Can you believe church people have been struggling to get along since the beginning? Many of the issues that we face regarding divisions and fighting in the church are nothing new. Paul, in Ephesians 4:7-16, gives us some inspired words to help us pursue unity together in the church.
Big Idea: Christ has attained unity for us and gifted us to keep it
Why do you do ministry?
- Unity in faith
- Maturity in practice
- Fullness in Christ
How do you do ministry?
- Speak the truth in love
- As a fully functioning community
Ephesians 4:7–16 (ESV)
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.
Ephesians 4:8 “Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”
Psalms 68:18 “You ascended on high, leading a host of captives in your train and receiving gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that the Lord God may dwell there”
Psalm 68:18 (Targum) “You ascended to the firmament, Prophet Moses; you led captive captivity; you learned the words of Torah; you gave them as gifts to the sons of men”
- Paul is quoting a traditional paraphrase of the Targum that his readers would recognize
- He changed the wording to emphasize the point he is trying to make.