. 4:16)
The head of the body is Christ. The task of the body is to grow up, to mature. It cannot do this in disharmony. Therefore Paul introduced the concept of oneness in the body. This is a oneness as to unity of purpose. Every part of the body is not the same, rather the body celebrates the differences in the various members of the body.
The body cannot function at its highest level until every member or part is doing its rightful share. Notice his careful wording of how the body is fitted and held together. It’s not because one of the members has a doctorate in Bible Studies or fifty years in pulpit ministry. It’s not because that particular group of believers are overachievers or are blessed with exceptionally high IQs. No, the body fits and stays fit because of what “every” connection supplies to the total.
Each part has a part. We understand that statement, right. Like a well functioning watch, each small part has to operate at maximum to achieve the correct time. Things with parts must work in a corporate way or nothing will be achieved. Each part, that is, each separate part (person) must work properly.
If the ear quits hearing the body will be deaf in the same way that if the eye refuses to see the body will be blind. To reach its potential the body must grow all of its parts and all of the parts must see that they grow.
It is God’s desire that the church be a full and completely functional unit. It is the expected outcome of maturity. The body grows by building itself up. It grows from the inside not from the outside. True, the body will naturally grow in size and that is important but a huge child is not the same as a large adult.
To grow up versus out the church must feed itself, love. Every single member of the body of Christ is an element of love. Every single member brings love or the member does not help growth. If the member is causing the body to be built up it is doing so with love as that is the only way it can be done. The forces of the evil one cannot succeed against a building fashioned from love.
Task for today: Make sure of two things. One, that I am a proper working part and two that I am working in love. If these two things are true then I will fulfill the desire of this verse.