A song goes like this: “I am a rock, I am an island.” Have you ever felt like that — wanting to stand alone? You may even have heard people say, “Well, my walk with God is a private affair. It’s not something I want to talk about.”
Read Ephesians 4:11-16. What’s the point Paul is making here? What role does he give here for community?
When Paul writes to the Ephesians, he describes the church as a body. Jesus is the head, and His people make up the rest. If you look at Ephesians 4:13, you will notice the ultimate purpose of living in such a community — it is to experience “the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (NIV). And for that we need each other!
It certainly is possible to be a Christian all alone. Indeed, like for many people through the centuries who have been ridiculed or persecuted, standing alone is often unavoidable. It is a powerful witness to the power of God that men and women do not buckle under the pressures that surround them. However, while this is true, Paul is wanting to emphasize a critical truth: ultimately, we experience and reveal the fullness of Christ when we are working together in fellowship with each other.
In Ephesians 4:11-16, what does Paul say must happen before the fullness of Christ may be revealed in our Christian community?
In what way is the witness of a community that is revealing the fullness of Christ different from an individual that is revealing the fullness of Christ? What are the implications of this in the context of the great controversy? See Ephesians 3:10.
|It’s easy to be nice when you are by yourself or with strangers, but it is much harder being nice to people you either know really well or don’t like. This means that when we still show these people grace and kindness, we provide an irresistible witness to the truth about God.|