As we study Ephesians 4:1-16, we are going to understand why my website is titled, United In Love. We are going to see the passion that God placed within me to 1, write my story in book form, and 2, to start a ministry where we learn how to live united in love. Hang tight, my book is at the editor’s so it will be published soon.
Let’s jump in and see what Paul wants us to know about unity in Christ. Read the first 16 verses of Ephesians 4.
Paul, again, reiterates how he is a prisoner, serving the Lord. I asked you in our last study session why Paul sees himself in this way. We learn from studying Paul that he whole-heartedly follows Christ. He lives with one purpose in mind, to share Christ’s love with others so they, too, can come and follow Christ.
ASK YOURSELF: What does Paul beg us to do and why; see verse 1?
If we lived worthy of the calling God has for us, we would live united and have love for one another. Paul tells us how to live in this fashion in verses 2-3. We are to always be humble and gentle. I don’t know about you, I need God to help me with even these two traits. We see how we are to be patient with one another, making allowance for each other’s faults. God is asking us to have grace with each other. We are to make every effort to keep ourselves united in the Spirit, binding ourselves together in peace.
ASK YOURSELF: Like I mentioned, I need God’s help in living these godly traits daily. How about you? How do we live out Christ daily in this manner?
We are to be led by the Spirit.
In John 14:6, Jesus reveals how He is the only way to God. There is no other god that can make you clean from your sins and take you into the very presence of God. Because of this magnificent truth, Paul can state, with confidence, that there is one body and one spirit along with one glorious hope. We have one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God and Father; verses 4-6.
ASK YOURSELF: Do you believe this magnificent truth?
ASK YOURSELF: What do we learn about God from verse 6? For added insight, read Acts 4:12.
Notice what Paul says in verse 7. We are each given an ration of grace or a gift of some sort that will help the body of Christ to function. We know that God does not have to give us anything, for we do not deserve His love because of our sins, yet we read that Christ gives generously to those who follow after Him.
Reread verses 8-10. Paul shares a beautiful metaphor of Jesus. Here’s a little tidbit for you, verse 8 can also be found in Psalm 68:18. For Jesus to have had to ascend to heaven, He had to have come down then. He came down to our lowly world which is marred and dirty because of sin.
We read how He led a crowd of captives, this is mankind, this is you and me. We are all held captive by our sinful natures and bound to the ways of the world. After redeeming us back from death and sin, see Titus 2:14, Jesus fills us with gifts that will help us to become like Him.
ASK YOURSELF: What did you learn from Titus 2:14?
ASK YOURSELF: From verse 10, what does Jesus want to do?
Imagine it, Jesus might fill the entire universe with Himself. It is possible because God is big enough! He has the authority and power to change hearts, minds and even the direction of a nation. All He asks of us is to look up at Christ, look down into His Word and be led by the Spirit in prayer and action.
Verses 11-16 teaches us what God’s Church looks like. Paul lists out the roles within the Church that aid in equipping God’s people to do His work and to build up the body of Christ. Here, we see leadership roles, like pastors and biblical teachers, who help believers to grow in their faith. This means, that when we are a part of Christ’s Church, no one should be living stagnant and going on a solo flight. Believers are to be busy serving and loving their fellow brothers and sisters in the faith. There should be rich fellowship with one another.
We continue living this way until we all come to such a unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son so that we will be mature in the Lord.13
We do this so we are full to the brim in Christ for this is His standard of living.
ASK YOURSELF: What do you need to be doing to make verse 13 a reality in your life? What changes do you need to make, either in your schedule of time or in your thought life or how you go about making decisions?
Paul says that we will no longer be immature like children.
ASK YOURSELF: How do we act immature, according to verses 14-15?
If we would speak the truth in love and grow in every way more and more like Christ, Christ would make the whole body, His Church, fit together perfectly.
ASK YOURSELF: What is our part, according to verse 16, and what would happen if we would each do our part?
This, my friends, is why United In Love was born. We are capable of living united when Christ is at the helm leading us home. He is capable of reversing our self-centered natures and changing us into a body of believers who love and care for one another. It can happen! Just say yes to Christ and put your nose into the greatest book ever, the Bible, and allow God to change you from the inside out!
We need each other. We need each other to do our part. God is waiting. Let’s walk united in love and see what a difference we can make in this world.