“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 it is called the “body” of Christ. When the Christ comes to rapture the church, it is called the “bride” of Christ. The church is not a bride now.
The church as a “body” is the universal church. This church is any believer anywhere on earth.
“Nourished” means to supply fully, abundantly, to provide something besides what already exists to make available whatever is necessary to help or supply the needs of someone — to provide for, to support, to supply the needs of, provision, support. This was a term of the ancient drama.
This is the word from which we get our word “chorus.” In the ancient Greek world a wealthy benefactor supplied all the money needed for the expensive chorus to function. He gave everything needed. He defrayed expenses for training, costuming and staging. Great dramatists like Euripidies 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 generosity supplying all the up front money for a Broadway play. It is a word of grace.
God is the benefactor here. He provides everything we need to live the Christian life. He defrays any expenses we may face to live before him.
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 by believers by 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 that 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?