God’s Word of Faith
Ephesians 4:1-16: Paul encourages the followers of Christ to live in unity and to serve and strengthen the whole body of Christ, the church, by using the special gifts the Holy Spirit has given them. He urges maturity among them, that they may grow strong in Christ. This strength comes through love and is made manifest through a commitment to truth.
The Unity of the Body
1I urge you, then—I who am a prisoner because I serve the Lord: live a life that measures up to the standard God set when he called you. 2 Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another. 3Do your best to preserve the unity which the Spirit gives by means of the peace that binds you together. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as there is one hope to which God has called you. 5There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6there is one God and Father of all people, who is Lord of all, works through all, and is in all.
7Each one of us has received a special gift in proportion to what Christ has given. 8 As the scripture says,
“When he went up to the very heights,
he took many captives with him;
he gave gifts to people.”
9Now, what does “he went up” mean? It means that first he came down to the lowest depths of the earth. 10So the one who came down is the same one who went up, above and beyond the heavens, to fill the whole universe with his presence. 11It was he who “gave gifts to people”; he appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, others to be pastors and teachers. 12He did this to prepare all God’s people for the work of Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ. 13And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ’s full stature. 14Then we shall no longer be children, carried by the waves and blown about by every shifting wind of the teaching of deceitful people, who lead others into error by the tricks they invent. 15Instead, by speaking the truth in a spirit of love, we must grow up in every way to Christ, who is the head. 16 Under his control all the different parts of the body fit together, and the whole body is held together by every joint with which it is provided. So when each separate part works as it should, the whole body grows and builds itself up through love.
Today’s Key Verse: Ephesians 4:15
By speaking the truth in a spirit of love, we must grow up in every way to Christ, who is the head.
In today’s passage, Paul gives seven different examples of how the followers of Christ are unified (verses 4-6). What seven things do the people of God share? Choose one of these things and describe in your own words what it means. How have you seen this revealed in your faith community? What “gifts” have been given to people within your community of faith?
Holy Spirit, you equip the church to love, share, teach, and serve. May we use your gifts to strengthen your body, that we will be united by faith and be mature in our understandings of Christ. Amen.
Ephesians 4:17-32: The apostle Paul describes new life in Christ.