The Body of Christ

Ephesians 4:15-16

Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – June 23rd, 2019

Intro:

  • When you believe in Christ, God adopts you as His child and you become a member of the body of Christ (which is the church, those who are “called out”).  The church is scattered all over the world and is gathered in local congregations, of which Mosaic is one of them.   
  • God’s desire and goal is that His church, His body, His bride be both mature and strong. And He has given us His strategy for becoming this way.  
  • You as individual members want to be apart of a local church body that is growing in maturity and strength.  In being a part of a body that is this way, you will be able to accomplish great things for the kingdom and receive great reward in a vast number of ways . . .  
  • The maturity and strength of every church depends upon the maturity, strength and connectivity of each of its members.  
  • This morning we are going to focus on attention on God’s desire for His church and what we are to do in order to become all that He desires.  We are going to learn these things from our passage for this morning, Ephesians 4:15-16.  

Eph 4:15-16 NIV 
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 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. 

  • The “instead” in this verse is contrasting those who are “infants” in the faith and those who are “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming” (Eph 4:14 NIV) with what we are to be instead – mature and strong. 
  • There are two ways we are to grow as a body of believers.  We are to grow in maturity and grow in strength. 

Grow in maturity

Eph 4:15 NIV 
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.

  • We are to grow up into him who is the head, that is, Christ.  This tells us a number of things.  One, that Christ is the “head” and that He is the one in charge and He is the one we serve. He serves us as the head, and we serve Him as the body.  
  • Two, we are to grow up into Him. This means that we are to grow into Him in maturity and development (Like a child who “grows into” their head), Noting that He is the head and we are to be mature like Him.  So, we as a congregation must be growing in maturity in all things . . . which means in how think, what we say, and what we do.  
  • “Speaking the truth in love” is the way that we will in all things grow up.  We must be speaking truth to each other if we are to “grow up.”  So what truth are we to speak about?
  • Number one, true teaching from the Bible built upon Christ.  I say this based upon the verse before this (infants be swayed by every wind of teaching) and also from the verse later in this chapter (“But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus” (Eph 4:20-21 ESV). We are to grow through sound doctrine from the word of God. 
  • Number two is “truth in life.”  We are to tell the truth to each other.  “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another” (Eph 4:25-26 ESV).  We must be telling each other the truth so that we can grow.  And our motivation must be that we love each other.  We are to “speak the truth, in love”.  Love tells the truth but does so because of love not for any other reason.  So, ask God to give you love for other people and because you love them, tell them the truth. This is the only way that we are to grow up in every way into Christ. 

Grow in strength

Eph 4:16 NIV 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.

  • After we have grown and become mature, we should grow in strength (both ability and number). We are to be “joined and held together” through Christ and because of Him.  We are to be unified and connected to each other.  Our main connection is our faith and then through our lives we are to be unified and functioning as a body.  Then we are to have “supporting ligaments”—we should support each other because of who we are and the support we have; we should be stable and should not topple over easily. 
  • We are to be building ourselves up in love.  This tells us that we have to be intentional and active for this to happen.  You have to be connected and you have to make the effort. You are as connected as you want to be. All of this should be because we love each other.  Love is the unifying and connecting factor (more than any other thing). 
  • As each part does its work.  This tells us that we are each a part, and each of us has a part to play and work to do. Each one of us.  No one does everything, but everything does something. And if we are functioning this way, we will grow stronger in number and our ability to get things done for Christ who is our head.  
  • For example, here are some of the parts and what they do in our church right now.  Staff, Lead Team / board, Children (CKIA, Tutor Club, Kids church, nursery, 5 minute mystery), Youth, Transportation, Hospitality/Greeters (café), Worship (includes set up /sound/ video/ musicians), Bible Studies (women’s, men’s, young moms, discipleship one on one), Events / Outreaches (Luther center, the mission), prayer team, missions (trips, Rockhouse). You also give monetarily and with gifts of all kinds. 

Conclusion 

  • God’s desire and plan is for you as the church to grow in both maturity and strength. We do this by speaking the truth of Christ and the truth of life to each in love.  We are to be intentionally interconnected to each other through love, and because of this we are to be strong and stable as each one of us works. 
  • Make sure you are speaking the truth in love.  Make sure you are connected and working.