Bible Dig into Ephesus: Ephesians 4:2-6

Paul has been talking to individuals asking:

  • Who is God?
  • Who are you to Him?
  • Do you know what God has done for you?

After laying out the Gospel message for each individual in the first part of the letter, he states the purpose for the rest of the letter. In Ephesians 4:1, he doesn’t mince words. Paul adamantly urges each one of us to choose so that as we grow in Christ, we will mature in faith, and actively live what we believe.

The Gospel should reshape
the story of our lives.

Read Ephesians 4:2-5 with me in The Message. If possible, read it aloud.

I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.
4-6 You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness. 
Ephesians 4:2-6, MSG

Signs of the Times

  • In Ancient Greek culture, traits such as humility, meekness, gentleness, and self-sacrifice were looked, at negatively as if they showed weakness. In his letter, Paul is reminding his friends that the opposite is true.
  • Ritual immersion in water (baptism) was a powerful religious symbol in ancient Judaism. It represented the washing away of impurities, and unless one participated in the ritual bath, access to the temple and services was denied. With emerging Christianity, baptism became a symbolic identification of the believers with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and a way to express repentance before God. (verse 5)
  • Speakers repeated words or phrases for emphasis—“Hear this; it’s really important!” In verses 4-6, Paul uses the Greek work “one” in a variety of forms. It is translated as “one” seven time in these verses and four times as “all.”

Read through these verses again, this time in the New Living Translation.

2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 one God and Father of all,
who is over all, in all, and living through all. 
Ephesians 4:2-6, NLT

We are made in the image of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Trinity, three-in-one. His creation of humankind included this community, and our interaction should be modeled after God. So, instead of a chart, let’s use an umbrella to explain the information in Ephesians 4:2-6. You’ll find explanation of the umbrella in verses 5 and 6. Verses 2, 3, and 4 are for those of us sheltering under the umbrella.

As you read these verses through for the third time, pause after every phrase to listen for God’s voice.

2 With tender humility and quiet patience, always demonstrate gentleness and generous love toward one another, especially toward those who may try your patience. 3 Be faithful to guard the sweet harmony of the Holy Spirit among you in the bonds of peace, 4 being one body and one spirit, as you were all called into the same glorious hope of divine destiny.
5 For the Lord God is one, and so are we, for we share in one faith, one baptism, and one Father. 6 And he is the perfect Father who leads us all, works through us all, and lives in us all! 
Ephesians 4:2-6, TPT

Now, write, doodle, or choose a picture as you respond to what you heard from God today.

If you are so moved, please share your thoughts and pictures with me in the comment section below. Or send an email to KSEvenhouseWWV@gmail.com.

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