Brother Mike’s Message
Unity in Christ | Ephesians 4:1-32
Ephesians 4 can be divided into four parts on “Unity in Christ.” Paul first informs them of characteristics of unity (vv. 1-3) as humility—thinking of others before yourself (cf. Phil. 2:1-8), gentleness—being kind (cf. Titus 3:2; 1 Peter 3:15), patience—remaining quiet even when provoked (cf. Col. 1:11), putting up with one another in love—making allowances for other’s faults because of the love you have for one another.
Second Paul declares the basis for unity (vv. 4-10): one body—one church established by and belonging to Christ (cf. 1 Cor. 12:12), one Spirit—the one body is led by and empowered by one Spirit, the Spirit of God (cf. Rom. 8:1- 17), one hope—"My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus blood and righteousness” (cf. Col. 1:21-23), one Lord—one Master and Head over the church (cf. Acts 2:36; Eph. 1:22), one faith—one standard of teaching, a common belief shared by all “in Christ” (cf. Acts 2:42). Also, there is one baptism—sprinkling or pouring was unheard of at this point. The Greek word was only used in reference to immersion; and in relation to the church it is only used for immersion in water for the remission of sins. This is the only way one can be added to the one body (see Acts 2:38-41). Paul continues that there is only one God and Father—there is no other god besides the Father of our Lord. Isaiah records, “Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me” (Isa. 45:21). Unity is only possible by the grace of God—Christ came down and died for the sins of the world and went up to rule (vv. 7-10).
The third point Paul makes regarding unity is how to attain unity (vv. 11-16). Even though there are many members in the one body, everyone has a God-given part in the church (see 1 Cor. 12:14-21). Everyone’s part is to be used for the purpose of spiritual maturity and unity (Eph. 4:15-16).
Fourth, Paul expresses how they can maintain unity (vv. 17- 32). They must be “diligent to preserve unity” (4:3). As a summary on how to maintain unity Paul declares, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (vv. 31-32 NLT).
Only “in Christ” can we ever hope to find unity!