Summary: Unity, not uniformity. Family diversity. Growing up to maturity in Christ.


Ephesians 4:1-16

Our unity is based in the unity of all three Persons of the Godhead (Ephesians 4:1-6)

Those who are born again have but one God and Father, because we are all members of the same family. There is only one Lord (Jesus), so there is but one hope of our calling, one faith and one baptism. There is only one Holy Spirit, who has created the church as one body.

Unity in diversity (Ephesians 4:7-12)

Yet even though God is the “Father of us all” (Ephesians 4:6), we do not lose our individuality as “every one of us is given grace” (Ephesians 4:7). The five teaching gifts which Paul mentions here (Ephesians 4:11) are intended to equip all of God’s people for “the work of ministry” (service) (Ephesians 4:12). We are called into one body (Colossians 3:15), and the body is not one member but many (1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 1 Corinthians 12:27).

Maturing into the “body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13-16)

Unlike the world’s religions, the church is not in the business of seeking after God. We have already found Him in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. Instead, we are running - together - towards the goal of a greater growth into Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

In fact, we shall most certainly accomplish that to which we aspire. The unity of the church is as certain as the unity of the Godhead, as we have seen. This is a reality in the mind of God: but in the meantime the church’s visible unity needs a little maintenance work (Ephesians 4:3).

Paul calls this process “holding the truth in love” and - using the metaphor of the body - “growing up into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). This is an efficacious work, because it is based in the work of Jesus (Ephesians 4:16).

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