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Volume 8 - Page 92 of 141 Index | Zoom | |
Body". These three passages referring to unity all occur in the practical section of the
Members C , C (4: 12 and 16), are placed over against each other to show the
method used by the Lord, first in the building of the Church, and then in its increase.
When dispensation of the mystery was first made known, and the exalted position of the
rejected Lord was for the first time revealed, the Mystery of Christ, the message of grace
that is manifested in the words, "gave Him to be Head over all things to the Church
which is His Body", was entrusted to special men, "gifts" of the ascended Lord. Some
were apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and some teachers. These
gifts, however, were temporary, they did not constitute an essential part of the One Body.
Eph. 2: 20 tells us that this Church is built upon the foundation of the Apostles and
Prophets. When once the new message had been received, and the transition had been
effected, the members themselves, by direct communion with their living Head, made for
the increase of the body, building itself in love.
As a testimony to the glory of our rejected Lord, the close connection between the
members of the Body and the Head is most essential. This the evil one seeks to destroy,
and Col. 2: shows his threefold weapon, a vain deceitful philosophy, the traditions of
men, and the rudiments of the world (verses 8-19).
As members of this Body, let us "hold the Head", allowing nothing to come in
between ourselves, and the risen glorified Son of God.
The sevenfold unity of the Spirit, with which we have been entrusted in the bond of
peace, commences with the words, "One Body". There can be no progress in the
understanding of the blessed teaching that is related to the remaining members if the true
position of the One Body is missed. Many there are who closely question us with
reference to the one hope, not realizing that it is one hope of our calling. These have not
yet clearly grasped the distinct, elective, heavenly, and mystery character of the Church
to which they belong. Let us remember also that while one reference is all that suffices in
the doctrinal part of the epistle, six are found in the practical section. We are exhorted to
walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called; lowliness, meekness,
longsuffering, forbearance and love must surely characterize the members of HIS BODY!
Hence it is that the apostle soon introduces the reference (Eph. 4: 1-4).
In our ministry one to the other, "the whole body" and "every part" are both under
view (16), the whole body receives its power, its direction, its strength, its every supply
from the Head "which is Christ"; the perfect unity of this Church is indicated by the
words, "fitly joined together", while every member is looked upon as a "joint of supply";
the effectual working in the measure of "every part" indicates that each member is
essential, and each member contributes towards the making "increase of the body unto
the building up of itself in love".
Having spoken so much about the Body (4-16), the apostle returns with all the added
force in his argument to the question of the believer's walk. Let us, while rejoicing in the