Pamphlet #5168 KCEphesians8
While Jesus was in the tomb He "knocked on Satan's door" and preached (offered salvation now that He had paid the price) to those held captive by Satan, even those from all the way back to Noah's time (1 Pet 3:18).
We have just concluded the parenthetical chapter 3 of this truly incredible Book of Ephesians.
Paul will now pick up in chapter 4 where he left off at the end of chapter 2 with verse 22, which is the reason he begins with "I THEREFORE", to connect the two verses.
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
It is the one body which is likewise "fitly framed together" (Eph. 3:16).
THEREFORE, endeavor (vs 3) to keep this unity of the spirit, i.e. the spiritual unity, which God HAS MADE in Jesus Christ.
The word translated "vocation" actually means "calling" in the Greek, your calling.
Paul exhorts us to walk in a manner worthy of that calling.
In order then to give diligence and keep the spiritual unity which God has made, it will require us to walk...
 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
We must "endeavor" and be doers of the Word, not just hearers of the Word.
Else what good are we to others, or to Christ and His body for that matter?
James says it best:
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
Here's the good news:
 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Baptism symbolizes the death and resurrection.
How many times was Jesus crucified?
He went into the earth only once!
So why are some baptized again each time they change churches?
I don't get it.
 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
It is our Father, thankfully.
 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
Are you happy with yours?
Do you exercise it, endeavoring to keep the unity of the faith?
Do you recognize your gifts?
Remember we are all one body in Christ.
We can't all be mouths (though sometimes I marvel).
If you have the faith to know that (that we are all of one body) then you should never be jealous or envious of another's gift.
The toe is as much a part of the body as the mouth (and for some may even "carry more weight").
Know and appreciate that your gifts are measured to you by Christ.
 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
Paul here is quoting the 68th Psalm:
Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.  Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
Ephes 4:9 (Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
But while there, He "knocked on Satan's door" and preached (offered salvation now that He had paid the price) to those held captive by Satan, even those from all the way back to Noah's time (1 Pet 3:18).
 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Prophets aren't called prophets because they foretell the future, but because "they speak the words of God" (John 3:34), like the prophets David and Moses.
Evangelists preach and bring forth new believers to be given over to the pastors and teachers to be fed "meat" from God's Word.
Why the different gifts? ...
 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Perfecting means "maturing", i.e. becoming full grown.
Eph 4:12 For4314 the3588 perfecting2677 of the3588 saints,40 for1519 the work2041 of the ministry,1248 for1519 the edifying3619 of the3588 body4983 of Christ:5547
From H4325 and H2091, water of gold; Me-Zahab, an Edomite: - Mezahab.
(Chaldee); corresponding to H1518; to rush forth: - strive.
The punctuation should be "For the perfecting of the saints, with a view to the work of the ministry, with a (further) view to the building up of the body of Christ."
So we have one proposition "The
perfecting of the saints", which is twofold, the
work of the ministry, which itself is for the
building up of the spiritual body of Christ.
 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:
We become mature man and women measured by the full stature of Jesus Christ, measured by the Word of God!
 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;
And guess what?
Ignorance can be tossed about like a little row boat upon the surging waves.
Many Christians are so shallow in their beliefs and faith that they do not want to discuss, nor do they question, the doctrines that they have been and are being taught.
Shame on us all!
We, as mature Christians, need to hold our ministers, our politicians, and the teachers of our children accountable for what they do and what they teach.
Have you ever read in the New Testament what those audacious Bereans did?
They had the "nerve" to "check out" the Apostle Paul himself, the man who wrote the majority of the New Testament!
And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
They are called "more noble" for doing so.
God likes it.
It helps keep the unity!
So (here comes common sense again) if the Apostle Paul is not above the scrutiny of scripture by "laymen" then should your minister, or the bishops, or the popes, or anyone else be?
I think not.
Start "endeavoring" wherever you attend and whomever you listen to!
(Tell them you are treating them with the same respect given the Apostle Paul.
But be gentle, do it in love, exercising wisdom.)
What shall we say then?
Don't be a baby Christian.
Endeavor and become mature in the Grace and Knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits;
to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
This "American Wisdom Series" pamphlet
Rhine Publishing Co
E-mail address - firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to have your essay
as part of the American Wisdom Series
submit your manuscript to Rhine Publishing Co
at the address above for consideration, or e-mail us
at the address shown on our home page.
Click Here to Return to "The American Wisdom Series" home page.