June 2nd, 2018
This passage gives us the “7 Unity’s.” These “one” statements emphasize the oneness we share as Christians. We must understand however, that Eph. 4:4-6 is not teaching unity at any cost. There is a difference in unity and uniformity. Our unity must be in Christ.
One body. The Lord only has one church, and all who have accepted Jesus and have obeyed the gospel are members of the church universal. We are diverse in background and gifts, but united in Christ.
One Spirit. The Holy Spirit, the 3rd Person of the Godhead indwells every believer (Acts 2:38). He enables us to live the Christian life.
One Hope. The one hope is the “Blessed Hope.” (Titus 2:11-13) Jesus has promised to return for His Church. We are to live in anticipation of that hope.
One Lord. Believers in the early church confessed and proclaimed, “Jesus is Lord!” (2 Cor. 4:5) When doing that they were saying, “Caesar is not Lord.” This confession could’ve caused them their life. Today we proclaim the Lordship of Jesus. It is our aim and desire to live according to what He taught.
One faith. Jude wrote that we are “to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” The one faith is the body of truth we embrace and believe.
One Baptism. This is immersion into Christ for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38). It is after we are baptized that we receive our sins forgiven and we receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit.
One God and Father. As his adopted children, we share the same Father (cf. Eph. 1:5) He is God over all and Father of all His children.
-Larry Miles, June 2, 2018, Anguilla
June 1st, 2018
United by Divine Calling (4:1) Paul wrote, “Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received.” The word “walk” is very important. It means to conduct one’s life.” Our Christian life is a life of walking for the Lord. We are to be in step with Him under His lordship.
We have been called to Him through His grace. We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. (1:3) Remember who you are as you live this life.
United by Christlike Conduct (4:2-3) Paul now explains what it looks lke to “walk worthy.” In short, it looks like Jesus. Paul writes, “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us.” The more we look like Jesus individually, and the more we live like Christ relationally, the more united we will be.
Humility.Humility is an essential characteristic of belivers. People must be living for the good of others. Someone wrote, “The essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less.”
Gentleness. It involves being “mild spirited” or “self-controlled.” Gentleness is a fruit of the spirit, and it is the way we are to care for one another. (Gal. 5:23; 6:1)
Patience. Lack of patience displays a lack of humility and a lack of love. Accepting one another in love means we put up with each other in love. Peter says, “Love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Pet. 4:8) Diligently keeping unity. We must We must be zealous to maintain this unity.
We do not work to create unity but to keep it. God unites us, and we are to seek to maintain unity
June 1, 2018, Anguilla
May 31st, 2018
The last 2 verses of Ephesians 3 is a doxology. Paul gives us the “what,” “how,” and “why” of the doxology.
What? (3:20a) Paul tells us that God is “able”! He gives us 4 phrases to describe the awesome nature of God’s sovereign might.
- to do above [But that’s not all!]
- to do above and beyond [But that’s not all!]
- to do above and beyond all that we ask [But that’s not all!]
- to do above and beyond all that we ask or think.
If we believe that God is all that He says He is, let’s pour out our hearts and minds to Him. The best way to increase our faith in God’s greatness is to fill our minds with the Word of God.
How? (3:20b) How does God work beyond our imaginations? According to Paul’s words it is “according to the the power that works in us.” God is able to do extraordinary things through ordinary people who seek to do His will in their lives.
Why? (3:21) Why does God do these things? God blesses His people for His own glory. But notice that that Paul tells us that God desires His glory in the church of Jesus Christ. John Stott wrote, “God desires glory in the bride and in the bridegroom; in the community of peace, and in the Peacemaker.”
For how long? Forever! Unless the Lord Jesus comes back for us in our lifetime we are all going to die. But we can live forever through Jesus Christ, who gives us access to the Father in prayer right now.
Larry Miles, May 31, 2018 in Anguilla