Ephesians 4:15-16 –The body is fitted together by the Head and made for growing up and attaining shalom.

Class Outline:


Title: Ephesians 4:15-16 -The body is fitted together by the Head and made for growing up and attaining shalom.


The spiritual gifts are for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ until we all attain the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God to a mature man.


In many ways, this is an impractical thing. Growing up is hard work and a long process. Why not just skip it and let our instincts flow and do whatever they want at any given time?


There is an important part of being human in growing up, both in the natural and spiritual realm. Neither your age or your status matters.


We’re always growing up. So don’t despair. No, you’re not what you should be, and yes you should be more like Christ, but don’t give up now. All believers are on their way. Being on your way counts much more than getting there.


If we don’t grow in knowledge and wisdom, we will miss out on an important aspect of life. All in the body will come to a full knowledge of Christ in eternity, but in time it is the process of learning that is important. The process of learning makes us humble and humility makes us better learners.


Why not throw in the towel? Why keep pressing on now? Even if it is your last year, it’s important to get it. There is something very special about time now; struggle and all. No matter what, we must keep growing.


Perhaps that it is only in our present world of temptation and persecution, which time is our very beginning with God, that the depth of our faith; to what level will we each choose to give our lives over to Him by faith in His way, life, and truth will be established. None of us can speak confidently about the effect of time upon eternity, but some hints are given.


As Paul writes in ROM 8:18-25, we hope for what we do not see. It stands to reason that when we see, in heaven, there is no longer a need for hope. Ponder that and see it in your own life; in other words, hope now. Only now are there sufferings, but in faith, some consider them small compared to their eternal glory (ROM 8:18). That opportunity only exists in time, and to what reward or glory that will mean in eternity for those who by faith now see, we are only given hints.


ROM 8:18-25

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.


God did not create and plan human history without a grand design. Man is at the center and man’s faith matters greatly. There is much more to the plan of history than separating men into elect and judged, though that is an important part.


One aspect of human history that God has interwoven is the path to shalom or peace. The concept of shalom is much deeper than what it may look like on the surface. The nation of Israel had a chance to accept it and therefore make shalom the environment of their tribes and nation. They failed. So far in history, the church has the greatest chance to make shalom their world. The church has failed many times, and all for the reason that we have read in EPH 4:14. However, each local assembly, and each family blessed with believers, has the opportunity to make shalom their world. Jesus will make shalom His world at His second coming and all over the earth for one-thousand years.


And working like a team pulling overflowing nets into our boats, we learn as we go and we also help one another (equip) and our whole church is continually built up.


Tim Phillips, theology professor, said, “The role of the church is to display eschatological (end-time) realities now.”


[Comment by Erik Thoennes, student of Phillips] “Who God is, what He has done, and what He will do when Jesus returns to make all things new, must shape the nature and ministry of the church, so that she becomes a trailer of coming attractions for all the world to see. The church should be the place that is showing Jesus’s power and presence even before His kingdom finally comes in fullness and the King is worshipped by every nation on earth.”


EPH 4:15-16 but living and being the truth in love, we are to grow up in all things into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being (continually) fitly joined and knit together by that which every joint (believer) fully supplies …


EPH 4:14-16

As a result, we are no longer to be children [spiritual infants], tossed here and there by waves, and carried about [twirled around] by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming [method of getting believers off the right path and onto a wrong one]; 15 but speaking the truth [living and being the truth] in love, we are to grow up in all aspects [things] into Him, who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being [continually] fitted and held together [fitly joined and knit together] by that which every joint [connected believer] supplies [fully supplies], according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.


Found this in my mailbox this morning, from Linda Kittle in MT:Knitting is generally done with one strand (unity) and with both hands (active involvement).  Each stitch is connected to those on each side, above, and below. Damage to even one stitch affects the whole but can be mended. 
-creates beautiful, sturdy products
-requires instruction and practice to create and proper care to maintain
-is enjoyable and might be said to be addictive
-is a great analogy! May my Salem family continue in blessings and peace. Love, Linda”