And we are members of His body. Ephesians 5:30
Years and years ago, my sister broke her pinky. We were both in elementary school. I remember thinking about how her broken pinky would not affect her greatly. After all, it was just her pinky. It was not as if she broke her arm or leg. Imagine our surprise when we realized just how inconvenient her pinky break was! There were so many things she could not do because of her "seemingly unimportant" broken pinky. We learned something very important as a result of her broken pinky: every part of the body is necessary and essential, even the pinky, and they all work together for the purpose of helping us function as easily and healthily as possible. Today, we are going to see that Scripture describes all followers of Jesus as "the body of Christ." This means that each individual person is an important part of one body: the body of Christ. Even in our marriages, Scripture teaches us to remember that we are all each individual members of Christ's body, the church.
We have been studying Ephesians 5 all week, which is a chapter written by the apostle Paul with instructions for husbands and wives. As He is writing these instructions, he explains why husbands and wives are to demonstrate love for each other in verse 30. "And we are members of His body," he writes. You see, the bigger picture of why husbands and wives, and all believers I would venture to say, are called to demonstrate selfless, sacrificial love is because we are all members of the body of Christ. Paul likes to use this metaphor when talking about followers of Jesus throughout Scripture. You see, he wants readers to understand that we all play individual roles in making up the body of Christ. In other words, we all work together to play a part in keeping the body of Christ functioning and healthy. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul explains that each believer, or member of the body of Christ, forms an integral part of the church. When they work together, believers serve God in a way they never could on their own. When they come together, they make a greater impact for Christ together than they would separately.
When you and I partner with our spouses or loved ones and work together as one unified body of Christ, we accomplish more than we could on our own. This is because a body is meant to work together. For example, my arm and my leg are not fighting against each other. Instead, they are working together as one unified body. This unity is what we are called to in the body of Christ, especially in our marriages. Let's be people who, out of our love for our spouses, family members, and friends, work together in unity for the same purpose: glorifying Christ and demonstrating His love to the world.
If you are married, when is the last time you thought about the fact that you and your spouse are simply members of the unified body of Christ? Take some time today to sit down and clarify your mission. Make a mission statement for your marriage that explains how you and your spouse will work together to help serve the body of Christ. If you are single, take some time to think about your giftings. How can you use your gifts to serve the body of Christ for the glory of God?
Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-21 (NLT)
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”