As Individuals Mature in Christ & Get Anchored the Whole Church is Stronger (Ephesians 4:15-16)

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Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.  (Ephesians 4:15-16)

 

 

One of the problems of modern Western Christianity, is that we have so individualized it that we forget that the majority of the Bible is written to the Community of Faithful Believers and not to individuals.  In the Old Testament the accounts of Creation are written so the Israelite s and now the Christians would have an understanding of a loving and caring God.  The historical account of Abraham and his children were given to show his descendants, both the physical and spiritual descendants that there is one God to put our faith in.

We can move ahead in time to Moses and the Exodus and see it is the whole of the Israelite s being rescued.  Joshua through the prophets were written so the nation of Israel would know God was the God of Israel as a nation.  The prophets came to warn the whole of the Israelite nations to return to their God.   Jesus came to save Israel and open salvation to the whole world.  Finally, the Apostles wrote not to individuals, but to the churches and thus to all believers to help keep us on track in our following of God.

 

Paul also is showing how we help to strengthen one another to stand firm in faith, as we face the world around us.  We come together to use our gifts and talents, as well as our prayers to  help to strengthen the whole church.

Unfortunately instead of helping one another, all to often those claiming Christian faith are often fighting against one another instead of encouraging

The story is told of two men riding a tandem bicycle up a steep hill. After much effort, they  finally made it to the top of the hill. The front rider said, “That was a tough ride.” To which the second rider replied, “Sure was, and if I hadn’t kept the brake on we might have slipped backwards.” –Source: Unknown

 

We were created to come together, and made with a need for community.  In fact we would die with out the connection with others around us.  Joe Trull tells the story of a horrible experiment done during Roman times:

We can live only in relationships. We need each other. A rather crude and cruel experiment was carried out by Emperor Frederick, who ruled the Holy Roman Empire in the thirteenth century. He wanted to know what man’s original language was: Hebrew, Greek, or Latin?

He decided to isolate a few infants from the sound of the human voice. He reasoned that they would eventually speak the natural tongue of man. Wet nurses who were sworn to absolute silence were obtained, and though it was difficult for them, they abided by the rule. The infants never heard a word&md;not a sound from a human voice. Within several months they were all dead.  – Joe E. Trull https://www.sermonsearch.com/sermon-illustrations/5370/we-need-each-other/ (2/26/19)

However, together we can accomplish great things.  Jesus said, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven,” (Mt. 18:19).  This verse shows that when the Body of Christ is in agreement God is with us and His power will carry it through.  This is why we join together to pray and carry one another’s burdens.

The writer of Proverbs reminds us, “As Iron sharpens Iron, so one person sharpens another,” (Prov. 27:17).  This wise saying reminds us that when we come together we help to improve one another and make one another stronger.  This is why we must continue to come together for worship and study of Scripture.  We will help one another understand and grow deeply in our faith.  This makes for a stronger church over all.

 

May God help us to be anchored in Christ, so that we can help one another face life.

 

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