Summary: Through God’s message of Ephesians 4:13-15, the people of God can have "Hope that Stands in the Storm" though a: 1) Unity of the Faith (Ephesians 4:13a), 2) Knowledge of Christ (Ephesians 4:13b), 3) Spiritual Maturity (Ephesians 4:13c) and 5) Authentic Lo
I was encouraged this week to join a protest against Pepsi co. about a new Pepsi soda can which omits the words "under God" from the American Pledge of Allegiance. This intrigued me for my kids have recently been on a strange Pepsi kick and with the timing of 9/11 events it seemed strange. I went to Snopes.com, which describes itself as "the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation". It seems back in November 2001 Dr. Pepper introduced a can design featuring the Statue of Liberty with the words "One Nation.. Indivisible" from the Pledge of Allegiance displayed above it. With over 90% of the pledge missing due to space limitations, it did not seem to be a deliberate "God removal campaign". Although Time magazine ran an edition with the exact title in 2001, it seems that some people will take a little truth and develop a whole plot from it. (http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/undergod.asp)
In a time of social media, Photoshop, conspiracy theories and internet scams, people are being deceived wasting time and money by people either paranoid themselves or trying to defraud others. But deception is nothing new.
The Ephesian church had a history of being plagued with heresy. Around A.D. 58, Paul first warned the Ephesian elders of subtle heresies creeping into their congregation (see Acts 20:26–31). According to the book of Ephesians (written in A.D. 61), he warned them again about false teaching, and then he made stronger censures in his epistles to Timothy (written in A.D. 64 and 66), who was working in Ephesus (see 1 Timothy 1:3–6; 4:1–2; 6:20–21; 2 Timothy 1:13–14; 2:14–26). If 1 John was also addressed to the Ephesian church (and many scholars think it was), the church was still fighting with heretics in the 80s (see 1 John 2:18–19; 4:1–3). And even in the 90s, when Revelation was written, the Ephesian church was still testing false apostles (see Revelation 2:1–7) (Barton, B. B., & Comfort, P. W. (1996). Ephesians. Life application Bible commentary (85). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.).
God desires His people to be on a collective people of faith, knowing and living His truth. It is a continual process of maturing together producing a loving testimony. It is a beacon of hope in a dark time. Without truth, we are adrift in a stormy sea of speculation, opinion, vacillating feelings or crashing on the rocks of despair.
Through God’s message of Ephesians 4:13-15, the people of God can have "Hope that Stands in the Storm" though a: 1) Unity of the Faith (Ephesians 4:13a), 2) Knowledge of Christ (Ephesians 4:13b), 3) Spiritual Maturity (Ephesians 4:13c) and 5) Authentic Loving Testimony (Ephesians 4:15)
1) Unity of the Faith (Ephesians 4:13a)
Ephesians 4:13a until we all attain to the unity of the faith (and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ)
As in verse 5, faith does not here refer to the act of belief or of obedience but to the body of Christian truth, to Christian doctrine. The faith is the content of the gospel in its most complete form. It is the body of truth to be defended against false teachers: