Tuesday 23 October 2012

Bible Book:

"The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ." (vv. 11-13)

Ephesians 4:1-16 Tuesday 23 October 2012


There has already been one reference in the letter to theEphesians to being a prisoner (Ephesians 3:1) and there will be another at theend of the letter (Ephesians 6:20). Paul was imprisoned by theRomans, but the implication here seems to be that it was hisdevotion to Jesus which led to his imprisonment. The readers of theletter were urged to behave in ways which were worthy of theircalling - just as Paul was worthy of his calling.

Today's passage is about ethical behaviour - not least whenChristians don't find it easy to put up with each other. Humilityand gentleness were hallmarks of Jesus' way of life, and Christiansare urged to behave with that in mind. The writer speaks of theunity which is already a given - 'the unity of the Spirit' isthere, and Christians are called to live within it.

Grace refers to what God freely gives - it isn't earned orcalculated. It is mainly understood by remembering that Jesus camedown to earth, and that he returned to heaven, not because humanbeings deserved his presence, but because it was a free gift fromGod. Christians are called to live together carefully, butChristians are not all the same! People are given different giftswhich are all to be used in building up "the body of Christ". Theterm, "the body of Christ" is often used to describe the Church -just as the various parts of a body are different, neverthelessthey are all important to each other, and it is the building up ofthe Church which is important and through which maturity asdisciples develops.

Christians are called to a maturity of faith - not just achildish belief which is at the whim of other people. And asChristians grow up, so God's Church grows.

To Ponder

  • Think carefully: what gifts has God given to you?
  • How could you use those gifts to the best of your ability, andfor the building up of God's Church?
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