We are picking up from Friday in the Book of Ephesians, which we know is about God’s eternal plan in bringing all things together in Christ Jesus. The Apostle Paul does an amazing job of explaining how this plan works, and he includes how God has brought us together as the church and how we are called to a place of “unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son” (v. 13).
You might be thinking, how can I be united with everyone at church when I can’t even begin to relate to some of the people who attend Sunday morning worship? Well, my friends, your differences with people at church are by design; and today’s passage says that our diversity as a church is for a purpose: God’s purpose, which is for all of us, as a united church, to be “mature in the Lord” (v. 13).
Paul is not writing about us just becoming mature individually. Rather, he’s writing about the maturity that the church reaches as a body. Once we reach this place of maturity in the Lord, Paul tells us that “we will no longer be immature like children” (v. 14). As a mature church, “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” (v. 15).
When you and I come together, with everyone else in the church, as one united body, Jesus “makes the whole body fit together perfectly” (v. 16). Each of us plays our own part, but our part helps the other parts, so together we are growing and full of the love of Christ Jesus.
Pastor Mary preached yesterday about how we all need to come together in unity as the church for this coming year. If you missed yesterday’s sermon at the park, there is a link to it at the bottom of this devotion.
Ephesians 4:7-16 NLT
Unity in the Body
7 However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. 8 That is why the Scriptures say,
“When he ascended to the heights,
he led a crowd of captives
and gave gifts to his people.”
9 Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. 10 And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.
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: Jesus, we thank You for being the head of our body, the church. Help us, Lord, to work together to grow in our faith, as Your church, so that we can mature in You. We want to be equipped to do Your work. We ask all of this in Your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.