CITIZENS part 7 – Growing Up (Eph 4:1-16) – Steve Sudworth
Ephesians Study Material- Eph. 4:1-16
Paul wrote the letter of Ephesians as a general letter to a large region of churches during his first Roman imprisonment. The letter to the Ephesians and the letter to the church in Colosse were most likely written around the same time and delivered at roughly the same time. The letter to the Ephesians is a passionate and beautiful letter, riddled with hymns and exhortations, rich in theology and eschatology setting it apart from all other Pauline Epistles. The letter emphasizes the nature of the church and the relationship of Christ as the head of the church. In Chapters 2 & 3, Paul stressed the uniqueness of the Church emphasizing her unique calling all of which is rooted in the love of Christ. In the following chapter the Church is asked to put to action the reality of who they already are.
Text: Eph. 4:1-16
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.8 Therefore it says,
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”
9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
In verses 1-6 Paul instructs and intercedes for the church to grow up into maturity; reminding the church that discipline and grace go hand in hand. In verses 7-11 Paul reminds the church that he gave gifts to the church to assist them in growing up. In verses 12-16 Paul explains how these gifts equip the church to go out into the harvest.
Suggested Discussion Questions
- Why do the gifts listed in Eph. 4 help the church to grow up?
- In what ways is God calling you to grow up?