The Body of Christ at Work

Video Talk

Ephesians 4:11-16 ESV

“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, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, 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.”

The Lord Jesus has supplied us with many godly people over the ages, including in our present age, to spiritually equip those of us who love Jesus for the work of the ministry. Now this is not about psychological training or marketing or business plans for how to get workers in the church prepared to do specific jobs within the gatherings of the church. This is about spiritually equipping us for the ministry to which we have been called by God, and so this is teaching us to walk in holiness and in righteousness and in obedience to our Lord Jesus, and to follow his leading in our lives.

And this building up of the body of Christ is not all about just making people feel good. Yes, we need encouragement from one another, but that encouragement includes exhortation and urging one another to live holy and godly lives, and to walk in obedience to the Lord and no longer in sin so that we all can come to spiritual maturity in our walks of faith.

And unity of the faith is not unity with humans in their marketing schemes and goals. So, when you hear the word “unity” make certain of what you are being asked to unify with, for not everything presented to us under the guise of Christianity is from God. Much of it is of man, and of the thinking and reasoning of humans in their cunning and craftiness and deceitful scheming. So make sure the unity is unity with Christ and with the teachings of the gospel of Christ as Jesus and as his New Testament apostles taught the gospel.

And we, as the body of Christ, are to speak the truth in love to one another, and the truth may not always feel good, for the truth confronts sin, and it calls for repentance, and it calls for walks of obedience to our Lord in holiness and in righteousness, in the power of God, as well as it offers genuine expressions of love and concern and caring and encouragement to one another. But we need both urgings and comforting. For both are needed for us to come to maturity in Christ. We can’t have one without the other.

Now we who love God and who are following Jesus Christ with our lives are all necessary to the proper working of the body of Christ to make the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. The Holy Spirit has given all of us spiritual gifts which we are to use to encourage one another and to exhort one another in our walks of faith, and we are each assigned by God specific body parts (our ministries) within the body of Christ to help one another to walk in holiness and righteousness and to spur one another on to love and good deeds (works: Hebrews 10:24-25; Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:15).

You Loved Me

An Original Work / December 3, 2019
A song based off the poem by the same name

When I was lonely and afflicted,
You were there to pick me up.
You took me in Your arms,
And You held me tenderly.

Your love embraced me.
Your grace sustained me.

When my heart cried out to You
In my fear and my despair,
You never turned away,
But You let me know You loved me.

Your grace forgave me.
You did not shame me.

Then, when I answered the call,
“Here, Lord, send me.”
You sent me to where I must be.
Your mercy held me, did not fail me.
All this, You had planned, to use me.

And, when all trials and scorn
Came to test me.
You gave me all that I would need.
You strengthened me so I’d not fail You.
Your kindness blessed me, it touched me.

And, when I needed the church
To lift up me,
To hearten me so I’d not fail,
You blessed me with folks who would love me.
Their presence with me, Your praise hailed!

And, when I walked through the valley
Of the shadow of the death,
And tears flowed from my eyes,
Still Your kindness was there for me.

Your touch, it healed me.
For I believed You.

When now I think about the ways,
Of the many, many ways
That You in Your great love
Show me that You’ll always care for me,

My heart, it thanks You,
And gladness fills me, fills me.

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