Scripture: Ephesians 4

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READ and STUDY the WORD

For other translations of these verses below visit: https://classic.biblegateway.com/

Unity In The Body Of Christ

Ephesians 4:1-16 (WEB) 1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and humility, with patience, bearing with one another in love, being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, even as you also were called in one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all, and in us all. But to each one of us, the grace was given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Therefore He says, “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to people.” Now this, “He ascended”, what is it but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. 11 He gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, shepherds and teachers; 12 for the perfecting of the saints, to the work of serving, to the building up of the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 that we may no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; 15 but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into Him who is the head, Christ, 16 from whom all the body, being fitted and knit together through that which every joint supplies, according to the working in measure of each individual part, makes the body increase to the building up of itself in love.

Questions and Answers:

1. What does Paul beg the Ephesians to do (Ephesians 4:1-3)? Paul begs the Ephesians to walk worthily of the calling with which they were called.  He asked them to do this with all lowliness, humility, and patience.  He asked them to bear with one another in love and to be eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

2. What does Paul say about oneness (Ephesians 4:4-6)? Paul said there is one body and one Spirit. Paul said the Ephesians were called in one hope of their calling.  Paul said one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, is over all and through all and in them all.

3. What did Paul say was given to each of them (Ephesians 4:7)? To each of them, the grace was given according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

4. What did He (Christ) do (Ephesians 4:8-9)? Christ ascended on high, led captivity captive and He gave gifts to people.  He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth.

5. Why did Christ do these things (Ephesians 4:10)? Christ descended and ascended so that He might fill (accomplish) all things.

6. What where apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers appointed to do (Ephesians 4:11-13)? Apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers were appointed for the perfecting of the saints, to serve, and to build up the body of Christ until all attain to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God.

7. Why did God do this (Ephesians 4:14-16)? God placed people in these offices so followers of Christ would no longer be children, but would learn to speak truth in love and grow up in all things in God who is the head of Christ so that the body (the church) would be fitted and knit together making the body grow and be built up in love.

Living As Children Of Light

Ephesians 4:17-32 (WEB) 17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their hearts. 19 They, having become callous, gave themselves up to lust, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you didn’t learn Christ that way, 21 if indeed you heard Him, and were taught in Him, even as truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put away, as concerning your former way of life, the old man that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new man, who in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.  25 Therefore putting away falsehood, speak truth each one with his neighbor. For we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and don’t sin.” Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 and don’t give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no more; but rather let him labor, producing with his hands something that is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but only what is good for building others up as the need may be, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.

Questions and Answers:

1. How did Paul tell the Ephesians not to walk (Ephesians 4:17-19)? Paul told the Ephesians to no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles were walking, in the futility of their mind.  They were darkened in their understanding and alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and the hardening of their heart.  They had become callous, given themselves up to lust and were working all uncleanness with greediness.

2. Of what did Paul remind them (Ephesians 4:20-24)? Paul reminded them they had put away the old man that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit and they had been renewed in the spirit of their mind, and put on the new man, who in the likeness of God had been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.

3. According to verses 25 through 32 how should the Ephesians (and us) behave?  The Ephesians were encouraged to put away falsehood.  Speak truth to each other.  Handle their anger properly. To not allow the devil any place in their life.  Stop stealing. Work for what they wanted. Produce with their hands something that was good so they could share with those in need.  Let no corrupt speech come out of their mouth. But speak what was good and would build others up.  Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit.  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander be put away from them, with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave them.

HEAR the WORD

Ephesians 4:9-10 (WEB) Now this, “He ascended”, what is it but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.

MEDITATE on the WORD

Ponder the above verses.  My Bible notes: The “lower parts of the earth” may be the earth itself; the grave; or Hades.  However we understand it, Christ is Lord of the whole universe, past, present and future.  Nothing or no one is hidden from Him.  The Lord of all came to earth and faced death to rescue all people.  No one is beyond His reach.

MEMORIZE the WORD

Ephesians 4:15 (NIV) Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ.

Ephesians 4:26-27 (NIV) In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

LOVE and LIVE the WORD

We need to follow Paul’s encouragement to the Ephesians in verses 25 through 32.

TEACH and SHARE the WORD

So we can encourage others with our words and behavior.

PRAY the WORD

Lord, I pray we will be completely humble, gentle, patient, and bear with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2).  Lord, I pray we will make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3).  Lord, I ask You to build us up so we can reach the unity in the faith and in the knowledge of Your Son.  And therefore become mature (Ephesians 4:12-13).  Lord, I pray we will speak the truth in love, and grow up into the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:15). Lord, I pray we will put off the old man and put on the new man (Ephesians 4:22-24). Lord, I pray we will put off falsehood and speak truthfully to one another (Ephesians 4:25). Lord, I pray we will not in our anger sin (Ephesians 4:26).  Lord, I pray we will not steal but work with our hands and share what we attain with those in need (Ephesians 4:28). Lord, I pray we will not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouth.  But will instead speak what is helpful for the building up of others so they may benefit from what we say (Ephesians 4:29). Lord, I pray we will not grieve the Holy Spirit with our thoughts, words or deeds (Ephesians 4:30-32).  In Christ Jesus’ name I pray.  AMEN.

ENCOURAGEMENT

“May you and I indeed encourage others with our words and actions.” <>< Dona