SLASB Ephesians Sampler - Flipbook - Page 10
11Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the
J esus through all generations forever and ever!
church: the apostles, the prophets, the evanAmen.
gelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12Their
Unity in the Body
responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
beg you to lead a life worthy of your call- 13This will continue until we all come to such
ing, for you have been called by God. 2Always be unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son
humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring
making allowance for each other’s faults be- up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
cause of your love. 3Make every effort to keep
14 Then we will no longer be immature like
yourselves united in the Spirit, binding your- children. We won’t be tossed and blown about
selves together with peace. 4For there is one by every wind of new teaching. We will not be
body and one Spirit, just as you have been called influenced when people try to trick us with lies
to one glorious hope for the future.
so clever they sound like the truth. 15Instead, we
will speak the truth in love, growing in every
5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
way more and more like Christ, who is the head
6 one God and Father of all,
who is over all, in all, and living through all. of his body, the church. He makes the whole
body fit together perfectly. As each part does its
7However, he has given each one of us a speown special work, it helps the other parts grow,
cial gift* through the generosity of Christ. 8That so that the whole body is healthy and growing
is why the Scriptures say,
and full of love.
“When he ascended to the heights,
Living as Children of Light
he led a crowd of captives
17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no
and gave gifts to his people.”*
longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hope9Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly
lessly confused. 18Their minds are full of darkmeans that Christ also descended to our lowly ness; they wander far from the life God gives
world.* 10And the same one who descended is because they have closed their minds and hardthe one who ascended higher than all the heav- ened their hearts against him. 19They have no
ens, so that he might fill the entire universe with sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure
and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
4:7 Greek a grace. 4:8 Ps 68:18. 4:9 Some manuscripts read to the lower parts of the earth.
Too often, believers become divided over minor differences in doctrine. But in Ephesians
4:4‑6, Paul lays out several areas where Christians can have true unity. Because we have this
unity of spirit, we should never allow petty differences to dissolve it.
Believers are one in . . .
Our unity is experienced in . . .
The fellowship of believers—the church
The Holy Spirit, who activates our fellowship
Confident expectation of the glorious future we
are called to
God and Father
Christ, whom we all belong to
Our singular belief in and commitment to Christ
The sign of entry into the church
The one who has called and enabled us to be part of his
family for eternity
4:1‑6 One in Christ Unity doesn’t just happen; we have
to work at it. Often, differences among people can lead to
division, but this shouldn’t be true in the church. Instead of
concentrating on what divides us, we should remember what
unites us: one body, one Spirit, one hope for the future, one
Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all! Each
of us can offer our differing gifts and viewpoints to help the
church do God’s work (see 1 Corinthians 12).
4:2‑7, 11‑16 What special gift do you think God has given
you to offer the church? See page 1670 for the next turning
point of The Bible’s Big Story.
4:7‑16 Working as a Body The Holy Spirit has given each
Christian particular gifts for building up the church. Now
that we have these gifts, it is crucial for us to use them. As
Christians, we have an enormous responsibility—to make
disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:18‑20). This involves
preaching, teaching, healing, nurturing, giving, administering, building, and many other tasks. If we had to fulfill this
command as individuals, we might as well give up without
trying—it would be impossible. But God calls us as members
of his body. Some of us can do one task; some can do others.
We can obey God more fully together than any of us could
alone. Working together, the church can express more of the
fullness of Christ.