May 3/4

Main Text: Ephesians 4:1-6

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Made New to Live New.  This is what we have been looking at as we walk through the book of Ephesians together verse by verse.  In the first 3 chapters, Paul continually reminds us who we are in Christ. He wants us to understand that the Holy Spirit is changing us, transforming us, from the inside out.  So Paul reminds us of the resources and the riches of all the things that God has done for us.  

  • Lets think back over the last three chapters and some of the things we’ve been reminded.
  • He has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. (1:3)
  • He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world. (1:4
  • He has made us to be holy and blameless. (1:4)
  • He adopted us through Jesus Christ.  (1:5)
  • He has given us redemption, forgiveness.  (1:7)
  • He has given us wisdom and insight.  (1:8)
  • He has made known to us the mystery of His will. (1:8)
  • He has given us an inheritance, which we can’t even truly comprehend.  (1:11)
  • He has sealed us with His Holy Spirit.  (1:13)
  • He has made us alive, even though we were dead. (2:5)
  • He has taken us who are far off and brought us near. (2:13)
  • He has made us new in Him, reconciling us to the Father.  (2:16)
  • He has given to us the great mystery, the truth of the gospel, the ministry of His church.  (3:8-10)
  • He has given us His Holy Spirit who strengthens us with power in our inner being so that we can be rooted and grounded in love and comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ and be filled with the fullness of God.  (3:17-19
  • And He has done it all for His glory.  (3:21)

And that brings us to chapter 4.  A transition from “you are made new in Christ” to “now live new in Christ”.  As we move forward in this book, prepare yourself to continually go back and remind yourself of what God has done in you, what He has prepared you for, and what He is doing through you.    

Call (v.1)

Paul is very purposeful in his writing.  Even as he starts this portion, he uses a “therefore” as a transition, saying, “You’ve been made new, now is the time to match up your actions with what God is doing inside of you.”  He is “urging them to walk worthy of the calling”. 

What Paul gives are keys to walking worthy.  The goal of these characteristics is unity of the Spirit.  They are virtues that have to come from the inside out, through the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Characteristics (v.2-3)

It is the Holy Spirit who bears the fruit of love in our lives and gives us a common care for each other (Galatians 5:22). So our common convictions and confidence and care are all from the Holy Spirit. This is why Paul calls it the “unity of the Spirit” (v. 3).

We see two stages of love that Paul writes about here.  Neither of these stages comes very naturally to us.  Both are the result of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Humility and Gentleness
…walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness…

We must ask the Holy Spirit on a constant basis to open our eyes to see the majesty of God’s holiness and the minuteness of ourselves.

Patience and bearing with one another
…walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love…

We are called to patiently love one another.  As we live out humility and gentleness, it will turn into a love that endures, forgives and offers grace to each other just as we have received grace from God.

Cause (v.4-6)

We can reflect our call to walk in a worthy manner, as the Holy Spirit works the character of Christ in us and through us, and this will cause the world to see Christ’s church as one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

This will only come from a changed life by Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us.  We are called to live out humility and gentleness with each other, being patient and bearing with one another in love with each other.  And that will bring unity.  And that unity will proclaim Christ stronger than any words alone can say.

So, may we be united in Christ.  May we walk in a manner worthy of the worthy of our calling.  And as we do, may God be glorified in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.

In Christ, We Are One!

Apply to Life

This week, as you reflect on the message, think of friends, co-workers, neighbors, family etc., that you could meet with to have a time of mutual sharing and fellowship as you open God’s Word together.


DISCUSS THE MESSAGE

Read: Ephesians 4:1-6

Why do you think Paul continues to mention his imprisonment?

As you think back to Paul’s labor to show this great work of God in the lives of the Ephesians, what added weight is added to this phrase “I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called” in light of the first three chapters?

When Paul describes the unity of the church, what adjectives does he use in verses 2-3? How do you see these adjectives in your life as a part of a local church?

Count how many times the word “one” is used in this section of scripture. Why is this word so frequently used by Paul? What does this word communicate to you about how you are live as a part of God’s People or His Church?

Describe a time in your life when you experienced unity. What caused unity to exist in this situation?

How do you handle distress, disagreement, chaos? Be honest. Where does your mind go first when you think about calamity and loss?

What does it mean to have “one hope”? Does this mean that you don’t have any other hopes, aspirations, dreams or longings? Why or why not?

Take a moment to share about a time when you were hoping for something and what you were hoping for did not come to pass. What thoughts/feelings did you have before, during and after what you hoped for was gone?

How is our hope made visible as Christ followers? How does all of our hope center around, point to and root itself in the Gospel?