“I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Ephesians 4:1-7,11-13,15-16
I recently heard a godly minister describe benefits to participation in the Body of a Christ in a church, including learning to get along with people you would not choose. In any fellowship, any small group, any congregation, God has placed many and varied people under His one Spirit, one hope, one faith, and He gives ample opportunity for us to learn how to walk worthy of our calling, in unity, with them. How eagerly, how well, am I walking? How am I contributing to the fitness of the Body?
God’s purposes within this Body are several, as mentioned in this passage. We build muscle in Christ-like attitudes and characteristics through unselfish service and bearing with others. We strengthen the Body and ‘joint’ health when we exercise our specific gifts and encourage and appreciate those of others. We gain courage and kindness through speaking truth in love, and humility receiving that from others. Our capacity to love, especially the unlovable, increases as we love in Christ’s power. As we all grow in maturity, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, to His glory, He is recognized by and made attractive to the watching world.
Lord, You have extended a lofty calling, and I desire to walk worthy of it. Work in and through me to develop and exhibit Your qualities, Your measure of grace and gifts, Your maturing in discernment and self-control. May the Body be so strong and well-functioning that the needy world takes notice, quickens in Spirit, and gets in step.