We’re continuing through Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church. He’s been teaching about our growth from infancy to maturity. This is where the Lord wants to bring us to.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 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 4:15-16 NIV
This passage is key to our growth as God’s people. It shows some things that we really need to concentrate on in our generation.
The first thing I see is pretty obvious. We need to be speaking the truth. But, the word Paul uses here is important. This word for truth also contains the thought of it being unconcealed truth. If we only tell half the truth, is it really the truth?
In our generation, we have a problem with many of the Scriptural teachings. We stay silent because we don’t want to “rock the boat” of society around us.
We miss the key. This verse literally says that we speak the unconcealed truth, BUT, IN LOVE. That’s the important part. So often we either stay silent or we speak the truth as if it were a baseball bat to knock people around.
Once we know the truth, we need to seek the wisdom of God for how to present it. The Lord loves all people. His goal is always relationship and restoration. Unfortunately, there are many Christians who portray hatred and judgment.
We need to walk the narrow path that Jesus exemplified so wonderfully in His life in earth. He was able to tell someone, “I’m not condemning you, but you need to leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11)
It’s obvious from these two verses that the important part is our love. We need to be speaking in love. But the body of Christ also has to be growing in love.
The language here is important for us to understand. It literally speaks of the body parts being joined and forced together. That’s an important concept for us to lay hold of. Especially after COVID, there are so many people who have left church and never returned.
We all need to be active members of the body of Christ. What do I mean by that? I’ve talked to many people, especially those who are of younger generations than me. (I’m 66 years old)
Many younger believers have left organized churches because of their frustration with “big box” religion. They don’t like seeing all of the money being poured into salaries and building maintenance. I get that.
However, the commands of Scripture still stand that we need to be meeting together, in-person, as the body of Christ. I don’t know what the church of Jesus Christ (not the denomination) is going to look like in ten years. We’re going through a time of transition right now.
But, there needs to be a meeting together. Whether that turns out to be in homes, like the first century church, or coffee shops, libraries, etc. Somehow we must come back together, face to face. That’s what we’re being called to do.
The passage above give us the result that each part is doing its work. We’re all called to some work for the Lord. The fact is that you’ll only find it when you know where you’re attached to the body. That’s the progression. Speaking the truth in love – joined and forced together – finding the work you’re called to do.
My prayer is that you’ll seek God for His wisdom. That’s what we need in the times we find ourselves in. Knowing the Scripture and applying it properly are two parts of the whole. It takes time spent with the Holy Spirit to live above the problems of the world around us.
Question: Where do you find yourself in the above passage?
© 2023 Nick Zaccardi