In Part 1, we talked about whether being saved is all that matters. Today is the day where I get to say in my best informercial tone, “But wait… there’s more!”
After being born, it’s only natural to grow. Our faith shouldn’t be any different. Paul describes the sequence in Ephesians 2.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Eph 2:9–10 NLT)
Paul goes on to describe the work of breaking down walls of hostility that separate people and being built into the body of Christ together.
As I write, I’ve been watching crews build a house across the street from me. I amazed at their speed, skill, and all the cool machinery. But despite a variety of shapes, sizes, races, and genders in the workers, you know the one thing I have never seen on the building site? A baby!
Perhaps it’s because they don’t make tool belts that velcro to diapers (hey, there’s an idea!). Or perhaps it’s because that kind of building is no place for babies.
And neither is the kind of building we’re called to do.
God’s never planned to have an eternal nursery. God’s plan was to lavish gifts on his people so we could be built into the full measure of the body of Christ… not the baby Jesus.
“This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.” (Eph 4:13 NLT)
The kind of work we’re called to requires us to put our big boy or girl pants on and stick with it. One look at the world around you will show you how much work there is to be done to represent The One who calls for peace and love.
On the plus side, there’s some awesome job security.
But it’s more than just growing as individuals. We are expected to grow so that others might grow also.
“He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (Eph 4:16 NLT)
Did you catch that? Not only do you have work to do, but you have special work that helps others to grow. If we don’t grow, others may not grow. And if parts of the body of Christ don’t grow, it becomes malformed… even grotesque.
If we’re not happy with the way that looks, whether it’s our local congregation or the body of Christ global, we have to realize two things:
- We can’t fix “it”
- We can only fix our part of it.
But the good news is, if we’ll all just fix our part of the body by continually growing and doing the special work God has prepared for us, we’ll experience a vital, healthy, growing body of Christ.
At the end of the day, we must each choose to grow or not. God won’t make us grow. But let me ask you this: what would you like the next generation to see when it comes to the body of Christ…
an invalid… or a body-builder?
I vote for the second!
How will you grow today? How will you ensure this growth becomes a lifestyle instead of a fad?