The book of Ephesians breaks evenly into two halves: chapters 1-3 are theological, and 4-6 are practical. Today begins our focus on the practical.
4:1-3 We are to walk in a way that is worthy of our calling, yet with humility, gentleness, patience, and love for one another. The best example of what this looks like is Jesus himself.
4:4-6 Although the church is a diverse community, including people with different nationalities, skin colors, political views, careers, and passions, we are still unified in that we are part of the same body with the same spirit, hope, Lord, faith, baptism, and God.
4:7-10 The NRSV translates v8 “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive.” Paul is not talking about freeing souls from the underworld here but the abstract idea of captivity, which he himself captured in his death, resurrection, and ascension. At his death, Christ descended into the earth, and at his exaltation, he ascended far above the heavens. (See Eph 1:20-21.)
4:7-13 The role of pastors, teachers, evangelists is to equip you for the work of ministry. Together we are a team who seeks to mature over time until we are like Christ.
4:14 As Christ-followers, we are to be careful to detect fraudulent beliefs and practices. Probably the number one way to strengthen yourself against counterfeits is to spend time in the Scriptures every day.
4:15-16 I love the phrase “speaking the truth in love!” It’s such a foreign concept in our time when truth is a weapon with which we can beat others, and love means we must compromise what we believe is right. Both are critical for us in this time. We must have truth and love.
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