Summary: Paul has finished with the doctrinal part of his letter to the Ephesians. He begins I therefore, in light of what I have just said, there is unity
Unity In The Church
Intro. Chapter three of Ephesians is filled with verses of love. Then Paul speaks of God’s abundancy toward us.
The word therefore refers back to earlier verses. Ephesians like all of Paul’s writings is broken into two parts, doctrine, and practice. The first three chapters Paul covers the beautiful doctrines of salvation, God’s sovereignty and others.
A preacher friend of mine used to say when you see the word therefore you need to check to see what it’s there for. So as he looks back he says I therefore, in other words, he says because God has saved me by his grace and is sanctifying me and has complete charge of all things. Therefore I should walk in such a way as to show this and to honor God.
As I have said before the king’s children have a responsibility to honor their father by acting like children of royalty. We’re like that to; we don’t want our children to dishonor our family.
The first three chapters are doctrinal belief that is wherein lies our faith, so we are talking about using this faith and practice.
1. Put Your Faith Into Operation:
Some people believe that only doctrine is important, they read all of the books on the subjects and feel they have their theology nailed down. They can tell you what you should believe and why you should believe it.
When the problems of life surface they don’t they know how to apply their believe. Doctrine is something that should comfort us when we have problems upon us. I have been in churches where they were steeped in doctrine but there was no love and when this happens churches die.
There’s also the other side of the coin those who say doctrine is not important just love the Lord. This is a life of practice only that leaves out the basic teaching of our Lord. It may draw worldly groups that look at the church like a club where they gather to have fellowship and listen to music.
Why does God’s word teach us both, because we are supposed to use both? Sam Cathey used to say, you are to behave like you believe.
If we major on doctrine only, the church will die, if we major on practice only the church may live but it won’t be a church.
When Jesus walked with the disciples he taught them how they were to live. We call the Bible our rulebook of faith and practice and that is exactly what it is. You can’t stop at the end of chapter three of Ephesians and say the rest is not important.
It’s here in 4, 5, and 6 that he tells us how we are to live because of the doctrine that has been taught to us. Christianity is to be a way of life and not just something we experience on Sunday morning. The earlier Christians were called “Follower’s of the Way.”
The first three chapters tell’s us how we have come to be justified, the last part of the book tells us we are being sanctified. On a larger scale Paul is tying together two teachings that we all desparately need.
2. Love Should Bring Unity: “forbearing one another in love.”
The word therefore means, here in light of what I have just said, or because of what I have said, makes what I’m going to say now true.
Jesus said to his follower’s in John 13 just after he had washed their feet. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another? John 13:34-35
“For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” I Jn 3:11
“And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.” I Jn 3:23
“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” I Jn 4:20-21
From what Jesus said, and he has never lied, the people that say they hate this one or that one are not Christians. In 1John he said,
“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” I Jn 3:14
If we are rooted and grounded in love, and we comprehend this love of Christ and are filled with the fulness of God, our walk of life should show it.