How Jesus Christ cares for His body, His church! Now exalted at the right hand of our Father in heaven, Jesus has sovereignly and diversely gifted every member of His body.
“But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Eph. 4:7)
As Paul goes on to explain in Eph. 4:8-16 , Christ has done this that His church might be equipped and made mature in His holy love. All of this is for the ultimate purpose that the church might live more fully to the praise of God’s glorious grace (see Eph. 1:6,12,14 and Eph. 3:20-21).
What this means for every believer is that to love Christ is to love His body! To serve Christ is to serve His body! It is love for Christ, and zeal for the Fathers’ glory, that should enflame us to walk worthy with all humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with one another in love, and diligently preserving the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:1-3). Obviously, these truths have great implications for our lives together in a local church.
The more we’re gripped with zeal for God’s purposes in Christ, the more we’ll understand and obey His will for us as members of His church. And the less we’ll be concerned about ourselves and our often self-centered desires, instead pouring ourselves out in love for one another. Consider this exhortation:
“Let us be done with our little kingdoms as well as the spirit of complacency that does not care if the church is divided or immature. On the contrary, let us seek out our gifts and ask how we may use them to the building up of Christ’s body. Christ does not squander His gifts; each one is essential. He does not withhold his gifts; they are poured out in full measure. He is not indifferent to how His gifts are used; He has His own wise and lofty purposes in view.” (James M. Boice, Ephesians: An Expositional Commentary, pg. 138)
Beloved, what a privilege to share life in Christ together with you. May God help us to keep walking worthy of His calling, for the glory of His great name!