“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:80)
We live in a perverted world that needs healing in every segment of the society and in every area of life. Jesus came to teach, heal and restore. We need to develop genuine relationships with the people around us in order to heal and help our communities. We serve a communal God, the Holy Trinity. Even the mafia operates by this principle. Community living is about recognition and acceptance, and the Church must be founded on this principle. The Army of God is not a one-man army.
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 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 4:11-16)
According to Ephesians 4, there are five dynamics in the Church:
1. We need to speak the truth with love (verse 15).
Christianity is all about communication, and there is power in the tongue. Lovingly speak the truth, which is based on the Word of God; do not quote God’s Word with a judgmental spirit as the Pharisees did. Freely you have received His love, so freely you are to love others.
2. We are joined together (verse 16).
The Church is a spiritual body; therefore, we need spiritual unity. Every part or person has a part to play to contribute towards the common goal, establishing God’s Kingdom on Earth. We are interdependent, each with our own function, just like the parts of the body. We must value unity and pursue it at any cost, thus revealing the relational heart of God. There is no room for a partisan spirit.
3. Every joint is important (verse 16).
Each one of us needs to participate; we all have a distinctive role to play. The Church needs pastors, teachers, apostles, evangelists and prophets – the full fivefold ministry – in order to function effectively. In other words, everyone is a minister. As you are given, you must give; God calls us to use our talents. Every joint supplies, and every joint receives from the others, creating a perfect support system.
4. The Power of God is released through each member.
We all need to be in position. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, and the apostles were there to remove his burial clothes. We need to follow God and do our part in the miracle.
5. We can be made whole.
There has to be restoration in the life of a believer, and we need to grow to edify the body. Spiritual growth is important.
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. (Romans 12:10-14, 16)