For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:16, Amplified)
…as they are knit together in love… (Colossians 2:2, Amplified)
That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints […the experience of that love]… [That you may really come to know… the love of Christ… that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! (Ephesians 3:18-19, Amplified)
Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose…] To Him be glory in the church… (Ephesians 3:20-21, Amplified)
We are the church. We are His body, the Body of Christ. And His desire is that we be knit together and that we be one with Him and one with each other (John 17:21-23).
How is this accomplished? First and foremost, by our union with His Son Jesus Christ, but this Body of Christ is also being knit together in love, by Love Himself. Not by our common doctrines or practices. But by yielding to His love in us for one another.
Ephesians 3:20 mentions His power working in us to carryout His purpose. He is knitting us together, but we can yield to that work or resist it. How? By yielding to love towards one another or not.
When we resist loving one another, we are not only resisting that person, but we are resisting God’s work in knitting this body together. Walking in love is not just a sweet thing to do, it is vital to the work and purposes of God.
I’ve heard it said, and it’s true, that submission is not proven in an atmosphere of agreement. Submission is only tested and proven when we disagree. Well, love is not proven when everyone is being lovely. Love is proven as we choose to love when the other person is being unlovely.
This love, agape, is not based on loving when everyone is doing everything right (or right in our opinion). This love loves unconditionally, right or wrong, lovely or unlovely, I am going to love you. That’s agape.
I want to take a quick look at what love is and what it isn’t in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (Amplified). Two things to keep in mind as you read this list 1) you are not examining everyone else’s love walk by these scriptures, you are examining your own and 2) notice there are no exceptions listed, love always loves like this in every situation.
Love endures long and is patient and kind.
Love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy.
Love is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride).
It is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.
Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking.
It is not touchy or fretful or resentful.
It takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes.
Is ever ready to believe the best of every person.
Its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances.
And it endures everything [without weakening].
Love never fails.
God’s love has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). We have the capacity to love like this by the grace, the power of the Holy Spirit that abides in us. And we do this by yielding to the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. In the Amplified Bible it says that this fruit of the Spirit is “the work which His presence within accomplishes”. His power at work in us.
Yield to love at all times. Yield to His work by the Spirit in you. Yield yourself to Love Himself and cooperate as He knits this body together in love.