Ephesians 4

Ephesians 4:1-32

1  I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,

2  with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,

3  endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

4  There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;

5  one Lord, one faith, one baptism;

6  one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

7  But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.


9  (Now this, “HE ASCENDED”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?

10  He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

11  And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,

12  for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

13  till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

14  that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,

15  but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—

16  from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

17  This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind,

18  having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;

19  who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

20  But you have not so learned Christ,

21  if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:

22  that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,

23  and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

24  and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

25  Therefore, putting away lying, “LET EACH ONE OF YOU SPEAK TRUTH WITH HIS NEIGHBOR,” for we are members of one another.

26  “BE ANGRY, AND DO NOT SIN”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,

27  nor give place to the devil.

28  Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.

29  Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

30  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

31  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

32  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

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8 months ago

So the working of grace in the revelation of Christ is not just a personal one that applies only individually. But it is of necessity the knowing of love that requires union and bonding with others who are coming to know Him as well. Maturity cannot then take place in segregation or isolation. Knowing Him is knowing love that cannot manifest by itself. Though there may be vulnerability to hurt and offense that often are experienced there, it is only in the church that there can be maturity that comes through these encounters. This is why grace is required for the dwelling of Christ in our hearts by faith. It seems that the dwelling of Christ inside requires the dwelling with His body on the outside. There can be no revelation of Christ to a lost and dying world through a church that isn’t even faithful to be together through whatever challenges and differences that requires. Knowing Christ is knowing that He embraces us despite our own unforgivable failures and quirks. He is not offended and repelled by our dishonor of Him in so many ways (especially when we segregate from His body), but His love maintains an embrace that enables growth through it all. Knowing information about Him and even knowing the wonder of His presence are not really knowing Him until His love is manifested through an open heart that overlooks all that would cause personal pain in the pursuit of that very offender’s union with Christ. This is laying down your life for that brother or sister that could more easily be distanced from. Knowing Him is not found in that separation, but in forgiveness, mercy, and love that embraces through the greatest offenses. It’s in the display of Christ’s love that it is most known, not just in its reception. Reception is knowing love/Christ in its infancy. Displaying it is knowing Him in its maturity.

As this grace to love has already come to us in the reception of Christ, what we choose to “let” will determine how it grows. We are now in control of love’s maturity by what we allow to manifest through us. Giving in to dominance of the flesh in self-gratification is inhibiting growth in knowing Him not just personally, but corporately. Separating from those destructive infantile behaviors, though, and releasing the kindness and love of Christ strengthens not just your part, but every part to which you’ve been assigned and given responsibility. As long as self is the focus, there is vulnerability to great pain and dismemberment. However, where Christ is the focus, those offenses lose their power under the overwhelming effect of love’s grace. Instead of severing, there is bonding. Instead of division and defeat, there is unity and triumph. Instead of loneliness and despair, there is sweet magnifying of His loving embrace received as it becomes a forgiving and maturing embrace imparted.

Last edited 8 months ago by ps
8 months ago

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