The People of God’s Gravity
Scriptures: Ephesians 4:16
by Jacob Abshire on September 23, 2021
Gravity holds the key to the surest way to weight loss. Since it is an attractive force between two bodies of mass, weight is proportionately measured. The closer you are to a large mass, such as the earth’s surface or the ground, the heavier you become. So, the higher the altitude, the lighter the body. Objects farther away from the earth’s center experience a decrease in the planet’s gravitational pull. So, next time you are floating out to space, bring your scale. You’ll be glad you did.
Gravity is relative to mass and distance. The bigger the mass, the heavier an object will be when it is nearer to another object with equal or greater mass. In reality, our mass would never change—only our distance to the power. The closer we are, the weightier we will become. Consequently, the farther we are, the lighter we will become. But, you will be sad to know, our mass will never change.
All masses in the universe have some kind of gravitational pull. So, when we are closer to the earth, we will feel the earth’s gravity more. When we are closer to the moon, we will feel the moon pulling even more. If we were right in the center of two objects of greater mass than ours, we would be attracted by the one that is greater in mass. It’s not difficult to understand. But, it does introduce a very weighty point—pun intended.
God is attracting us into Himself. His divine gravity is pulling and drawing us to Christ in order that we may be joined together and made perfect by His power. The closer we are to God and the longer we dwell in Him, the more mature we will become. The opposite is also true. The farther we are from God and the less we dwell in Him, the less we will be like Christ.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 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 grow so that it builds itself up in love.Ephesians 4:15-16
Walk in His Fullness
Over the past five posts in this series, we have been using Ephesians 4:15-16 to launch us into a series of studies on the church. We have learned that truth and love are God’s instrument to mature His whole body with the intention of making it perfect by His power. This is the work of God’s divine gravity. He is joining and holding together a people to form “one new man” (Eph. 2:15).
Now, we will turn our attention to the more personal aspect of the body and see how each of us fit within the larger work of God. We will look at the people of the church. People like you. If you are in Christ, then you were once “separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). That is to say, we were all once far away from God’s gravitational power. “But,” Paul said, “now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13).
When Jesus died on the cross, He effectually grabbed you out of the cosmos and brought you into His sphere of love. “For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father” and the hostility between us and God was abolished (Eph. 2:16, 18). So, we are “no longer strangers and aliens,” but “fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 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” (Eph. 2:19-21).
No structure is finished until each of the stones have been laid. Christ is the cornerstone. We are the living stones that are laid by God together with Christ for the greatest purpose—to be a “dwelling place for God” (Eph. 2:22). There really is no higher calling. However, it does come with an expectation to walk in the fullness of Christ—near Him and in Him. If Christ is the head and we are the body, then we ought to walk like Him.
Abide in His Love
Before we were brought into Christ, we walked “dead in our trespasses and sins” and lived “in the passions of our flesh” as “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:1-3). But, God is rich in mercy. He “made us alive together with Christ” and prepared good works “that we should walk in them” from now on (Eph. 2:5, 10).
Our aim for the new life we now live is to be “imitators of God” and “walk in love” and truth, which is exactly what God uses to transform us (Eph. 5:1-2). So, “look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil” and because the life of the body depends on you (Eph. 5:15-16). Remember, it is the whole body that we are being joined into.
Perhaps, the best way to understand this worthy walk is in Paul’s letter to Titus. He instructed the church to walk in a way “that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (Tit. 2:10). Think of it as the suitable decoration on the gospel tree. It is the clothing of purity that dresses the truth of God’s Word. It is that lifestyle that manifests all that Christ promises in Himself. If the gospel comes to make a man whole, then the man must walk in wholeness. If it comes to make a child obedient, then the child should act accordingly. This is the idea behind the new walk.
Spiritually speaking, we do this by drawing near to God. As the psalmist captured it, “For me, it is good to be near God” (Ps. 73:28). For when we are near Him, we are enveloped by His mercy and grace and empowered by the fellowship we have with the Son. It is the practice of being “filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). When we are filled, we walk in humility, gentleness, patience, bearing one another in love, maintaining unity in the bond of peace, grateful, having melodies in our heart, and submitting to each with gladness (Eph. 4:2-3; 5:19-21).
Jesus taught this. When establishing the basis of Christian living, He borrowed imagery from the agricultural world—vines and vine crops. He identified Himself as the true vine and the Father as the “vinedresser” or caretaker of the vine (Jn. 15:1-11). In the illustration, the caretaker prunes the branches to maintain their fruitfulness. It is a necessary work to stimulate abiding in the vine. As the branch abides, it bears fruit and matures. “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” (Jn. 15:4). We abide in Him by continually drawing from His love and walking in His commandments (Jn. 15:10).
The first step in the new walk is knowing that you are accountable to a whole body and it to you. Your part is vital. Your place is key. Your life is an important stone in the bigger building. God is maturing the church in every way, and He is doing it through you, “by every joint” and ligament and member. You belong to the body, and the body needs you to walk in His fullness. It relies on your fruitfulness. When you neglect your walk, the body feels it. Will you help the body? Will you abide in Christ by drawing near to Him and allowing God to work through you? Our next post will tell you how.
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