January 30

Last week in this space I mentioned a couple of verses from Ephesians 4, including this statement in verse 15: “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” The events of this past weekend brought some of the rest of this passage to my mind. As you likely know, I had to “call in sick” on Sunday, and am actually writing this article from home, still feeling the effects of a viral infection that gave me a very bad sore throat, no voice, and now continues to make its presence felt in some lingering cold symptoms. In medical jargon, I still feel yucky! But Sunday went on without a hitch of course. Thanks Phil Stapp for so capably filling in at the last minute.

You see none of us is irreplaceable in the body of Christ. That is not to say, however, that anyone is unimportant. Clearly, that is not the case.

In Ephesians 4 the apostle Paul speaks of unity in the church. He presents, as one person accurately put it, the “atmosphere” of Christian unity in the first three verses, and the “basis” of Christian unity in the next three verses. He then speaks of the gifts Christ gave His church, a similar passage to Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. Lots of different people, lots of different gifts, each one a part of the body, each one a part of God’s plan.

I’m reading through The Daily Bible again this year. There, I said it out loud. I’m committed. Recently I read through the Exodus account of Moses’ battle with Pharaoh. (By the way, does anybody else always spell Pharaoh, “Pharoah” before Word puts a red line under it?) Both Moses and Pharaoh were used by God. Pharaoh made his choice to stand against God; Moses chose to stand with God. The LORD used them both in an effort to let everyone—Israelites, Egyptians, Canaanites, everyone—come to know that He alone is God and worthy of worship.

I hope that you understand that you have a place in God’s plan. No, none of us is irreplaceable. But God will use each of us to accomplish His will, whether we choose to stand with Him or to oppose Him. What a beautiful thing it is, though, when we unselfishly use the gifts given us by the Head of the body, Jesus Christ. “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” [Ephesians 4:16]

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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