Summary: Now this great book begins to address many things in how we should live as believers. "Rich" and "powerful" are two good words for Ephesians 4.
TRUTHS FROM EPHESIANS IV
(Ephesians Chapter 4)
Pastor Eric J. Hanson
August 10, 2008
This is the fourth in this series of messages entitled “Truths From Ephesians”. It’s time to really review, so that we do not forget what we have already learned from this great book of the Bible. Here’s our quick review.
-We learned about the City of Ephesus.
-This letter was probably a “circular”. (explain)
-The first twelve verses deal with Paul and the other hand picked first generation believers, and how the Lord chose and taught them.
-Verses 13-20 brings all other hearers who receive the Gospel message, into this special circle.
-Verses 21-23 deal with the supremacy of Jesus Christ, and our high place in him.
- Chapter 2:1-3 We all start off dead in our sin.
- 4-10 God’s gracious call upon us, His redemption of us, and the new life.
-11-19 Here is how God broke down the barrier between natural Jew and Gentile, and made “One new Man in Christ” out of all believers.
-20-21 Here is how apostles and prophets “build” on the Chief Cornerstone, which is Jesus Christ.
-We believers are the very House of God here on Earth.
-Chapter 3:1-3 Paul: The Lord’s prisoner for your sake.
-4-5 The mysteries of God were revealed to the Apostles and Prophets by the Holy Spirit. (not to one exalted founder…)
-6-8 Gentiles are grafter into God’s family.
-9-11 Even angels and principalities were learning new things as the Gospel was being proclaimed.
12-15 Don’t be bothered by Paul’s imprisonment.
16-19 The Apostle’s great prayer for the believers
20-21 God is great, in and through His people.
EPHESIANS CHAPTER 4
Paul began the practical application section of this letter with a quick reminder to the readers that he was a prisoner, for their sake. This added an extra weight of seriousness to the directives that he was about to give to them, and us.
Verses two and three give us the keys to guarding the unity of the Faith. These keys are not a code to adhere to. They are a set of godly attitudes which can only be maintained by the presence of the Lord within us. Walking in a lifestyle of humility, gentleness, patience & forbearance is not natural for people. Walking in self will and setting limits on other people (Matthew 18:21-22 Peter: “till seven times?”) is our strong tendency. Furthermore, these four, humility, gentleness, patience, and forbearance require diligence on our part, or they slip away from us. That is why I wrote “wrapped in diligence”. This is not easy, but it is important.
Verses four through six seem obvious to us, but there were people in the First Century, who were trying their very best to force certain things onto the believers, which God does not require of us. Some were trying to make distinctions based on race or nationality within the Church. God does not recognize such things as these as points of division. Remember, we are made to be one new Man in Jesus Christ.
Grace means “unmerited favor”. Grace itself is a gift. By its very nature, it cannot be earned. We have all received grace from God if we are believers.
All gifts from the Lord are extensions of His grace toward us.
Verses nine and ten
It is important to know that the Lord was triumphant even in his death. He descended first, yes, but he also has ascended –FAR ABOVE all powers that oppose Him.
These are gifts from Jesus in the form of people who he sends into our lives, to equip us as believers.
Here is the goal of the Lord in giving us these people who are “equipping gifts”.
These gifts will last until the time comes that all believers are just like Jesus. That will happen upon His second coming, when we are changed into our glorified state.
These gifts are to build stability and accuracy into us.
As “spiritual grown ups” we can stand firm and not be fooled by error that comes along.
Here is a description of proper life within the Body of Christ.
Seventeen through nineteen
Watch out for this! We are not to live as the people who don’t know God live.
Twenty through twenty two
Lay aside old and corrupt ways of living. Our call in Jesus is higher.
Twenty three through twenty four
Here is what we are called to do and to live like!
Falsehoods are an old filthy husk from the old life. Lay it aside as you would any thing that is used up and useless.
Twenty six and seven
It is easier to let anger fester. We must do the hard thing and take it to the cross to die. Then we can deal redemptively with situations that need attention.