Ephesians 4:1-6 Understanding Christian Unity

by | Jun 7, 2023 | Ephesians, New Testament

Chapter 4 begins the second section of Ephesians.
Section 1- doctrine. Chapters 1-3.
Section 2- application. Chapters 4-6.
Importance of understanding doctrine before making application to our lives.
Wrong to emphasize Christian behavior before you understand what a Christian is.
Wrong to emphasize how you should live for God before you understand what He has done for you.

Watchman Nee– sit, walk, stand. Need to learn to be seated in Christ before trying to walk or stand.
Being seated speaks of rest, assurance, trust, security.
Our “walk” begins by resting and being seated. We move forward from a place of security.
Trying to walk without having learned how to rest will/can result in man-centered efforts towards holiness, as opposed to dependence upon God for imputed holiness, and practical holiness.

I. What The Christian Is Called To Vs. 1-3

A. Who Called Them V. 1a

1. Paul still refers to himself as a prisoner, not of Rome, but of Christ.
2. Paul didn’t feel himself a victim. He knew Jesus had allowed this for good.
3. It gave him time to write much of the New Testament instead of reaching only a few by personal appearance, he has reached multitudes through the written word.

B. What They Were Called To V. 1b

1. They were saved because of God’s grace. Grace doesn’t command, it beseeches.
2. Beseech- to appeal, to call, to encourage, to exhort. “I beg of you, please.”
3. We can’t force others to live godly lives, we can only invite, exhort, implore them
4. Because Paul has presented to them who and what they are in Christ.
5. He encourages them to walk in accordance to what God has done for them.
6. READ Chapter 2:1-3
7. walk- to move in a deliberate direction. To order one’s behavior.
8. When we are called to walk, it is to be a walk of response, and not a walk of initiation. God is the initiator; we are the responders.
9. John 3:16; 1 John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.
10. Whatever walking we do that is not a walk of response is inappropriate and unacceptable to God.
11. The WALK is a response, not something we do to earn something, not something we

C. What That Walk (Lifestyle) Looks Like V. 2

1. lowliness– humility of mind, lowliness of mind. Not boastful and self-exalting.
2. gentleness- meekness.
3. longsuffering- bearing patiently with the faults and weaknesses of other people.

a. One of the most important of Christian virtues.
b. Some people will offend us, others will bother us with their personalities.
c. People have different tastes, habits, opinions, strengths and weaknesses.
d. We need to make much allowance for people’s differences.
e. To be valued more than talent, eloquence, looks, possessions.
f. Daily, regular, and quiet in its practice. Not spectacular.
g. But where it is missing, there is much turbulence and tension.

4. bearing with one another in love-literally “to hold up”, “to bear with, endure.”

a. We hold up our relationships when they feel like a heavy load.
b. We lovingly bear with and endure with one another during difficult times.

D. How They Were To Accomplish This V. 3

1. endeavoring- Wuest– to do one’s best, to make a determined effort.

a. Requires much effort. A “sweat” word.
b. As we consider all the differences that Christians have, we realize that it takes a lot of effort to keep unity.
c. How do we keep unity with other Christians? We TRY!

2. When considering all that Christ has done for us…

a. Isn’t working hard to keep unity among all Christians reasonable?
b. It is a sign to the world.
c. John 17:21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

3. Unity not based upon agreement over every issue.

a. Unity not based upon church membership or enrollment.
b. Unity based upon the commonality of being in Christ together.

II. Our Motivation Vs. 4-6

A. Oneness

1. Notice in this section the multiple uses of the word “one.”
2. If you consider another Christian as not being a part of you, you are blinded.
3. Jesus died for people of all races, cultures, habits, and temperaments.
4. Are you going to limit in your heart that which God does not limit?
5. Differences, yes. Distinctions, yes. Divisions, no.
6. V. 4 one Spirit– It was the same Holy Spirit that drew us all to Christ.

a. The same that comforts, leads, guides, teaches.
b. Same Holy Spirit that energizes and gifts each person.
c. When we fight one another, we fight against the Holy Spirit.

7. V. 4 All Christians share the same calling of the hope of heaven, the same promises of God, the same comfort of the Holy Spirit.

a. Hoping for the same thing should bring unity. Especially regarding heaven.
b. When unbelievers hope for the same thing, it can often cause division.
c. The same job, the same purchase, the same wife or husband.
d. Often there is only one reward for many people, and it can cause division.

8. Not so with Christians. Enough heaven for all of us. We shall all obtain that hope.
9. V. 5 one faith-We share a common faith and would agree on the person of Christ.
10. V. 5 baptism– we are not baptized into a church or denomination, but into Christ.
11. V. 6 The same God that we claim we love with our whole hearts.

a. The same God gives us all the same commandments.
b. The same God who works through us all.
c. The same God who is in us all.
d. We have a spiritual/organic union that is illogical to ignore or resist.