In Eph 4:13-16 Paul explains what is supposed to happen with the members of the body of Christ as a result of the three things in Eph 4:12. The body of Christ, by design, will be a perfect man and will come to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ [Eph 4:13]. The measure is the dimensions of his body [Eph 3:18], the stature is the natural height of his body [Eph 1:21-22], and his fulness filleth all in all [Eph 1:23]. His body, like a natural body, is designed to grow [Eph 4:15, 2:21] and increase [Eph 4:16]. For his body to grow and increase, the members of his body must also grow. Therefore, Paul said, “That we henceforth be no more children,” [Eph 4:14]. A natural body won’t grow if it always remains a child.
Be no more children:
In Your Faith – Eph 4:13 – “Till we all come in the unity of the faith.” In Eph 4:5 there is “one faith.” For you to function properly in the body, it is your responsibility, as a member of the body of Christ, to live by the one faith of which Paul wrote. Rom 10:17 shows you that faith cometh by hearing the word of God. So, you must first have the word of God and then you must “hear” it. It is your duty to read it [Is 34:16], believe it [1 Thes 2:13], search it [Jn 5:39], and study it [2 Tim 2:15].
In Your Knowledge – Eph 4:13 – “the knowledge of the Son of God.” Peter said, “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” [2 Pet 3:18]. It is your responsibility to know the Lord. And growing in your knowledge of Jesus is something that you will spend the rest of your life accomplishing. Even Paul said to the Philippians, “That I may know him,” [Phil 3:10]. Apply yourself to this diligently.
In Your Doctrine – Eph 4:14 – “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.” Christians are like children when it comes to doctrine [Prov 14:15] and they justify their childish understanding of doctrine by asking questions like, “How can I tell who is right?” Christians, like children with candy, gravitate to the doctrine that they like the most. You have to grow up in doctrine. Doctrine is what the Bible says and teaches. It is not a matter of interpretation. All these different doctrines regarding Israel, the deity of Jesus Christ, eschatology, salvation, and so forth are mostly the design of men. They use sleight, like a magician, cunning craftiness, like a politician for a thief, and deception, like the devil to fool you. It is your responsibility to discern what is right and you have the Holy Spirit to guide you [Jn 14:26; 16:13]. The right pastors and teachers will “speak the truth in love.” They won’t speak truth only or love only, they will speak the truth in love [1 Thes 2:7-8].
In Your Growth – Eph 4:15 – “grow up into him in all things.” The Holy Spirit works in you, from the moment you get saved till you die, to conform you into the image of Jesus Christ [Rom 8:29]. Christ is your head as well as the head of the church [Eph 1:22]. It is your responsibility to take care of your spiritual health so that you will grow normally in your life. Unfortunately, according to 1 Cor 3:1-3 and Heb 5:12-14, too many Christians are still babes.
In Your Work – Eph 4:16 – “the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part.” When the Holy Spirit baptized you into the body of Christ [1 Cor 12:13], God set you in the body as it pleased him [1 Cor 12:18]. So, you are fitly joined together meaning you are suitably, properly placed where you belong. You are compacted (pressed close, firmly united, connected) by that which every joint supplieth. So, you are to be connected closely to the people with whom God has placed you. And it takes an abundance of grace and charity to maintain this connection.
God gives you jobs to do in his body. This is the effectual working (work that produces the desired effect) in the measure of every part. You have a measure, a proportion, in the body for the work that you are supposed to do. Obviously, the heart and brain of a body have a greater measure of work in the body than the little toe. But as each part functions according to the measure given to it, so you and I function according to our measure. And when we do, the body functions properly.
Conclusion: Eph 4:16 maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Notice that the body increases and edifies itself in love when the members of the body function properly within the body.
My prayer for our people in this church includes this, that they would know God, when they are young, be equipped to serve as they mature, and that they would serve in the capacity for which God has chosen them when they have grown more.
You can see where the Devil has attacked certain areas of the body to keep it from growing. He has attacked the pastors, he has attacked the word of God, he has attacked the doctrine, he has attacked the unity, and he has attacked the love. Thus the body is not so fitly joined together and compacted. It is fractured. You can’t control that problem, but you are responsible to do your part.