A note from our pastor:
“From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”Ephesians 4:16
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
In the New Testament the body of Christ or the body of believers can be one of two things: 1) the entirety of the elect family of God. This body is not one that is readily visible and exist in all parts of the earth; and 2) the visible or militant body of Christ which is in essence the true New Testament church. Not in the sense of one local congregation but of all of the local congregations fit together mystically as one body.
The group under consideration in this verse is the visible church. In this verse, and in those preceding it, the Apostle is teaching on the church and the gifts given to the church for the purpose of edification. The Apostle often uses the analogy of comparing the visible church to the natural body. Christ is the head of the church. Just as in the natural body, in the church, the command and control rests within the head.
Although made up of different and unique members, the natural body is perfectly fit together. Each body part serves a distinct purpose and is located in the body where that purpose can be fulfilled. Take for instance how different the body would work if the eyes were located where the knees are. The change in location would make many of the tasks we perform every day impossible or at least drastically different. Instead, the eyes are located in the head which allows for functionality.
In the same fashion, each member of the church is perfectly joined together with other members according to their gifts. (By not exercising our gifts or not appreciating the gifts of others, we can limit the functionality of a particular member.) When each member, led by the Holy Spirit, exercises their gift in service to God and in love for one another the body functions, as a whole, as it is intended to do. Each member has a purpose and each purpose supports other members.
Finally, the Apostle notes, when each member is using their gifts in accordance with the Holy Spirit the body has the ability to edify itself and in doing so to grow. The body might grow in strength, in understanding, or possibly even in numbers. Edification in the church is not one directional. In other words, it does not come solely from the minister to the congregation. Rather it is multi-directional and cyclical as each member edifies one another.
The New Testament church as God designed it is a complex and living body. It requires nurishment, exercise, and care. It is the duty of each member of the body to use the gifts we have been given for the health and growth of the body.
Our Prayers are with you daily,