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Body Building

posted 26 Feb 2016, 01:38 by Bert Weenink

Did you know that we are involved in a bit of body building at Tyndale? No, I am not thinking of the one you see in the picture—it is body building of a spiritual nature that I have in mind.

 

One of my favourite passage on the ‘workings’ of the church is Ephesians 4:11-16. This is what it says:

 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's 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 men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into 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.”

 

If you want one word to summarise the teaching in this passage, then it must be the word ‘growth’. God wants to church to be growing in service, in unity, in knowledge, in stability, in assurance, in love and ultimately He wants us to “grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” In this year of change for Tyndale, the elders and deacons are united in the desire to encourage all believers at our church to be involved in the ministry, using their God-given gifts. With that in mind consider the following truths following from the passage in Ephesians 4, quoted above.

 

1. A healthy church is a church where leaders encourage service

It says that pastors and teachers have the task ‘to prepare God's people for works of service’. One-man ministry is not only a thing of the past, it was never scriptural in the first place! Pastors are called to encourage the believers to be useful in God’s service, according to the gifts God has given them.

 

2. A healthy church is a church where individuals serve for the good of the whole

In a good church individuals are mindful of the body: ‘so that the body of Christ may be built up’. We are living in a very individualistic society and Christians have undoubtedly been affected by the culture around us, but we must not allow individualism and personal agendas to control the church. ‘If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it.’ 1 Corinthians 12:26

 

3. A healthy church is a church  where the goal is maturity in Christ.

No, we are not easily satisfied, because our goal is ‘to 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.’ It seems to be that we won’t reach the finished product while on earth, and so, growth towards maturity will always be on the agenda.

 

4. A healthy church is a church  where God’s truth is central

There are many people to day who strive for church unity by watering down or even ignoring the truth. That is never healthy. So many people in churches are like ‘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 men in their deceitful scheming’. The only antidote to this lack of stability is the truth. Paul emphasises that we must speak the truth in love, but speak the truth we must!

 

5. A healthy church is a church  where love and a desire for unity are high on the agenda

Our human bodies struggle if one limb wants to go one way and another limb the other—ask a learner-skier! Unity between Christians is not a bonus or an optional extra, it is at the very foundation of what we are about—listen to Jesus: ‘May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me’. (John 17:24)

 

6. A healthy church is a church where Christ is head

Let no pastor, elder, deacon or any other individual loose sight of this—there is only One who is Head, that is Christ: And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. (Colossians 1:18)  

         

Pastor Bert

(This article is adapted from the one that was published in the Tyndale Times of February 2005)

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