Lesson 10


Paul's Letter to the Ephesians

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

4:1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, 4:2 with all lowliness and humility, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love; 4:3 being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you also were called in one hope of your calling; 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in us all.

 


Today's Lesson

What Paul has written in the first three chapters are the deep things of God, but it is also the most practical ideas in this world. For the Apostle Paul, there was nothing more practical than understanding our position in Christ and the deep things of God. As Paul presents the gospel, everything of life flows from our basic belief system. Believe that God is a God of mercy and grace and you will act a certain way. Believe that you can justify yourself through the law and you will act another.

 

If we understand that God is revealing Himself by displaying His grace toward the church, then the most practical thing for those who love the Lord and feel gratitude toward Him is to try to walk worthily of His call. If someone were to save us from ruin in this life, we would certainly feel gratitude. Paul has written that we were dead in trespasses and sin. Now, we have been made alive with Christ. So, walk worthy of the God who has given you life.

 

Walk with "all lowliness and humility." The purpose is not ours, nor is the power that achieved our rescue. We were not chosen for salvation because we were better than others were. We were chosen for God's purpose and within God's plan. There is no reason whatsoever for pride in ourselves. We should approach others and respond to the world through a perspective of lowliness and humility.

 

In order to show his subjects how he feels toward them, a king takes his lowest slave and elevates him to the position of prince. The king announces that this is how he loves his people, the least of them is worthy of being a prince. Now, how should the new prince act in order to be worthy of his new title? He should attempt to show the same attitude as his sovereign. He should treat everyone as though they too were worthy of being a prince. And he should realize that were it not for the king, he would still be a slave.

 

Longsuffering and bearing with others in love also come from our position in Christ. If we are secure in Christ, and the fullness of Him lives in us, then we can patiently accept all that He allows to come into our lives. If He wishes me to bear illness, He has already paid the price for my life. It is His to dispose of, not mine any longer. And if He loved all enough to die for them, then I can certainly bear with them and love them as He wishes.

 

Paul has written that one goal of salvation is to bring all things together into one head, Jesus Christ. If I believe this, then I will also align myself with this goal and work towards its achievement. I will keep the unity of the Spirit in peace. There will be for me only one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God. All things are coming together in Christ. In the end, there can only be Him and those that are His.

 

One body, His body, the church. One Spirit, His Spirit, the Spirit of Christ that dwells in us fully. One hope, the hope of future life and service with Christ throughout all eternity. One Lord, in absolute control and with complete authority. One faith, a faith that comes from the strengthening of the "inward man" by the Spirit of God. One baptism, the baptism into the death of Christ in order that we might be raised with Him to a new life. One God, the Father of all who has shaped the plan and destiny of the world.

 

When these mysteries are finally revealed to the world, then all things will come together into one head, Jesus Christ. Until then, we must hold to the revelation that God has given us through His Spirit. We must place our faith in the unity of God and proceed with our lives by seeing all things working toward this end. One day, God will bring all things together under Christ. The goal of Christian faith is to see things that God has declared as though they had already happened. All things are one in Christ today, because God has declared that they will be.

 

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