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 togetherby 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.
My first thoughts on today’s passage made me chuckle. I’m not sure if I just have the book of James on my mind or if there is supposed to be a parallel. Yesterday we talked about “growing up” and being mature. I likened this to the beginning of James which discussed perfection of our faith through perseverance. Verse 14 today evoked thoughts of the very next verses from James 1, “5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously andwithout reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being adouble-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” This makes even more sense now, thanks to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.
Thanks to our development in Christ, we can now withstand every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming. Paul talks a lot in his letters about being wary of false prophets and teachers. Our world is full of them. Just look at all the fad diets and workout plans there are! If any one of them worked, then everyone would be doing it, right? If there is nothing wrong with a current method, then why is there always a “better” plan? None of them are better.
I find it interesting that Paul’s “turn” starts with speaking the truth in love. What does this have to do with the trickery of men? Let’s think about it. How do we stand against the things of this world? We hold to and speak God’s truth against them, correct? Too often though, we scoff at the world. We look down on them as if we are better, we plainly tell them they are wrong, we poke fun at them and make a scene on Facebook. This, my friends, is false prophecy in itself! I say this because The Gospel, which we are to spread to every corner of the earth, is unconditional love. Ridicule, scoffing, and the like are the exact opposite, REGARDLESS of whose name you do it in! This is exactly why Paul is careful to articulate that we are to speak in the love of God, not our own love for God, but as the love of God.
Did anybody notice what happened at the end of verse 15? Into Him who is the head, even Christ. “Even Christ?” I thought that is who we were talking about in the first place! What’s the big idea, Paul? This is another indication of the trinity. He is Him who is also Christ. He is the head of the body of Christ. Christ is the head. (Is your head spinning yet?)
Verse 16 sums it up perfectly, what I was saying yesterday. As the body of Christ, we all have our purpose and as we work together in unconditional love, as He has called us to, we will work like a smooth machine. That work, beloved, is the growing and building of His body in love. As we work together, we work together on ourselves, inadvertently making ourselves stronger in the faith and better followers of Christ. What does this mean? It means we have to be united with One Spirit in order to fulfill His purpose for us on earth.
Are you united, strengthened, and built up in the love of Christ? What is holding you back? Why do you revolt against these things which Christ has called us to? Today is the day you can start living up to what you were designed for. Which false prophets are you listening to in your life? Is it yourself? Are you following a fad just to fit in?
The waves reference in verse 14 made me think of this song: