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Ephesians 4:16 - 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.
The book of Ephesians was written by Paul for the believers in Ephesus. One of the main goals of this book is to explain the practical experience of Christ and the church. And what’s more practical than a physical body? In this verse, and in similar verses such as in 1 Corinthians 12, Paul uses the metaphor of the human body to describe the church, the body of Christ.
Our physical body is made of many parts - you’ve got arms, legs, hands, and plenty more. These are all connected by ligaments, joints, tendons. Similarly, the body of Christ is built up by the Christians in the church. Different people have different functions and roles, and those can correspond to a part of the body. The “supporting ligaments” as illustrated by the verse, are members appointed by God to aid in the building up of the church (Ephesians 4:11-13).
The beginning of the verse says, “From him the whole body.” This means that Christ is the head of the body. The head determines what the body does. If your brain says “move your right hand”, in most cases, you will move your right hand. Since God is love, if we truly are His body, we will show love to all through our actions. If the head is full of love, the foot, pinky, and even appendix, will be full of love as well.
So how can this be practically applied? I think that everybody has a purpose that will support the church in a positive way. Will the hand purposely hurt itself? No, the hand will often involuntarily act to remove itself from a harmful environment. Similarly, we will do things for the benefit of the church. It might be as simple as greeting a fellow brother or sister on Sunday morning or writing devotionals for the young people’s Instagram. If you don’t know how you benefit the church, I encourage you to pray that God will show you His plan for you, because He most definitely has one.