Ephesians 4:1-16 Make Every Effort to Keep the Unity

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Ephesians 4:2

Live in Unity; 4:1-6.  It is humility, patience and love that is willing to put up with others that make unity possible.  The body is one.  We are to make every effort to keep the unity in our relationships with others.

1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Serve in Unity; 4:7-16.  Unity is vital as the context of ministry.  In Jesus resurrection he distributed gifts to all believers.  Leaders were placed in the body to prepare God’s people for works of service.  The relational climate of loving honesty is vital for our shared ministry to each other, for the body will grow and build itself up in love as each part does its work.

Each one of us is called and gifted to build up our brothers and sisters in Christ.  There is no laity/clergy division in the Bible’s vision of the church of Jesus Christ.  Each one of us is important.  Each of us gifted.  Each of us can serve.

7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”

9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions ? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 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.




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