Ephesians 5 provides an illuminating description of the likeness between Christ’s relationship to the church and a marriage between husband and wife. Christ dearly loves the church and demonstrated that by offering His life to redeem her from a life otherwise fraught with struggle, evil, and defeat. The manner in which Christ conducts Himself sanctifies the church and sets her apart for Himself. Together, Christians comprise the body of Christ. In God’s grand design, we would participate in relationship with Christ in the context of relationships with one another.
In fact, Paul gives us plenty of instructions regarding how we should behave towards one another in the body:
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves” Rom. 12:10
“Live in harmony with one another” Rom. 12:16
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another” Rom. 13:8
“Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another” Rom. 14:13
“Let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another” Eph. 4:25
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” Eph. 4:32
“Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” Eph. 5:19
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom” Col. 3:16
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” 1 Thess. 5:11
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” Heb. 10:24
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling” 1 Pet. 4:9
There is plenty for us to participate in as we become a part of the body.
So, what questions remain in your heart as you consider the church and the role of the body? Feel free to send me comments and thoughts!