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Ephesians 4:1-16

Unity in the Body of Christ

Paul calls on the Ephesians (and us believers) to walk worthy of the calling we have received.

How do we do that? In the end of 2Cor and all through Galatians Paul says that we cannot do it on our own - we must yield to the Holy Spirit. God will change us through the Spirit - we cannot change ourselves.

Yet here Paul calls us to be humble, gentle, patient, and to put up with one another out of love. Nice progression, one must be humble to become gentle then we will develop patience - and out of patience that love that is asked for by Paul.

That is not human nature. We are proud of things, we get upset when we are wronged, patience runs out, and it is so tough to love someone who constantly wrongs you.

These are fruits of the Spirit, and we can only be developed in them when we yield to the Holy Spirit, when we acknowledge we cannot run our lives and let God do it.

Notice Eph 4:3
"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."

It doesn't say go and get unity - it says "KEEP" the unity that has been given you already when you were saved. Christians, myself included, have done a remarkable job of thinking they can do it - they can improve, they can do things to please God. Inevitably when one does not walk in the Spirit, the body of Christ suffers from fractures. The Unity gets messed up.

"bond" used here in Greek refers to some kind of "tie or belt" - we are to wear the peace on us like a belt - kepping it always with us. A peace that is born of love. The final step in the progression in verse 2. If we are not enemies of God anymore, and our heart has been healed and we are at peace with ourselves through Christ - one should be able to yield to God (put aside our pride) and let God do His work in us through the Spirit.
Verse 4: "There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."

Ah here is that number seven again - the Biblical number of completeness. These seven things ALL Christians should be able to agree on. If someone doesn't they have a problem, and need to go to God in prayer.

IMPORTANT NOTE: People say the Trinity is never mentioned in the Bible. We have seen representations of it in various parts of the Bible, but here the Trinity is specifically laid out.

Spirit - pneuma - Holy Spirit

Lord - kurios - title of God the Messiah - Jesus

God and Father - theos and pater - God

Just as distinct in the Greek by using different words as it is in the English.
Church Distorted

somewhere along the way the idea of the chuch got distorted. In the Greek it means an assembly of people - for us - "believers". Along the way the church became associated with buildings. worse - the idea that professional or life devoted people would be responsible for maintaining and building the church - and we the people would just sit and listen, and do things when asked or motivated.

That is not what God meant at all - gifts (different from the fruits ofthe Spirit) were given to us ALL. We are ALL to be actively invovled in the building up and growing in unity that the Church (assembly of believers) represents.

The gifts here are not an exhaustive list - other gifts can be seen in Rom 12, and 1Cor12. check the list out - you have at least one of these gifts, and YOU are to actively use it in the Body of Christ. The Professional staff has there jobs to do, and we are to use ourt gifts to encourage and love them, and each other so that the Body will grow in unity and fullness of Christ - ergo Christian maturity. There is an awful lot of Churches that can be classified as full of "baby" Christians.

If we all work together in love through walking in the Holy Spirit and using our gifts (instead of being a Christian couch potato)- we will not be distracted by non-biblical ways of Christianity, we will speak the Truth (based on God's Word) with love, and WE WILL GROW in Christian maturity into the fullness that is Christ.

Obviously we will not be perfected until we go to heaven, but the process of growth can move much further along than is exemplified in most Christian bodies now here on earth.

The picture of the body at the end is so good at describing the Body of Christ. Each body part, each ligament has a purpose for the body. without it - the body will probably survive - but with it being utilized to its fullest - the body grows into maturity the way God intended.

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