The Church of the Living God
1/1 – All Together Now (Ephesians 4:1-16)
Introduction — In light of the grace of God upon them, Paul urges the church to walk in a manner worthy of their calling. Paul directs the church to walk with humility, gentleness and patience, all in the framework of love. He pleads with the church to preserve the unity of the Spirit will diligence. Paul encourages the church to remember that there is one body, one Sprit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one Father. Paul implores the church to work all together in building up the body of Christ. Paul wants them to serve one another until they all attain to the unity of the faith. Paul wants them to be mature in Christ Jesus, who is the head of the church. Paul earnestly desires that they follow Christ, who fits and hold together every individual member of His body, and who causes His body to grow. Paul wants them to see their vital connection to Christ and to one another. How about us? Do we see our vital connection to Christ? Do we see our connection to one another? Do we see how much we need one another? Do we serve one another? Do we build up one another? Do we encourage one another? Do we preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace? Do we walk in a manner worthy of our calling? Do we show humility and gentleness? Do we bear with one another in love? Do we work all together? Do we pray all together? Do we desire to be all together now?
We are all together by God’s grace, so let’s live like it!
We walk together by God’s grace. (1-6)
1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Comments: There’s no doubt what Paul says to the church here. Paul urges the church to walk in a manner worthy of their calling. Paul earnestly desires this church to walk together in humility and gentleness. He really wants them to walk together with patient, bearing with one another, love. He wants the church to walk together, diligent to guard the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Paul further wants them to see how the elements of their unity are rooted in God Himself. There is one body and one Spirit and one hope. There is one Lord and one faith and one baptism. There is one God and Father of all who is over all. The church is together by God’s grace, and must continue to walk together in God’s grace. Questions: Do we walk in humility and gentleness? Do we show patience toward one another? Do we diligently guard the unity of the Spirit? Do we marvel at the elements of our unity? Verses: Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. ~ Ephesians 5:1-2 Applications: Church, walk in a manner worthy of God’s calling. Church, keep walking in humility and gentleness. Church, be patience with one another. Church, be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
We serve together by God’s grace. (7-13)
11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, 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 mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Comments: Here Paul tells that each person in the church receives God’s grace in order to serve. Some serve as prophets. Some serve as evangelists. Some serve as pastors and teachers. All of these serve to equip the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ. The aim, then, is that everyone serves in order to build up the body of Christ until everyone in the church attains to (1) the unity of the faith, (2) knowledge of the Son of God, and (3) maturity in Christ. In the church, serving together is a big deal. Serving one another is a big deal, too. Questions: Where do we need to serve together? How do we need to serve one another? Will we do the work of service that must be done? Verses: With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. ~ Ephesians 6:7-8 Applications: Church, see the gift of God’s grace working among us. Church, see the beauty of His gifts to us? Church, use your gift to serve this body. Church, serve together. Church, serve one another.
We grow together by God’s grace. (14-16)
14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
Comments: The result of walking together and serving together is a church growing together. They will no longer be like children, easily bamboozled by weak or false doctrine. They will grow in their loving, honest dialog with one another. They will mature in all aspects of Christ, who is the head of the body. As each person in the church grows in God’s grace, he or she will see the vital connection to Christ. They will see how He fits them where they need to be, how He holds them together, how He causes the growth of the body. This is much more than growing quantity of people. This is growing quality people who truly love God and love one another. Questions: Do we love one another? Are we growing together in God’s grace? Are we more mature today than we were last week? Verses: I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. 7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. ~ 1 Cor. 3:6-7
Applications: Church, grow up into Christ. Church, see your vital link to Christ. Church, be mature. Church, listen to sound teaching. Church, arise to the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Walk together by God’s grace. Serve together by God’s grace. Grow together by God’s grace.
Word Study for Ephesians 4:1-16
1 implore (parakaleo—invite; exhort; ask for earnestly; summon; encourage; appeal; beg; entreat)
1 prisoner (desmios—bound; captive; one under arrest; bound by chains)
1 calling (klesis—calling; role; invitation; an invitation to a feast; legal summons)
2 tolerance (anechomai—be patient with; to accept a complaint; bear with; suffer)
3 unity (henotes—state of oneness; unanimity)
3 bond (syndesmos—bond of union; that which binds together; fetter; ligaments; fastening)
4 one (heis—one; single one; the same; agreement; alike; unity)
7 grace (charis—favor; kindness; good will; gift; gracious work; beauty; thankfulness)
11 gave (didomi—produce; allow; put; appoint; deposit; grant; offer)
12 equipping (katartismos—equipping; complete furnishing; a preparation or training that fully qualifies)
13 attain (katantao—attain; come to; arrive at; reach; meet face to face)
13 mature (teleios—perfect; complete; genuine; reached its end; of full age)
14 trickery (kybeia—sleight of hand; dice playing; cunning; fraud; gambling)
14 craftiness (panourgia—treachery; subtlety; villainy; duplicity)
14 scheming (methodeia—wiles; method; technique; strategies)
15 grow up (auxano—increase; cause to increase; spread; extend; full grown; strengthen)
16 held together (symbibazo—unite; cause to be a unit; knit together; reconcile)
16 building up (oikodome—building; construction; house; making more able; structure)
Application for Ephesians 4:1-16
Let’s walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which we have been called.
Let’s walk with all humility and gentleness.
Let’s show patience toward one another in love.
Let’s remain diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Let’s remember there is one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all.
Let’s humbly use the gifts given by God for the equipping of the saints for the work of service.
Let’s speak the truth in love.
Let’s grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.
Gospel Connections for Ephesians 4:1-16
Apart from the grace of God, humans will walk away from God. Apart from the grace of God, humans will remain in their sins, dead and unresponsive to their need for God. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love, makes people alive in Christ. They are saved by grace through faith, not by works. God calls them to new life in Jesus Christ. Those whom He calls must now walk in a manner worthy of that calling. That means they speak like Christ. They think like Christ. They act like Christ. They use the gifts given by the Father to equip the church for works of service. The aim is to build up the church to be more and more like Christ.
Thoughts and Quotes for Ephesians 4:1-16
Our conduct is an advertisement for or against Jesus Christ. That’s why unity in the body of Christ is so important.
~ Elizabeth George
God loves the church with a love too deep for human imagination: He loves her with all His infinite heart. Therefore let her sons be of good courage; she cannot be far from prosperity. ~ Charles H. Spurgeon
In our culture it is seen as a sign of weakness to actually seek help from someone else. And yet, as Christians, God designed us to need each other - He designed us to lean upon the body of Christ for support, prayer, wisdom, and even practical help. ~ Leslie Ludy
When did we, as Christ followers, start to think that the church exists for us? When did we forget that we are the church? And that we're here for the world? ~ Craig Groeschel