Through the month of August we will continue this walk through the letter to the Ephesians as it teaches the church how to be a community worthy of the gospel. In the midst of familiar interpersonal conflicts, the writer of Ephesians reminds them, and us, that they are “now in Christ Jesus,” no longer strangers to God and, importantly, no longer alienated from each other. Because of this new life in Christ they are experiencing a radical transformation of their identity – as individuals and as a community. Their identity is no longer separated from one another, but rather they are a new family created by the love of God.
The author of Ephesians asserts that Christians are created to live in community with one another. This requires a certain level of spiritual maturity that we can reach only when we act toward one another in the spirit of Christian love. This Sunday we will look at Ephesians 4:1-16 in which we see that God calls us to unity. In living in Christian community, created by the love of God, we are called to unity and that requires humility and acceptance of one another so that we can build up the community of Christ in love.
We hope you will join us this Sunday at 10:30am - YOU are loved by God, and ALL are welcome here!
As a prisoner of the Lord, I urge you: Live a life that is worthy of the calling He has graciously extended to you. Be humble. Be gentle. Be patient. Tolerate one another in an atmosphere thick with love. Make every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit has already created, with peace binding you together.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were all called to pursue one hope. There is one Lord Jesus, one living faith, one ceremonial washing through baptism,and one God—the Father over all who is above all, through all, and in all. This God has given to each of us grace in full measure according to the Anointed’s gift as the Scripture says,
When He ascended to the heights,
He put captivity in chains;
And in His triumph, He gave gifts to the people.
(Well, when it says “He ascended,” then that must mean that He had descended earlier to the lower levels, that is, to the earth. The One who descended is the same One who rose from the dead to ascend far above all the heavens so that He could fill all things.)
It was the risen One who handed down to us such gifted leaders—some emissaries,some prophets, some evangelists, as well as some pastor-teachers—so that God’s people would be thoroughly equipped to minister and build up the body of the Anointed One. These ministries will continue until we are unified in faith and filled with the knowledge of the Son of God, until we stand mature in His teachings and fully formed in the likeness of the Anointed, our Liberating King. Then we will no longer be like children, tossed around here and there upon ocean waves, picked up by every gust of religious teaching spoken by liars or swindlers or deceivers. Instead, by truth spoken in love, we are to grow in every way into Him—the Anointed One, the head. He joins and holds together the whole body with its ligaments providing the support needed so each part works to its proper design to form a healthy, growing, and mature body that builds itself up in love.