Each Joint Supplies
“…that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:14-16
Though we enter the kingdom of God with childlike faith as dear little children, and in fundamental faith that same attitude of faith can serve us throughout our lives, but at some point God expects and calls us to grow up and take our place as adults, as leaders in the body of Christ. Children are easily swayed and impressionable. They are too often when left to their own devices without the care and love of Godly parents, given to believe anyone with a persuasive manner or manipulative speech that speaks to their baser and more urgent instincts. It is precisely for this reason God instructed Israel to be diligent to teach the law to their children and to instruct them in the knowledge of God daily.
As faith believers in Jesus Christ we are called to the same diligence to bring up our children in the nature and admonition of the Lord.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
No loving, Godly parent brings up his children to be children all their lives. The purpose of training up a child in the way he should go is to prepare him for adulthood. To provide him or her with the tools for discerning good and evil and to recognize and avoid frauds, deceivers, manipulators, and particularly those who would try to persuade them away from God and His wisdom.
The devil is constantly on the prowl looking to deceive whomever he can. [1 Peter 5:8] His favorite targets are the young and impressionable, the naïve and innocent to ensnare them in the ways of darkness and death.
But when we speak the truth in love to our children from an early age and continue to do so as adults we cause each one to grow and mature in the faith and the knowledge of the Lord. Then as we serve our individual purposes in the body of Christ we are made the stronger and more fruitful in our faith and in the declaration of the gospel to the world.
Christ is our head and it is His life we are growing up to live in and live out in the spirit and power of love. Love is at the center of all that God does in relationship to us, and of his work in and through us.
Each of us has something to supply for the good of the other parts of the body. When all our parts are operating at full strength and effectiveness our whole body is blessed with health, joy and peace.
We need each other to be complete in Christ, to increase as we edify one another in love.