by Philip Layton
Paul speaks about unity in the Body of Christ
What is the ‘one baptism’ (vv 4, 5)? Is it more about a united confession of our belief in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, rather than the means by which that baptism is made?
In what way have you grown in your knowledge and understanding of God and Scripture in the past year (vv 11-16)?
Are there any elements here that need to be eradicated from your life (vv 29-32)?
Share your thoughts below, or tweet about it with the #boundlessbible hashtag. Don't forget this week's Children's Challenge!
Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
The opening verses of chapter 4 are powerful; essential for all believers. Paul tells the Ephesians, and all of us, that we are to live a life worthy of God’s calling. And in order to do this, we must be humble in spirit, gentle and patient, caring for one another in love. Above all, we’re to keep the unity of the Spirit by living lives of peace – being examples to others, so people will see Christ in us.
William Booth, Founder of The Salvation Army, said: ‘It is good to possess this spirit of zeal, the spirit that can flame out and stir up everybody within your reach. It is good for you to go about commending and approving lives of risk and daring for the sake of souls and the sake of your command; but it is better still to show it them in your own life.’
As individuals, we are to be examples to others; to live authentic lives of holiness and purity. To walk the talk. To prove ‘worthy’ of God’s calling. All this is possible – but only through the Holy Spirit.
And as the Body of Christ, we are to live in unity:
If we live by the truth and in love, we shall grow in all ways into Christ, who is the head by whom the whole body is fitted and joined together, every joint adding its own strength, for each separate part to work according to its function. So the body grows until it has built itself up, in love (vv 15, 16 JB).
When people then look to the Christian community, they’ll see Christians living Christlike lives. Valuing and affirming each other; reaching out to welcome others into a healthy, wholesome, loving family of God. Isn’t this what we desire for all our churches, for all people within every congregation? Let it begin with me.
Beverly IvanyTags: Ephesians