Growing Up Together in the Body of Christ
I am a prisoner because of the Lord. So I am asking you to live a life worthy of what God chose you for. Don’t be proud at all. Be completely gentle. Be patient. Put up with one another in love. The Holy Spirit makes you one in every way. So try your best to remain as one. Let peace keep you together. There is one body and one Spirit. You were appointed to one hope when you were chosen. There is one Lord, one faith and one baptism. There is one God and Father of all. He is over everything. He is through everything. He is in everything.
But each one of us has received a gift of grace. These gifts are given to us by Christ. That is why Scripture says,
“When he went up to his place on high,
he took many prisoners.
He gave gifts to his people.” (Psalm 68:18)
What does “he went up” mean? It can only mean that he also came down to the lower, earthly places. The one who came down is the same one who went up. He went up higher than all the heavens. He did it in order to fill all creation. So Christ himself gave the gift of the apostles to the church. He gave the prophets and those who preach the good news. And he also gave the pastors and teachers as a gift to the church. He gave all these people so that they might prepare God’s people to serve. Then the body of Christ will be built up. That will continue until we all become one in the faith. We will also become one in the knowledge of God’s Son. Then we will be grown up in the faith. We will receive everything that Christ has for us.
We will no longer be babies in the faith. We won’t be like ships tossed around by the waves. We won’t be blown here and there by every new teaching. We won’t be blown around by cleverness and tricks. Certain people use them to hide their evil plans. Instead, we will speak the truth in love. So we will grow up in every way to become the body of Christ. Christ is the head of the body. He makes the whole body grow and build itself up in love. Under the control of Christ, each part of the body does its work. It supports the other parts. In that way, the body is joined and held together.