Growing and Serving the LORD in Love

By Nick Bibile


From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grows so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:16 English Standard Version)


From whom the whole body, who is whom and whole body here? See the context in verse 15 without scripture division.


Rather speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head into Christ, from the whole whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:16 English Standard Version)


Christ is the head and the believers are the body. Jesus is the source of our growth as he supplies our spiritual thirst and other needs.  If you see a big healthy strong tree with fruits, believers are like the tree and we produce fruits in our worship, service and our lifestyle but where do we get the energy, the hunger, the motivation? From the Lord which is like the root of the tree. The root is grounded deep below and the whole tree depends on the root, the root supplies sap to the tree for daily function. What is sap? Sap is watery fluid that circulates through a plant, carrying food and other substances to the various tissues giving energy.


Ephesians 2:20, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.


What is a cornerstone? It shows the origin of the building. Christ is the source of the church there is no church without Christ. Also cornerstone unites two intersecting walls. Christ united the believing Jew and the Gentile together, he unites the black and the white, the Asian believer and white and black. When I was in the Philippines last time one young boy thought I was an American. What he meant to say, he thought that I was a white American. There is no superior color in Christ Jesus so I said, I am a Christian.  There is no prejudice and discrimination in Christ Jesus, all believers are connected to him the relationship through his blood and not by our parent’s blood.


Colossians 2:19 And not holding fast to the Head, from the whole body, nourished and knit together through it’s joints and ligaments, grows with a growth from God.


Just like the tree get nourished from the sap comes from the root, we believers are nourished in Christ.


Now when you look at Ephesians 4:16, 2:21 and Colossians 2:19 we can see the picture very clearly as they are all talking the same thing in context. Now there are three things we need to understand.


  1. The believers in the church are subordinate in rank.  Subordinate means the believers are subject to the authority or control of the head that is Christ. The body or the believers are lower or inferior class or rank as Christ is the highest in rank. Everything comes from the superior, the head from Christ and it’s distributed according to his will to the body of believers.  Even our life and our next breath is from him. See Ephesians 4:16 the whole body meaning the believers, the church is joined and held together by every joint with which is equipped.  The church is held together in him just like the earth is held together in him, even the little joint, the little kids who are believers and every believer from the north to the south, from the east to the west is held together in him. Colossians 2:19 says that we are nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments.


  1. When we receive our portion that was distributed by Christ according to his own will we are to communicate it with other believers. What is most important issue in Ephesians 4:16; 2:21 and Colossians 2:19? It is called growth.  Ephesians 4:16 says makes the body grow.  Ephesians 2:21 says grows into a holy temple in the Lord. Colossians 2:19 says grows with a growth from God. Just like the root of the tree gives sap to the tree for what purpose? For growth and to produce fruits. In the same way when we receive our portion from Christ we will grow in him. The sheep of God are hungry for green pasture and thirsty for living water. Once you are regenerated you get a hunger and a thirst for the Lord which you have never experienced before. They will be separated unto God as Ephesians 2:21 says they will grow into a holy temple. Yes, holy temple and not a worldly temple. Growth comes through Christ being sanctified in him.  Then we will help the other believers in Christ, this is our communication with them.  Ephesians 4; 16; 2:21 and Colossians speaking each part joined together knitted together will grow in Christ. That is why fellowship is so important; there is no growth in isolation.


Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.


Ps 84:4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee.


Ro 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.


  1. You get your daily sap from Christ as you grow in him, you edify, rebuke, correct the other believers and you do this through mutual love. The body has to be healthy to communicate within themselves to other believers and this health is maintained by love.  See Ephesians 4:16 as it says, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. It is not the head knowledge that is important but the knowledge that has to do with the heart.


1Co 8:1  Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffed up, but charity edifies.


The word of God contains love to his people. You cannot take out this love from knowledge. Take out love from sanctification, the result is self righteousness. Take out love from the truth, the result is legalism, red tape.  Take love from evangelism result is organization is exalted not Christ.  Take love out from joy then the result is worldly pleasure. We cannot take love out but give love, express love. God expressed his love to the believers in Christ Jesus in the same way we need to express our love to one another.


Love for Christ will lead to holiness. Without holiness no one will see God. Apostle Paul said, “If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed.” (1 Cor 16:22) Jesus said, “If you love me you will obey my command.” (John 14:15) Loving the Lord leads to his word the Bible and will sanctify you and lead you to holiness. Love for believers will lead to unity and love for people in the other parts of the world will lead to missions.  What we learned today is true church maturity and I encourage you to put away your carnal ways, the worldly ways and give priority to the Lord first and his word.


Growth Chart