Short Meditations on the Body of Christ: 5. A Serving Body
Eph 4:12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
Some of these meditations are bound to overlap as we mention various things and then build more on them in later studies. We have at least twice spoken about Jesus’ body that was formed when the Son left heaven and was born on earth with a human body, come to do the will of God. Now it is easy to speak of ‘doing the will of God’ but what does that mean?
Well if we take an earlier verse from Ephesians it might shed light on this: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph 2:10) Now if we changed the words, “to do good works” for “to do the will of God” or even “to serve the purposes of God,” we have a variety of expressions that all point in the same direction but what they do is link the concept of ‘doing the will of God’ with the idea or action or service.
Expanding on the point we made from the beginning, the whole point of Jesus having a human body was to enable him to interact with other human beings to bring changes to their ‘fallen’ lives – which often involved healing but also, essentially, brought about changes of mind, attitude and heart so that they came into the arena of God’s kingdom. As he did this, so he was working out the will of the Godhead, planned from before the foundation of the world. It was a one-man strategy to touch and change the lives of others so that they in turn could touch and change the lives of even more. Thus today there are millions upon millions whose lives have been transformed and form ‘the Church’ and (hopefully) express the kingdom of God.
We will in the next two studies consider how this ‘service is both inward and outward but for the moment we remain focused on how it is upward. We are what we are and we do what we do because of the Godhead. It is all because of what the Father, Son and Holy Spirit agreed would be the plan to redeem fallen mankind, a mankind that they saw even before creating us, that would fall because of free will giving way to temptation, and yet free will was essential if love was to operate, under girding everything. Without it we would not truly be human beings, capable of freely receiving and giving love – or indeed rejecting it and withholding it.
And so here we are today, with free will, drawn by the love of the Godhead, to express that love back as we respond to them and do what they put before us, prompting us, guiding us, inspiring us and empowering us to do the same works Jesus’ single body did (Jn 14:12).