Paul prayed “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and established in love” (Ephesians 3:17). As Christ makes his home in our hearts, we will be established in love because that is his nature. What a delight!
The same is true for his body, the church. In Christ our Head, the body builds itself up in love as each part works properly. Each member of the body matters. Each of us, and all of us, are to be both doing and being for the wellness of the body. What we do matters, and Paul gives us some detail in Ephesians 4 regarding particulars of behavior. Meanwhile, the theme he maintains throughout is that whatever we do must be rooted and established in love.
Exercising the grace God gives us will always be a function of bringing grace to others. We build each other up in the body of Christ. That is the nature of a healthy body. That is the nature of our Lord Jesus Christ. Where do we begin? Paul’s frequent counsel in this letter, and elsewhere, is that we begin with what and how we speak. Whether proclaiming the gospel or chatting, our words are an ever-present opportunity to give grace, or something less – to build up or to tear down (Ephesians 4:29).
We are called together to grow into Christ’s nature. That is so good. If what I am doing and what we are doing today looks like the love of God, we’ll be OK. If it doesn’t, we know which way to turn.
Chuck Orwiler, adapted from Fruit of the Vine