Summary: Looking like the Head
July 25, 2012
Chapter three ends with Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians that they would know the greatness of God’s love for them and Paul ends with a word of praise: “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (3:20-21). I want to focus on that phrase for a little while as we go into the fourth chapter. God is glorified in the church by Christ Jesus in at least three ways:
1. He separates a certain people unto Himself for His own use despite their sinfulness. This demonstrates several of His attributes including His sovereignty, love, mercy, kindness, and patience.
2. He causes those people He’s called for His own purposes to be transformed, renewed, and revitalized so that they are fitting for His service. Here again we see His sovereignty and His goodness and holiness.
3. He does all of this by the work of His Son, Jesus Christ. This shows us how He keeps His promise and is always faithful, and it shows us that He is able to keep His own law.
And so, because God is glorified in the church by Christ Jesus, there’s a truth or a fact that those in the church (those who are called the Bride) look differently: from themselves (the way they used to be) and from the rest of the world. Think of the temple in the Old Testament. The things used in the worship were sanctified—that is that they were set apart from the other things, the profane things. A priest didn’t eat Cheerios out of a bowl and then go use the same bowl to wash his hands and feet before entering the temple. There was one bowl used only for that purpose. All of the things in the temple were that way (even the temple itself), and I don’t think it’s going too far to say that God has set us aside in the same way. We belong to Him, and so,
God commands us to walk in loving unity (:1-3)
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
There’s a manner of life for the Christian that’s called worthy of our calling.
2With all lowliness
This is seeing yourself as little. Jesus called the little child into the midst of the disciples and said, “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 18:2-4).
“He that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve” (Lk. 22:26).
Think of how He set that example: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:5-8).
This is the same as gentleness. Think of Isaiah 40:11: “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”
How many times did Jesus tell Peter to forgive his brother? Seven times? No, seventy times seven! How long does Christ love His bride?
forbearing one another in love;
Forebearing means to sustain or hold something up. Now compare this to God’s immeasurably broad, high, deep, and wide love for us as shown in chapter three. We hold each other up with encouragement and kind words, enjoying fellowship, sharing Scripture, teaching about something newly learned, meeting physical needs, and through gentle and loving correction.
3Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
The command is to keep peace between those who are united in the Spirit. The reason comes in the next verse.