For some members of the body, the proper function at a given time may be to be passive and receive ministry without making any apparent contribution. For a young member it is to do all he can to grow. As a newborn babe it is to desire the milk of God’s Word. For him to do anything else at that stage in his growth would before him to malfunction. In the case of the infant member of Christ’s body, his obligation is to be nurtured, cared for, and grow. By doing so, he is doing his utmost to advance the growth and health of the whole body.
Hence, one of the most important issues for each of the members of Jesus’ many-membered body to settle is each one’s proper relationship to the body of Christ. This assures his proper position for growth and service. This is what it means to be properly “fitted” to the “joints” which supply life and hold things together (See Eph. 4:16).
Two principles make it quite easy to hold a “true course” in finding your proper position in the body: 1) Spiritual ‘supply and demand,’ 2) submission to one another (Eph. 5:21). The physical body is so constructed it knows when it is hungry and the most reliable places to look for food. Again, the same is true in the spiritual body: the body of Christ makes demands for its sustenance on reliable sources of ‘nourishment.’ The body satisfies its thirst from those in whom it finds wells of living water continually flowing. It relies on the stronger members for support during times of special need. If you are functioning properly in your right place in the body of Christ, you’ll not go unnoticed or “unused.” If you aren’t however, it is likely you will feel that nobody pays any serious attention to your contributions.
We never have to strive to enter our place of service by our own fleshly efforts. God has already put us there. The only thing we have to do is to maintain proper fellowship with other members of the body. We should always be sure we are correctly submitted to the other members of the body (Eph. 5:21)
To function properly, the arm must remain closely joined to the shoulder and the hand.
If we want God to use us effectively, then we must maintain a close and committed relationship to the body of Christ. If we are going to have a positive, rather than a negative effect of the body, we must be involved in its life. Because we are God’s own purchased possession, we have forever forfeited our right to noninvolvement.
Attendance at the regular, appointed gatherings of the body of Christ is basic to this commitment to Jesus Christ and His body. It is foolish for us to talk about love, vision, and concern for the body if we seldom show up at its times of meeting. The hand isn’t of any benefit to the body if it is lying on a table somewhere, dismembered from the body. The same applies to Christians. True and honest commitment will manifest itself, without fail, by involvement. Dr. Howard Ervin once said, “Total commitment inevitably predicates involvement!” The more committed a person is to Jesus, the more he will be available to be involved in the Church’s life.
WHAT’S THE RESULT?
In discussing the idea of up building the body, Paul says, “speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the Head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love” (Eph. 4:15,16).