SGA Ephesians Lesson 7

Lesson 7
Ephesians 4:1-7

In the first three chapters of this epistle Paul deals with the doctrines of the grace of God, explaining and establishing them. In the last three chapters he deals mainly with the duties of believers with regard to the Christian walk.

(Vs. l.) "I beseech you to take heed to your conduct and conversation that your behaviour be a credit to him who by his grace called you out of darkness into his kingdom of light. In your attitude, speech, home life, business dealings and social contacts, conduct yourselves in a way that is becoming to the name of Christ which you wear. Adorn the gospel of Christ with righteousness" (Titus 2:7-10).

(Vs. 2.) "In lowliness and meekness," that is, in the exercise of humility having the best thoughts of others and the lowest thoughts of ourselves; in not envying the gifts and graces of others but rejoicing in them; and in willingness to receive correction, rebuke and instruction.

"With long-suffering," bearing patiently the faults and infirmities of others, not being easily provoked to anger nor being offended by slight or misunderstanding. God is certainly patient with us! (Gal. 6:1,2).

"Forbearing one another in love," making whatever allowances are necessary because you love one another! (1 Cor. 13:4-7; 1 Peter 4:8).

(Vs. 3.) "Be eager and strive earnestly to protect and keep the harmony and oneness of spirit in the church." This spiritual union between Christ and his people and between believers is produced by the Holy Spirit. We are united in faith, love, purpose and one body. My responsibility is to do all within my power to protect and preserve that unity, even to surrendering my rights and opinions (Ps. 133:l; 1 Cor. 3:1-3).

(Vs. 4.) "There is one body," the church. It is called one body with respect to Jew and Gentile, to saints above and below and to separate classes and societies; for though there are several congregations and local churches, there is one church of which Christ is the Head and we are all brethren (Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18).

"There is one Spirit," the Holy Spirit of God, who enlightens, quickens, makes alive and incorporates us all in the body of Christ – members one of another.

"There is one hope of your calling," that is, the glory hoped for and which is reserved for us in heaven. There are no degrees in this glory. It will be equally possessed by all; for they are all loved with the same love, chosen in the same Head, redeemed by the same blood and secured in the same covenant.

(Vs. 5.) "One Lord," the Lord Jesus Christ, who is Lord by right of creation (Col. 1:16,17), of the Father's decree (Acts 2:36) and of his sacrificial death (Rom. 14: 9; Phil. 2: 9-11).

"One faith." There is but one true grace of faith. It may be little faith, much faith, or great faith; but its author and object are the same in all – the Lord Jesus Christ in his person and work (John 3:36).

"One baptism." There is one baptism under the gospel, which is water baptism; to be administered in one and the same way – by immersion; with one and the same subjects – believers; and in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19; Acts 8:36-39).

(Vs. 6.) There is one eternal, infinite, omnipotent God of heaven and earth, who is the Father of all believers in Christ and who is sovereign over all, taking care of us all and dwelling in us all. Paul is saying (in vs. 4-6) that, as believers, we have all these things in common – one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, who is our Father. Therefore, we must and will be one family joined together in love stronger than anything this world can know. To disturb that unity is displeasing to God (Prov. 6:16-19).

(Vs. 7.) God's grace was given to us individually – grace to know Christ, to walk with Christ and to minister for the glory of Christ. He gives grace and gifts as he will and to whom he will, and there is no room for pride, envy, or contempt (1 Cor. 4:7).

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.