October 2, 2018
READ: Ephesians 4:11-15
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 (v.15).
Creating imitations of fine art in order to deceive is a crime, but people often overlook the skill that forgers possess. It takes artistic talent not just to imitate a piece of art, but to replicate it so perfectly that even an art expert could mistake it as an original. In fact, some have argued that certain forgeries should be considered original pieces of art due to their exquisite handiwork!
Paul paints a similar relationship between Jesus and the body of Christ in his letter to the church at Ephesus. In this passage, the apostle teaches us that the church can reflect Jesus in “every way more and more” (Ephesians 4:15), a challenging prospect to consider. How can we, an imperfect and sinful group of people, ever hope to reflect Jesus in such a manner?
According to the context of this passage, the answer is through our unity. Paul wrote, “Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace” (v.3). As we’re united together in Jesus (v.5) and work together in the roles in which He’s placed us (v.11), Paul tells us that we will “[measure] up to the full and complete standard of Christ” (v.13). As we live and work together in unity, like a healthy body does, we begin to reflect Jesus more perfectly to the world around us. And “we . . . speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ” (v.15).
Paul’s words are a reminder of how important Christian unity is to our witness for Jesus. We shouldn’t strive to be unified in the church simply so that we can function better. Our unity allows us to truly live as the body of Christ, so that when the world looks at us, they see the beauty of Jesus as well.
365-day plan: John 21:15-25
Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-21 for a more detailed description of the church as the body of Christ.
In what ways can you see Jesus reflected in your local church body? What gifts and roles do you bring to the body of Christ?