Ephesians 4:16 The Goal of Ministry IV: Love

We have been looking at the marks of a mature church. Verse 14 of Ephesians 4 has shown that to arrive a mature spiritual manhood means to be no longer children who are at the mercy of every wind of false teaching. By contrast verse 15 reveals, that if the church is to grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ, we do so only as we speak the truth to one another. However, even truth can be held and dispensed with a deceitful or unloving spirit, so the truth communicated, we are told, must be in love. The third and final visible mark of the mature church then, described in verse 16, is one where each member is faithfully fulfilling his or her appointed function in the body of Christ and thus contributing to the growth of the whole body. It pictures the body of Christ as a living organism in which each member contributes to the whole by giving and receiving to and from each other, that which is drawn from Christ, the head. Drawing from Christ as our source, the body then effects its own growth, a process which takes place, according to the effective working by which every part does its share (vs. 16). In other words, every member of the body to whom a gift has been given by the ascended Christ, receives the necessary enabling power from Christ, to perform his or her proper function, so that the growth of the whole body is advanced.

Now as Paul concludes this section, after 16 verses of Scripture, his overall message is crystal clear – a church is a body where each member lives for the well-being of the whole – another way of putting it – where each member loves one another. As this happens the body grows; it becomes more like its Head to whom it submits. Unity and maturity are vitally linked, and cannot be separated from one another.

When a church is not growing, its stunted fellowship can often be traced to one of two causes – either a lack of truth or a lack of love – sadly sometimes both. Just as is the case with truth, where love is lacking, Christ is lacking – for Christ is Love incarnate; and if we, as Christ’s body, are not loving, then we are not being Christ to one another. Sadly this is the ecclesiastical status quo – it too well describes the church of our day; a church more reminiscent of the Old Testament, where when we speak of “the church” we really mean the building or the temple or the “worship center” instead of “the church,” as it truly means – the people. If we get a grasp on the kind of new society that God reveals to us in this section of Scripture, then we will not be content in doing church the way we have been for centuries, but rather will pray and work for the church’s total renewal. This text has set before a beautiful picture of a deepening and growing fellowship of God’s people with an eager desire to visibly display Christian unity, through an active every-member ministry of truth loving and truth speaking people. We need to keep this biblical ideal ever before us, particularly as we move on into the instructions of the second half of Ephesians 4; realize that verses 1-16 provide the framework in which the exhortations of the remainder of the epistle are carried out.

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2 thoughts on “Ephesians 4:16 The Goal of Ministry IV: Love

  1. “When a church is not growing, its stunted fellowship can often be traced to one of two causes – either a lack of truth or a lack of love – sadly sometimes both.”

    Oh so true..

  2. Transformation begins with our minds set upon the Head, who is Christ. When each member of the Body of Christ is connected with the Head of all “power and principalities” we are united a whole. It is not something we work by our effort. “We are HIS workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works that He hath prepared in advance for us…” Eph. 1:5; “having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will to the praise of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood the forgiveness of sins according to the richness of His which He made abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence having made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure which He purposed IN HIMSELF that the dispensation of the the fullness of times HE might gather together all things IN CHRIST both which are in heaven and which are in earth IN HIM.” Therefore, it is my firm belief that the true Body of Believers union to Christ and her spiritual growth is as Spurgeon truthfully stated; is all of GOD and all of grace.” When we lose connection to the Head, who is Christ, the Church suffers loss of spiritual growth. The American church has suffered ship wreck and is in danger of GOD’S open rebuke because we have lost connection with the Head, Jesus Christ. We have chosen “party time,” American idol type hype. I constantly hear from others how they have attended services without hearing the name of Jesus spoken one time in the hour they had been is the service. This is a very, serious offense, and terrible, sin within and to the Body; we have insulted, grieved, quenched,rejected, and put out the fire of the HOLY SPIRIT, by losing connection with the Head who is Christ Jesus. This is not a small thing that will go away if we simply “love, love love and try to love more.” We, as the household of faith must;”Let this mind be you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in form of GOD did not consider it robbery to be equal with GOD but made himself of no reputation taking a very form of a bond servant, and coming in the likeness of men, And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even to death on the cross. Therefore GOD has exalted given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those in heaven, and on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father.” Do we get this yet?

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