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Body Building Done God’s Way (Ephesians 4:7-16)

Ephesians 4:7–16 – 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, “When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men.” 9 (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what 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. 


What does today’s passage say?

In today's passage, Paul explains that Christ has given different grace-gifts to each believer, just as He gave various ministry gifts to the church after ascending on high as victorious King (vv. 7-10). This included appointing leaders like apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip all believers. Their goal is to train Christians for works of service so that we can build up the body of Christ until all come into the faith and knowledge of God's Son. This leads to maturity and Christlikeness (vv. 11-13). Then we will no longer be immature spiritual children, confused and deceived by cunning false ideas. Instead, we lovingly speak truth to one another so the body grows in grace according to how God designed it, with Christ as the glorious head (vv. 14-16).


How can I apply Ephesians 4:7-16  to my life?

Paul paints a beautiful vision of unity and maturity for the church, Jesus Christ’s spiritual body on earth. To accomplish this, followers of Christ must be faithful stewards of our gifts, being full of grace, pursuing growth through discipleship, and speaking redemptively to strengthen fellow believers. For the church to manifest her true identity, believers must shift from consuming to contributing through service, encouragement, and love. But we also must heed the Spirit’s urging toward courageous candor wrapped in compassion rather than remaining silently passive to avoid discomfort. In other words, we grow into maturity together as we live out the “one anothers” through the power of Christ in us. This looks like making use of our unique talents and perspectives to meet practical needs. It means embracing the discipleship journey as lifelong learners. And it calls us to value truth and love as complementary health gauges for the body. Here are some basic principles from this passage that we should apply to our lives:

1.     Use Your God-Given Gifts to Serve Others in the Church (v. 7): We have all received gifts of God’s grace but the secret is utilizing those gifts to serve fellow believers and build up the church. Easier said than done, of course! But this service is crucial for the church’s health. Each member’s contribution matters – whether it’s teaching the Word with insight, offering practical helps behind the scenes, giving open-hearted hospitality, providing organizational leadership, or displaying Christlike mercy. Our gifts differ, so opportunities to build up the body are diverse. Imagine if we used our talents not for personal gain but for lifting others’ spirits through encouragement. Or if the technologically skilled lent their expertise for the church’s online ministry expansion. When humbly depending on the Spirit’s power, our stewardship has kingdom impact beyond what we can orchestrate ourselves (1 Corinthians 12:7; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10).

Food for Thought: In what ways might selfish use of our gifts negatively impact church life? What fears or insecurities hold you back from serving others?

2.     Pursue Spiritual Maturity Through Christ’s Teachings (vv. 11-13): In these verses, Paul makes it clear that Christ gave uniquely gifted leaders to the church to equip all believers toward spiritual maturity. Therefore, a key application is that we must consistently pursue growth in Christlikeness. This involves dedication to prayer, Scripture study, and reflection on Jesus’ words. It means allowing pastors and teachers to disciple us through biblical wisdom rather than resisting instruction. And it requires applying God's truths to life decisions rather than compartmentalizing faith. Progressing to mature faith is not automatic even for veteran Christians! Distractions swarm and tempting lies creep in regarding convenient shortcuts. But we must continue steadfastly through ups and downs. Ask God to spark for renewed hunger to grow in your knowledge of Him and His ways.  Seek fellowship with those farther down the path whose walk challenges and nourishes. Measure success not by worldly milestones but by the increasing manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit in your life. Our Shepherd stays patiently committed to transforming redeemed sheep into Christlike image-bearers of God. We should wholeheartedly pursue spiritual maturity with endurance that outlasts moods and seasons (2 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 6:1; Colossians 1:28-29).

Food for Thought: Why do some believers plateau early in spiritual growth while others progress to depth and maturity? What specific disciplines fill and strengthen your inner life?

3.     Speak Truth in Love to Build Up the Body of Christ (vv. 14-16): In verses 14-16, Paul warns against doctrinal confusion and encourages truth-telling that builds up fellow believers. Therefore, when we are working and discipling others, we must speak accurately while also conveying grace and care for them. This requires prayerful sensitivity and proper timing, not impulsive ranting. We filter words through the grid of God’s Word rather than reacting based on emotions or personal opinions. And we consider our audience and what they actually need to hear in that moment to be strengthened and equipped. Speaking redeeming truth is equal parts courage and compassion. It values people as dearly as principles balancing righteousness, mercy and humility. With minds renewed by Scripture’s transforming power, we can be change agents who call out deception while also affirming identity in Christ. And through caring candor paired with ongoing encouragement, we play our part so that the whole body matures into the Lord Jesus Himself. Let’s ask for opportunities this week to build others up through applying biblical truth considerately, even regarding sensitive topics requiring concentrated wisdom (Proverbs 12:18; Ephesians 6:14; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Food for Thought: Why does “truth without love” often push people away rather than drawing them to Christ? What issue might God be prompting you to gently and respectfully address for the church’s growth?

Today, Paul unpacks Jesus’ prescription for a healthy church that displays His glorious grace. By each using our gifts to meet needs, embracing the lifelong path of learning obedience, and speaking redemptive truth in love, we walk worthy of our calling in Christ. The applications here remind us that unity and maturity require full participation and courageous candor wrapped in grace. May the Spirit prune our individualistic consumer mindsets so that we all live out the “one anothers” in our unique roles as essential members of Christ’s body. As we fix our eyes on the Perfect, we should aspire to build each other up through investing our talents, nurturing discipleship, and caring enough to kindly address issues for the corporate good.


Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray that You would increase my hunger to utilize my spiritual gifts to practically serve my church family. Reveal to me opportunities to meet behind-the-scenes needs that others overlook. Grow my consistency in the Scripture study, prayer, fasting, and other disciplines that fuel my inner life and root me in Christ’s teachings. Grant me courage blended with compassion and wisdom to speak Your truths gently when needed for the church’s protection and growth. Sharpen my sensitivity to when it’s better to remain silent, listen, learn, and pray. Above all, make me a conduit of Your grace, mercy and redemption to all.

I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.


Ephesians 4:15 - "but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ."



With His Blessings,

Pastor Corby

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