TUESDAY, MAY 9
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 4
As is the case with a lot of the books/letters that Paul wrote, Ephesians has a section of theology and then a section of application. The application begins in chapter four. It is marked by the word “therefore” in verse 1. It is as though Paul is saying to us, “Based upon what I just taught you, here is what you need to do.”
Don’t be too legalistic about this. As Paul writes application for us, he often throws in a little theology. And it is not uncommon to find a little application in his theological sections. Nevertheless, the focus on the rest of Ephesians really is how should we live in light of what we have been taught.
For example, we are to live in a way that is worthy of our salvation. This simply means when we are saved, our lives should change. Indeed, when we are saved, our lives will change. In verses 2-3, Paul says our saved lives should be characterized by things like humility, gentleness, patience, love, and unity.
This unity thing is such an uncommon thing Paul stops his application and reminds us of some important theology. Think about this. We humans are prone to disunity not unity. We are prone to finding things that separate us not connect us. We want to choose up teams instead of all of us being on one team. We want there to be winners and losers.
Instead Paul points to the unity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In fact, look at how many times the word “one” is repeated in verses 4-6.
All of this means disunity is a very disruptive thing. Our disunity always dishonors God. The divisions that separate us give the enemy an easy target for his fiery darts. Even the smallest of problems in the local church can ulcerate and become gaping wounds that hurt God and destroy our witness in the surrounding community/communities.
If you will skip down to verse 11 you will read where God gives different people different spiritual abilities/gifts. The purpose of these gifts is those with them are supposed to equip or prepare others for the work of the ministry. Verse 13 says that is supposed to happen until we all attain to the unity of the faith. There’s that unity thing again.
So what is the big deal about this unity thing? In John 17:20 Jesus said our unity was proof of His identity to an unbelieving world. That’s pretty powerful and it is most important. Unity is in such limited supply among us humans that when we actually see it, it is always bigger than itself. Unity in the church points to the reality of Jesus.
We are blessed to have a lot of unity on all three of our campuses. But we must never take it for granted. We must guard it. We must promote it. We must be willing to submit when necessary to maintain it. We must stay in the Word of God which will produce it.