“And not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.”
“from whom all the body”
“From whom” is Jesus Christ the Head (v. 19a). He is the body’s source of life and growth.
The “body” is the church. When the church is on earth, God calls it the “body” of Christ. When Christ comes to rapture the church, he will name the church the “bride” of Christ. The church is not a bride now.
The church as a “body” is the universal church. This church, in this context, is any believer anywhere on earth.
“Nourished” conveys the idea to supply abundantly; it is to provide something besides what already exists to make available whatever is necessary. The idea is that God provides what the believer needs by His grace.
We obtain the English word “chorus” from this Greek term. This word was a term of ancient drama. In the ancient Greek world, a wealthy benefactor supplied all the money needed for the expensive chorus to function. He provided everything needed for the production. He defrayed expenses for training, costuming, and staging. Great dramatists like Euripides and Sophocles presented plays at the great festivals. The play would often train for a year before it opened. Usually, they performed a play in memory of the gods. It is like someone today generosity supplying all the upfront money for a Broadway play. “Nourished” is a word for God’s grace because he is the provider.
God is the benefactor here. He provides everything we need to live the Christian life. He defrays any expenses we may face to live spiritual lives before him. Note different Greek terms for nourish or supply:
2 Cor. 9:10, “Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.”
Gal. 3:5, “Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”
Life comes from the Head. God disperses that life throughout the body of the church by believers exercising their spiritual gifts prepared by gifted men (” joints and ligaments”). The saints, not the gifted men, do ministry. All this results from holding fast to the Head.
God is a God of grace who provides all we need to live the Christian life.
Do you feel that the Christian life depends upon your strength? Do you draw upon God as a God of grace to meet your need?