Power Point Show MP3 audio
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6
The Church: Its Unity and Growth
1. Eph.1-3: Our wealth in Christ:
a. One body: The church (1:22-23; 2:15-16).
b. How should its members (Christians) live in their new condition (2:1-10) and their new relation (2:11-22)?
2. Eph. 4-6: Our walk in Christ (4:1: Character and behavior that grows out of our wealth, 1:3; 3:12-13, 14-21).
3. Eph. 4:1-16: Christians must promote unity and growth of the body of Christ.
I. KEEPING THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT, Eph. 4:1-6.
A. By a Worthy Walk, 4:1.
1. Our life is to have the “same weight” as our calling, Phil. 1:27; 1 Ths. 2:12; Col. 1:10.
2. Otherwise, we deny our calling.
B. By Keeping the Attitudes of Unity, 4:2-3.
1. Humility, moral courage to be humble, patient endurance in love (Phil. 2:15).
2. Diligence (endeavoring, nkjv): “Be bent upon; to exert oneself, strive” (Moulton, 373) Rom. 12:11.
3. Keep: “To watch over protectively, guard...to maintain” (Ibid, 403); 2 Tim. 4:7.
4. These are attitudes of self-denial, vigilance and attention directed toward the cause of unity, cf. 1 Cor. 1:10; Phil. 4:2.
5. It is futile to attempt unity where wrong, hurtful, sinful attitudes prevail.
6. Bond of peace, Eph. 4:3; cf. Col. 3:14-15.
C. By Upholding and Building on the God-Given Basis for Unity, 4:4-6.
1. The fact (truth): Without these – No unity with God or man.
2. The content of the Spirit’s revelation forms the basis for our unity, Eph. 3:3-5 (Jno. 17:20-21).
D. The Basis of Unity, 4:4-6.
-To reject these gospel truths is to reject unity of the one body, the church.
II. DIVINE GIFTS TO ACHIEVE AND MAINTAIN UNITY, Eph. 4:7-12.
A. The Gifts that Enable Our Unity, 4:7-11.
1. The Giver is Christ, the One who conquered sin in His death, and is exalted in the heavens, 4:7-10.
2. Gifts: “Works, functions” given to keep unity; Inspired and uninspired functions.
3. Gifts given to every Christian, 4:7 (the men of 4:11 constitute the ‘gifts of Christ’ to men); not miraculous spir. gifts here.
a. Apostles and prophets: Work of inspired men.
b. Evangelists, pastors and teachers: Work of uninspired.
B. The Purpose of these Gifts, 4:12.
1. Equipping of saints (perfecting, completing), cf. 3:19.
2. To fully equip saints for:
a. The work of ministry (serve God and man, Col. 3:24; Gal. 5:13).
b. The edifying of the body of Christ, 4:16, 29 (3:16-17); to have a strengthening effect upon each Christian.
3. Christ has given His body all it needs to be complete and be able to serve others and to be strong in Him (cf. 2 Pet. 1:3).
III. THE DURATION OF THESE GIFTS AND THEIR EFFECTS UPON UNITY, Eph. 4:13-16.
A. These Gifts Continue until Christians Reach Maturity (“perfect man”), 4:13, cf. 1-3.
1. Gifts continue because their work continues to be needed.
a. “Till we all come to” – Until we all attain. “Till” does not indicate a specific duration already reached (cf. Rom. 5:14).
b. Don’t confuse these gifts with the miraculous spiritual gifts that did have a specific duration, then ended (1 Cor. 13:10).
2. God wants us all to mature – these gifts continue as long as there is a need for growing up (maturing) in Christ.
a. Never a time when “all” Christians are all mature.
b. Therefore, these gifts endure in the church for our benefit.
3. These gifts mature us without adding any human innovations.
B. The Results of Christ’s Gifts: Growth and Strengthening of the Body (the church), 4:14-16.
1. No longer children … speaking the truth in love … grow up in all things…, 4:14-15.
2. Every part (member) of the body does its share, 4:16.
1. Christ has given us the tools for unity, growth and maturity.
2. We are responsible for promoting and maintaining the unity of the church. Our unity in Christ breeds further growth and stability.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: February 15, 2013