Building up the Body
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:16
suggested further reading: Song of Solomon 5
Let us not forget to seek peace to the uttermost of our power, according to the text I referred to from Romans (Rom. 12:18). We should not willfully separate ourselves from the world, but, as it were, stretch our arms out to bring in all who yield themselves willingly to the obedience of God so that we may have one faith together. Let us work to bring this to pass.
Paul tells us that the faith and obedience that we yield to God are not meant to puff up our hearts with pride so that we reject other people. Each one of us is not to value and be content with himself but to follow the example of our heavenly Father, who attracts to himself those who are far off and are ready to be reconciled to their enemies.
Seeing that he has shown us that in our Lord Jesus Christ and given us such an excellent pledge of it, we must have the same doctrine of peace in our thoughts and in our hearts. We must try, as much as possible, to bring into the union of the gospel those who are yet separated from it. If those who have been, as it were, stark mad against God, then yield themselves as lambs and sheep of the flock, we must be ready to receive them.
Let us devote ourselves to peace, not to gain each person to profit us, but to assure ourselves that since God has joined us together and bound us to one another, each of us ought to work for the body to the uttermost of his ability. According to our own measure, we should draw our neighbors with us so that we may truly become one body, over which Jesus Christ may reign.
for meditation: When the body of Christ acts like the body of Christ, others notice. But if we constantly attempt to tear each other out of the body, how can that attract others to Christ, our head? The way others perceive the church is how they perceive Christ. Are you making efforts to knit the body together in mutual love, thus making it beautiful to behold?