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Summary: This sermon is about family and friends sticking together. So many times everyone wants to do their own thing, but where there’s unity there’s strength.

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History.

In Rome, Paul was in official custody. Although his movements were restricted, he continued to guide the early church and preach the gospel. Paul identifies himself as the author of Ephesians at the beginning and in the middle of this letter (1:1, 3:1). Internal evidence supports Paul’s authorship. The fact that the author describes himself as being imprisoned points to Paul, for Luke describes Paul as being under house arrest in Rome in Acts 28. The letter is similar in content to Colossians, suggesting that both letters were written during the same imprisonment in Rome around A.D. 60.

Setting.

Ephesus was the capital of the Roman province of Asia (today part of Turkey).

Text.

4:1 The second half of Ephesians, like that of a number of Paul’s epistles, emphasizes the behavior that should result from the doctrines or beliefs taught in the first half. Note that the Christian life is not compared here to running or standing still, but to a walk. Walk Worthy: A believer’s life should match the excellencies of Christ’s calling.

4:2 lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering: These are the attitudes that Jesus demonstrated when He was on Earth (Phil. 2:5-8). These attitudes do not come naturally, but must be cultivated by the determination to place others above ourselves. Only the Spirit can empower us to treat people this way consistently. Bearing is close to our expression “putting up with”; however, Paul’s use of the term has positive connotations. It describes being patient with the shortcomings of others. Often we ask God to be patient with our own failing and yet do not exercise the same type of patience ourselves.

4:3 unity of Spirit: All Christians are one in the Spirit. It is our duty to keep or observe that unity, recognize it as real and act upon it without a sectarian spirit (see John 17:20-26). Endeavoring means to make every effort to work hard at maintaining the unity of the Spirit.

4:5 One baptism may refer to the baptism in the Spirit that places all believers into the body of Christ, the church (1 Cor. 12:13). It may also refer to water baptism, the sign or seal that a person is a member of the body of Christ. At the time of the early church, public baptism clearly identified a person as a Christian.

4:7 Like Peter (1 Pet. 4:10), Paul taught that all Christians have a spiritual gift or gifts. The gifts are given sovereignly by the ascended Christ in order to build up the church (1 Cor. 12:11). Thus the body of Christ is to function like a machine in which every part is essential for getting a job done. But unlike a machine, the body of Christ should maintain itself and build every one of its members up so that they can do good works (1 Cor. 12:7).

Emphasize.

• Examples of sticking together: September 11, Jena 6, March on Washington, Iranians, LSU, Alcoholics.

• We must learn to be like Jesus when he walked in with Mary and Martha. They were weeping and he started to weep. We must learn to not say get over it, but we must learn to live by the bible and weep when our neighbor weeps.


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