“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.” – Eph. 4:11-16 (NLT)
How much do you love the church?
In Eph. 5:25 Husbands are commanded to love their wives as Christ love the church and gave himself for her.
The church is important to our Savior. He loves it and gave himself for it (Eph. 5:25).
However, how do you feel about the church? Are you connected with the body of Christ? Is the welfare of the church on your mind?
What’s important to you?
We tend to think about the things that are important to us, our loved ones, family, close friends, jobs but somehow for some of us the interest in the body of believers many times is not felt as important.
This is reflected in our nonchalant attitudes to worship attendance, involvement in church activities and the mindset of making ourselves available in areas to serve.
Whether the church strives or dies is not my concern but the responsibility of others we have made it. The church becomes a “they and me”. We somehow begin to focus on our individuality as a Christian and forget how intermingled our collective duties, in the church, is to our salvation.
The deceit of the Devil
The devil is cunning. A crafty and deceptive worker. He is actively pursuing our minds, placing thoughts for us to conform to bad attitudes and habits. He knows how to get us to not be involved or take little or less interest in the affairs of the church. He will give us reasons to be discouraged, can’t bother when there is good work to be done by you. He will give us justified feelings to not become involved or make the extra effort to do more.
“Oh I’m so busy”. “Oh I’m so tired”. “Oh I don’t like to do that”. “Oh I don’t think I can do that”. “Oh they’re ungrateful”. “Oh why bother they don’t appreciate my help”. “Oh they don’t listen” are all excuses we will make in attempt to console our conscience.
Join Fitted Together
However in Eph. 4:16 we are called to be Joined Fitted Together.
The word join means to link or be connected to. It gives the idea of uniting something together.
The word fitted (in the context of the scripture) means suitably in place, properly attached.
We as Christians being a part in and apart of the Body of Christ, for us to be effective we need to be connected and suitably affixed in the work of the Lord.
You see something can be joined but not fitted properly. Have you ever seen something dangling, hanging precariously from the ceiling and it needs some tightening up quickly or things are gonna fall apart shortly? This can happen because either
- there was faulty installation. We can have Christians who are in the body but are not properly screwed in. We can Christians who are not in the right place emotionally, mentally, spiritually and this is affecting their ability to perform and may also affect the work of others in the body.
- or wear and tear after a while. We can have Christians who are tired of Leadership styles, fellow members issues. Overwhelmed by Family duties, community, school or job. Yes Life can wear us down but we are encouraged to not get weary in well doing! (Gal. 6:9)
In Eph. 4: 11 Paul writes there are various responsibilities given to individuals in the church with the purpose of v12 training/preparing God’s people to serve so that we can ensure the church (Christ’s body) is growing/built up. Verse 15 indicates it is Christ who is the head of the body and he has given these various responsibilities to members within the body to work together for the building up of his body.
Everyone one in the body of Christ has a role to play in ensuring the body functions well. Our individual responsibility in the church might be compared to a clock: In order for a clock to keep good time each part, however small, must do its work and do it well. If one part stops working, it will slow the clock down or stop it altogether. Each part must do its work and its own work.
The Body of Christ
In 1 Cor. 12: 7-27 Paul furthers illustrates the church as the body of Christ and each part in the body must work together for the system to be efficient. Everyone in the church have responsibilities and each role given is important and serves a significant purpose. The body will begin to develop problems if a part is not doing what it is supposed to be doing. This can result from:
- A part being overworked
- A part being affected by illness, disease
We as members of the body of Christ are the parts in the body and have been given tasks to ensure the body’s system is operational. Sometimes the workload is left with a few persons who have now become either old or worn out and fatigue. This will affect the body functioning. Sometimes a part is affected by ignorance, lack of enthusiasm, discouragement, unwillingness to be a team member.
Does anyone want an unhealthy body? Do we feel satisfied if our physical body is in pain and leave that area unattended? Do we develop attitudes of “I don’t care and it’s not my responsibility”?
Our mindset and concern should be that we don’t want any disturbance in the body but we should have the same care for another 1 Cor. 12:25. We need to understand our roles in the body and our relationship with each other is pivotal to our Christianity.
You see as Christians if we don’t understand our responsibilities to the church, we can be joined but not fitted and properly in place.
We are to be responsible
It’s important for us to realize that we all have been given key responsibilities to carry out in our service within the Lord’s body. Failure to realize these roles may leave the congregation ailing and one’s soul in danger.
Every one of us have been given responsibilities in the Kingdom of God. And don’t think because I’m too young, or too old you are excused. We all have a job to do.
- The training and equipping of members (Eph. 4:12)
- The preaching of the word, correcting, rebuking and encouraging (2 Tim 4:2)
- The Seeking of the Lost (Mark 16:15-16)
- The giving of a helping ears & hands to each other’s distress and troubles (Gal. 6:2)
- The older women teaching younger women and we need younger women making themselves available for learning. (Titus 2:4)
- Persons praying on behalf of governments, fellow brethren and people (1 Tim. 2:1-2)
- The visiting of orphans and widows in distress (James 1:27)
Our first responsibility is to turn up for the work (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Our second responsibility is to do our work well as illustrated in the Parable of the Talents by Jesus in Matt. 25: 14-30.
When the Savior returns we will have to give an account of the things we have done in the body.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. – (2 Cor. 5:10)