The Bonds of Peace: Unity in the Church in the World
July 14, 2019 Speaker: Cameron Barham Series: Paul's Letter to the Ephesians: Life in Christ, Life in the World
Scripture: Ephesians 4:1–4:10
Key Truth: We are called to walk together in the world in a humble and gentle manner that reflects the victory and reign of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
What impact does unity within the church have on its witness in the world?
“In Ephesians 4:1, Paul begins his turn toward exhortation. To this point he has narrated God’s triumph in Christ and has spoken about how that triumph is embodied in his own life. Now he turns to the church, helping us imagine how we are to initiate performances of God’s triumph in our local settings. He stresses the centrality of unity for the church. He exhorts his readers to make “every effort to maintain unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3). This is something that churches are to pursue zealously, becoming cultures of unity and reconciliation under the lordship of Jesus.”
Timothy G. Gombis, The Drama of Ephesians: Participating in the Triumph of God
The Standard for How to Walk Out the Christian Life in the World:
“Although Paul will give more direct and concrete prescriptions to the Ephesians in the following verses and chapters, the task of walking worthily always entails the act of seeing the fit between one’s actions or possible actions and some set standard. To do this, the Ephesians, and all other believers, will need to develop a set of habits and dispositions. Cultivating such habits and dispositions will enable the Ephesians to perceive themselves, their world, and the standard to which they aspire, thus to walk worthily in a manner that will lead them to recognize some actions as fitting or conforming to the standard and others as not conforming.”
Stephen E. Fowl, Ephesians: A Commentary
What helps you best reflect on the manner in which you walk in the world as called in Christ?
Are you eager to maintain unity in the Spirit in the bond of peace?
Unity’s Firm Foundation: The Victory and Reign of Christ in the Power of the Spirit:
“The great truth is, that Christ’s exaltation is the reward of his humiliation. By his obedience and sufferings he conquered the prince of this world, he redeemed his people, and obtained the right to bestow upon them all needed good. He is exalted to give the Holy (Spirit), and all his gifts and graces, to grant repentance and remission of sins.”
Charles Hodge, Ephesians
What grace and gifts have you received because of the victory and reign of Christ in the power of the Spirit?
How do you express your gratitude for these gifts?
Ephesians 4:1-10 teaches us that we are called to walk together in the world:
-in a humble and gentle manner
-that reflects the victory and reign of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit
More in Paul's Letter to the Ephesians: Life in Christ, Life in the World
September 8, 2019The Armor of God: The Means of Grace for Displaying God’s Glory for the Life of the World
September 1, 2019Our Impartial Heavenly Master: Christ’s Lordship Displayed in Us in the World
August 25, 2019The Sacred Canopy of Marriage: The Display of the Mystery of Christ in the World