“…which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:23
Have you ever wanted to be good at something that you just weren’t good at? When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast more than anything. I remember watching the girls perform with such grace and ease thinking, “That will be me someday.” I was eight years old. This was my dream. Reality came crashing down on me, though, when I realized that gymnastics was more than likely never going to be my forte. At the age of eight, I was bigger than most of the gymnasts in the games, and I was growing rapidly. I was never going to be small or petite. I would never fit the mold. I just wasn’t built that way. Not to say that I couldn’t be good at gymnastics, but my gifts rested in other areas.
You and I both can smile at our childhood dreams and maybe even laugh, but this struggle more often than not continues throughout adulthood. If we are in Christ, God has gifted us with spiritual gifts, supernatural empowerment to do what God created us to do to bless and further His Kingdom here on earth. The problem is that we always seem to want the gifts that we don’t have. Certain gifts can appear to receive more press, while others seem to go unnoticed, and it is in this wanting and coveting of what we don’t have that we forget we are a part of one body.
Paul is wrapping us his long, prayerful thought here in Ephesians 1:23 with a reference to the church, but he uses the phrase “His body.” After Christ’s ascension, the apostles were left with the responsibility of spreading the Gospel. As it spread, more were added to the fold of disciples. This group became the first church. The body of Christ is a metaphor for God’s redeemed people, used exclusively in the New Testament of the church. Here in Ephesians, we are told that all things have been placed under the authority of Christ, including the church, and that the fullness of who He is resides in the body, the church. Because this is the order that God set up and because the fullness of Him is in the body of Christ, we as the church have been filled.
This truth speaks further to our identity in Christ. If we are in Christ, we have been filled with the fullness of Christ. And if we are the body of Christ, have we assumed our individual roles? We are part of the whole, a piece of a greater picture: One body, many parts. We can’t all be eyes, because if we were, who would be the ears? We can’t all be hands, because who would be the feet? Do you know your role within the body, and are you using the gifts that God has given you to fulfill that role? You’re not lacking anything that you need to function in the role that God has given you. He created you with intention, and He equipped you for His purposes. He gifted you with abilities that will further His Kingdom here on earth. And He waits for you to take your place. There is one body, but there are many parts. The most beautiful picture of the body of Christ is one in which each member ceases striving to be what they are not and rather embraces WHO they are in Christ. That is a healthy body. That is the body of Christ.