Summary: Walk walk in Him
Read Ephesians 4:1-16
v.1.walk worthy of your calling: The first three chapters talked about theology of Christian Unity which overrides all divisive factors in humankind; and, the last three chapter deal with the practical implications of that unity. It moves from Theology to practice, exposition to exhortation.
v.2-3. five graces of foundational to Christian Character: Lowliness (Philippians 2:2-8), gentleness (Matthew 5:5), patience (2 Peter 3:9), Bearing one another, and love. Romans and Greeks considered humility as a sign of weakness but for Christians, source of strength. Pride divides and humility reconciles. Longsuffering is God’s Character. Bearing is mutual tolerance. Love preserves relationship
v. 4-6. The sevenfold formula of Oneness: Unity and oneness are mandated. One God, One Christ, One faith, One spirit, One body, One baptism and One eternal life. The entire Godhead is involved in the oneness of the Church. Father “above all, through all, in you all”. Son – “the author and finisher of faith” (Hebrews 12:2) and the hope of Glory (Colossians 1:27) the foundation of the Church, His body. Holy Spirit -“the agency of new birth experience” (I Corinthians 12:13). Satan separates and God units, love binds us together – D. L. Moody.
4.7. Each one of us: All of us has the same father, Son and Holy Spirit but each one of us are given different gifts. We have the diversity of talents, skills and gifts but no division among us. Diversity means for development division means destruction.
4:8 Ascended and gave the gifts: Pouring out of the Holy Spirit is the giving of the Gifts. The absence of the Spirit makes the gospel ministry so powerless. Learning, talents, eloquence, every natural or acquired endowment may be possessed but without the presence of the Spirit of God, no heart will be touched no sinner be won for Christ. If gifts are connected with Christ through prayer and relationship it changes the lives even by an ignorant believer. They become the channel of blessings.
4:9 Descended: Went down and released the prisoners. Ascended and descended is not spatial but theological.
4:11–13,16: The purposes of the Gifts are:
• Equipping the saints- put straight and right, preparing, training and making ready for service. All are called to be ministers. No one can be a mere believer all are expected to be witness one way or the other way. Ministry is not the clergy but for all. Ministry is people to people and one to one.
• Edifying the Church – teaching, preaching, evangelism healing, counselling, visiting, comforting and helping are the things to do. These activities are not for personal gains but for God’s glory. It leads to the corporate blessing of the Church. No one can glorify but shared joy.
• Enriching to the fullness of Christ– the stature of the fullness of Christ must be developed. Christians must grow above the use of the Gifts and ministry.
4:14 No more children: We should live like children (Mt.18:3) and not childish character and he would like to put away childish things (I Corinthians 13:11).Our maturity should be all-round and not malnutrition. Be careful about trickery, craftiness and plotting confronts us but we need to stand firm.
4:15 Speak truth in Love: Do the truth and do it with love. John Stott: “Truth becomes hard if it is not softened by love; love becomes soft if it is not strengthened by truth”.