Pastor's Connect Blog

Connect Blog

Ephesians 4:4-16

December 1, 2017

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

Ephesians 3:13-21

Topic – Unity through diversity.

The Apostle Paul in this passage is calling the church to work as a body – members not working independent of the body, but within the body, for the good of the body.

The Unity of the Body

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

In these verses Paul offers seven points of unity, reasons why we should live and work in harmony, hand in hand.

1. One body – WE, together make up one body, the church. Discourages the pursuit and promotion of self. Rebukes individualism. We, the church, is connected together.

2. One Spirit – If we are all following the Spirit then we abide in unity. It is the Spirit Who calls and enables …

3. One hope – Every Christian has the same hope- the final phase of redemption. We are not striving for something different.

4. One Lord – We all have the same Savior, the same Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.

5. One faith – Here refers to what we believe.

6. One baptism – Not water baptism, but the baptism of the Holy Spirit … we are all baptized into the body of Christ by the same Holy Spirit.

7. One God and Father – We are all His children by/through Jesus Christ.

The Diversity within the Body

“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”

Every one of us have been given, as determined by Christ, by the Holy Spirit gifts and talents for the work of the ministry.

Verse 8 is a quote from Psalm 68:18 used to illustrate Christ’s victory on the battlefield of the cross and the empty tomb and His right to reward His followers with the spoils of victory, to give to whom He chooses what He chooses.

The ascension and exaltation of Christ was preceded by His descent into the earth (death).

ADDITIONAL STUDY … See 1 Peter 3:18-20 and discuss where Jesus was after His death, and prior to His resurrection.

The list in verse 11 is not meant to be exhausted, but rather to show our positions and responsibilities in the church are not by choice, but by appointment. And also that we have been assigned different gifts for different aspects of the ministry. We are diverse.

*I am a pastor, not because I chose to be a pastor, but because it was and is God’s assignment for me.

For additional study see 1 Corinthians 12:12-31

Spirit generated diversity helps to grow saints into maturity, in the ministry of the church, and to grow a strong and healthy church.

Diversity and Unity working together

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

1. Diversity unifies our faith and our dependence upon each other.

2. Through diversity and unity believers are able to understand the mind of God; how He works in the church.

3. The experience of diversity and unity are an essential part of the spiritual maturation (perfect man) of the believer.

4. The experience of diversity and unity helps the believer recognize what it is God wills for his life in the work of the church.

5. Diversity and unity bring spiritual stability to the believer.

6. Diversity and unity creates an atmosphere where love can flourish.

7. Diversity and unity perpetuates healthy church growth.


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Atkins First Baptist Church

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201 N Church St
Atkins, AR 72823

www.atkinsfbc.com

(479) 641-2693