The answer, Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians, is that he forms us into a body—a group of individuals united in their purpose and love for each other and for the Lord.
If one person stumbles, the rest of the group is there to pick him up and help him walk with God again. And as we mature together as the loving body of Christ, we, in turn, demonstrate to the world that God’s love is the real deal.
Interact with God’s Word:
1. According to verses 4-6, what unites all believers in spite of their many differences? (See also 1 Cor. 8:6.)
2. What is the responsibility of those who have the gifts listed in verse 11? (See v. 12.)
4. Why are both truth and love (v. 15) important qualities for a healthy church?
5. According to verse 16, how does a community of believers become “healthy and growing and full of love”?
Spend Time in Prayer:
Ask God to reveal to you what your own “special work” (v. 16) should be; ask him to enable you to perform it in a way that will contribute to the health and growth of your Christian community.
4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.
11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Prayer for the Week: As your disciple, Lord, I recognize I can’t live a life of faith and faithful service on my own. Help me to truly connect with Christian community.