We have all heard a sermon or two on the body of Christ... He is the head and we are the body parts. Many of us have even taught a Sunday school lesson or a ladies Bible study on it. And they all go something like this: "If every body part isn't doing its job, the whole body suffers." And that is very true! But verse 16 isn't talking about the body parts... It is focusing on the joints.
Ephesians 4:16 "From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
In chapter 4, the members of the local church are represented as a body and Christ is the head. In verse 16 it talks about the joints between those body parts. What does the joints represent? Relationships. Now read the verse again... Think about the joints being our relationships within the church...
From whom (Christ)
the whole body (the church)
fitly joined together (close, intimate relationships)
and compacted (A tight, perfect fit like a puzzle piece)
by that which every joint supplieth, (relationships bring us together)
according to the effectual working (God's amazing work in us to make the relationships possible)
in the measure of every part, (He is working patiently in each member)
maketh increase of the body (He not only helps us grow individually, but as a whole)
unto the edifying (He helps us to help each other grow)
of itself in love." (And love is what makes it happen)
Do our church relationships matter? Absolutely! When there is even one member "out of joint" with another, it hinders the growth of the whole body. And these relationships shouldn't be superficial. It isn't enough to say that we know who a person is, or that we don't have any quarrels. The question is... Do we have relationships? Are they close... Compacted... Fitly joined together? The more unified we are in the local church, the more spiritual growth we will have individually and collectively. Nurture those knuckles. Invest in those knees. Work on those wrists... And watch God work. Maybe then we will see more souls saved.
Acts 2:46-47 "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."