Ephesians 4:1-16

Paul encourages the Ephesians (and us!) to live worthy of the calling. That means being humble, gentle, patient, loving, and living in unity and peace (in the church). We are all one in Christ, and the power to live this kind of life comes from God through His Spirit (as we saw in chapter 3). In addition to the power to live a particular way, we are also gifted for service by God. This is a direct result of the grace we receive through Jesus Christ. Paul only mentions the gifts that equip the saints in faith and knowledge here, but we know that there are other gifts because of what he says in his other letters. He zeros in on these gifts because they help us grow to maturity, and they help us to discern false doctrine and false teachers. The ones who have these gifts help us to know the truth! And as we follow the truth (in love), we grow up in Christ, who is the head of the church. Our maturity means that we serve with our gifts, and the entire body grows in love because we are supporting each other.

Have you ever met anyone who practiced the truth, but didn’t do it in love? Does this reference a lack of love for Christ? Perhaps someone following out of fear? Or following for some other reason? While that could be true, I believe that the context refers to living out the truth in the context of community. How do you not live the truth in love? By being harsh. By being unloving. By being unforgiving. Being a mature Christian does mean that we adhere to the truth, but the way we do that is important too!

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