The body of Christ is to reach its full stature – even the fullness of Christ Jesus. His saints are being perfected… fitted together, and doing the work of ministering – ministering to one another.. encouraging each other, and speaking the truth in love.
Body of Christ
The body of Christ is being built up until we all come into the unity of the saints. The Church is silently growing until we come to the knowledge of the Son of God. We are all being fitly framed together – conformed into the image of the Lord Jesus. And when He appears we shall see Him as He is and be made fully like unto Him.
Unity of Spirit
The Church of Christ is viewed by the Father as a living organism – a single unit. We are united together under the headship of the Lord – each in vital union with Christ. And united also on the horizontal plain – each member in union with the others. The fullness of the stature of Him anticipates a ‘oneness’ of each member with Christ. The fullness of the stature of Christ requires unity of spirit with fellow believers.
There is unity and communion that the Godhead enjoys eternally – Father, Son, and Spirit. And the Lord Jesus prayed that His body would have the same oneness and fellowship, ‘that they all may all be one; as thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me’. John 17:21
Built-up in Love
But there can be neither oneness nor fellowship when the body remains in disunity, for unless the body is built up in love, even a zeal for the truth is of little worth, ‘for even if I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, but do not have love, I am nothing’. 1 Corinthians 13:2
Gifts and Graces
Much of the Church today is being robbed of the unity about which Christ prayed, so how can the body grow and build itself up in love – each part doing its work? Well, Paul has already reminded us, in the previous verses, that we all are equipped. The Spirit furnishes each of His children with the gifts and graces that we need. Each member of the body has his own work to do for the benefit of the whole, and the Spirit provides us with all that we need to carry out His work in our life.
Worthy of our Calling
We are to exercise the gifts God has given to each of us in the place He has put us. We are to minister to one another, edifying each other and speaking the truth in love. We are to walk in a manner that is worthy of the calling with which we are called, with all humility, gentleness, patience, and tolerance for one another – in love. And this will keep us from being tossed about by every wind of doctrine.
We are not only to be clothed in Christ’s righteousness but to live our lives as He did.. in humility of heart and in submission to the Spirit of God. And throughout our life, we will grow and mature.. both individually and corporately, until we come to a unity in our faith – and deeper knowledge of Christ Jesus.. until we are all mature in the faith – until the body of Christ reaches its full stature, even the fullness of Christ Jesus. But it takes time and when we revert back to the world, our standards will fail.
Life of Christ
Every member of the body has Christ’s life imparted to them, by the Spirit of God. May we be members that minister to one another and encouraging each other – in love. May we continue to build and be built, until we all come to unity in the faith. May we be fitly framed together – speaking the truth in love as we grow in grace. May we walk in humility and gentleness, patience and love. May we do our part to build up the body of Christ – in love.
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
6 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.