“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.”
We have touched upon this metaphor before but the reminder is always helpful because we tend to get tunneled vision on just our own lives and what is right in front of us. A lot of the letters that Paul writes in the New Testament are split in half where he explains the truths of our faith then spends the second half explaining how to apply it. Paul begins the application of the truth of our spiritual blessing and identity explained in the first three chapters and now explains the outcome of that by talking about the purpose of the body of Christ.
A jigsaw puzzle has many unique pieces that have their own little spot in creating a beautiful image when they are together. There is one piece for one spot and you cannot change the spots of the pieces due to the way they are shaped. When every piece is put in it’s proper place, the image is not only complete but every piece is fulfilling it’s purpose and Paul reminds us today of two things in regards to the church: we all have a part to play in reflecting God and we are united to only reflect God. The temptation will always to look to other “pieces” and be jealous of the way that piece looks or functions but we in the midst of comparison rob ourselves of the uniqueness of purpose that we have been created with.
The reality today is that the whole image of the jigsaw puzzle is not complete! There are many pieces that need to be found and many that need to realize their purpose and stand in their spot. For a small group of active Christians is great but to see the fullest glory and beauty of Christ through the church is when every member decides to reflect in service for the greatest purpose of glorifying Him.
TIPS AND TRICKS
To reflect Christ you must actually walk like Christ, don’t play yourself (V.1-3)!
Paul urges the Ephesians to actually be Christians! It is so simple and seem like common sense but is not so common. For some helpful guides to what that looks like, look at the Gospels and see how Jesus lived because he actually models what a life should look like when filled with the Holy Spirit. Don’t be discouraged because the standard is so high because you are to grow into that day-by-day. Another helpful guidepost is found in the verse itself, “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.”
Use your resources and learn from people (v.8,11)!
I know this may seem bias as I am writing this but the gift that God gives for the building of the church is found in the apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers. These people are gifts for your growth! We are not out to get you but build you in the way God intends. Are we perfect. Yes!! JK… In all seriousness there are a lot of answers that can be answered through you mentors, pastors, evangelists, etc. Reach out and don’t wait for someone to reach out to you.
Serve with an active mind (v.15-16)
First off, the goal of the unity, the goal of the training, and the goal of developing is all for the purpose of reflecting Christ. To be unified but having Christ be absent is a colossal failure and sham!
Second, using the jigsaw metaphor, we all must be serving for each person has been built to contribute. When I say serve, I am not simply saying to just mindless follow orders but bring your whole self into the process. There is a way to serve where you simply do things without thinking but there is no investment of yourself in the process. There is a difference in serving when someone just serves to follow orders and those who are committed to the vision. The person that just serves will walk away when things get tough or inconvenient but the one who invest themselves in the vision and serve will walk through the valley and mountains till the vision is a reality. When you serve with an active mind, serve with the intention of having ownership of what you are doing and bringing your ideas, your prayers, your energy, your time, and your whole self for the purpose of not glorifying a pastor but glorifying The Pastor that is Jesus!