THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS
Chapter 4:1-16 - The Study
"Walk in a manner worthy of your calling"

 

J. Deering, AncientPath.net
 


Walk in a manner worthy of your calling

 

BODY TALK

 

In Chapters 1-3 we have learned the "What You Have In Christ" and the "Why Your Have It In-Christ" parts of the book of Ephesians. Now in Chapters 4-6 we enter into the "How Your Respond In-Christ" part.

 

(4:1)

Right away Paul begins with a plea that, as a result of the gift of every spiritual blessing and the revelation of the Mystery of The Body of Christ, our walk In-Christ should reflect the Glory of God in Christ.

 

We are to: Walk worthy of our calling.

 

(4:2)

And in what manner shall we walk?

          With All Humility – One to Another In Love (agape)
          With All Gentleness – One to Another In Love

          With All Patience – One to Another In Love

          With All Forbearance – One to Another In Love
(Galatians 5:22-23 If you can't do it in the Fruit of the Spirit – DON'T DO IT)

 

(4:3)

And why should we walk in this manner?

          We need to be Diligent to PRESERVE the UNITY of THE SPIRIT,

          Inside the BOND(S) OF PEACE (The Peace of God which surpasses all understanding).

 

Within the God Head there is ABSOLUTE UNITY and ABSOLUTE LOVE. We are to REFLECT that Unity and Love – as we are His Ambassadors, those who represent Almighty God in this world (and to the Heavenlies) – Whether we WANT TO, FEEL LIKE IT, DESIRE IT, or not. The FACT is that we represent Him and what the world and heavenlies see in us – is what they see as a reflection of Him.

 

(4:4)

Paul goes on to emphasize the importance of the reflection in us of His ONENESS.

 

There is ONE BODY – "THE BODY OF CHRIST" The "Called-Out Ones."

There is ONE SPIRIT – The HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD Who Provides Daily Living Power to each and every on of His Children.

There is ONE HOPE – If your were not called of God What Hope would there be?

 

(4:5)

There is ONE LORD – ONLY ONE GOD who is Lord of His Called-Out People: Jesus Christ

There is ONE FAITH – The Only Faith is the one that was given as a gift to those who have been Called-Out. Faith cannot be found anywhere else.

There is ONE BAPTISM – There is only ONE GOD who Indwells and SEALS every one of His Children with His Complete Spiritual Baptism (no water here!).

 

(4:6)

There is ONE God and FATHER of ALL

          And He is Over All

          And He is Through ALL

          And He is IN ALL.

 

He is the Center of Oneness, and WE are His Ambassadors.

 




 


 

 (4:7)

"To Each One of Us Grace was Given According to the Measure of Christ's Gift."

"To Each One of Us Grace was Given According to the Measure of the gift of Christ."

 

 

7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Measure - "metron," meter, measure, standard, compass

A known quantity wich is measured out to bring for comparrison, an authorized unit to measure, a definable space within limits.

Luke 6:38 "Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in retuirn." - if you measure with His measure.

 

According to His measure:

Luke 6:38  "Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."

If you measure by His measure....

 

“A certain portion is allotted to each; and it is only by communicating with each other, that all enjoy what is sufficient for maintaining their respective places in the body.  The diversity of gifts ... tends to promote and strengthen, the harmony of believers.”  “On no one has god bestowed all things.”  “Those blessings agree said to be the gift of Christ; for ... first of all ... is to represent all that we are, and all that we have, as gathered together in Christ.”  (John Calvin, “The Epistle to the Ephesians,” Eerdman’s, 1948, p. 271.

 

 

 

The following comes from Chip Brogden and The School of Christ.org

 

The Gift Of Christ

"As the fullness of God - all that He is and all that He has - dwells in Christ, so the fullness of Christ - all that He is and all that He has - dwells in you (Colossians 2:9,10a)."

 

I am afraid that we do not truly appreciate the fact that God has never given us things, but has summed up everything into Christ, having poured Himself into His Son. Having the Son, possessing the Son, being one with the Son, we have and possess everything God is. It never has been a question of seeking ten, one hundred, or one thousand different things from God. If we do not know from our experience, we should at least know from the Scriptures, that Christ is the Gift of God.

 

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3)."

 

All we have and all that we are as Christians is based upon our union with Christ. Apart from Him, we have nothing, and we are nothing. But in Him we are blessed with every spiritual blessing. Think upon the ramifications of that. If this is true then we have very little to ask God for, and very much to praise God about.

 

For most of my life as a Christian I sought God for things. When depressed, I would seek joy. When worried, I would seek peace. When weak, I would seek strength. When angry, I would seek self-control. When defeated, I would seek victory. Most Christians are taught to approach God and seek these things when they are conscious of some lack. For a time it seems they are given what they ask for, but soon they are back asking for more of the same thing. Today we ask for patience, and tomorrow we ask again, and the day after that we have to ask yet again. So it is with peace, joy, victory, and everything else.

 

Eventually we must learn that we have everything in Christ already. That thing called "patience" that we are so diligently seeking is not a thing at all, it is Christ. "Victory" is no longer a "thing", it is a Man. And so it is with everything else we need. It is certainly possible to seek spiritual blessings from God apart from Christ, or in addition to Christ. What a difference it makes to realize that He HAS (past tense) blessed us already - not with three or five or twenty blessings - but with every spiritual blessing. However many there may be, we have them all. Where and how has He done this? Thank God, it was done the moment we received Christ and entered into Him as our All in All. God would have us seek Him first, and not His things. To Him there is no "thing", for they are all summed up into Christ.

 

Again, it is the preciousness and extreme worth and value of the Lord Jesus that we have in mind here. May we see before God that God's Gift is Christ - not a lot of spiritual blessings that we must diligently seek after, one by one, until we accumulate them like a collection of virtues or special graces. That is not to say there are not many spiritual blessings we can obtain from God, only that they are all found in Christ. Having the Son we have all that pertains to the Son.

 

"If God did not spare His own Son, but freely delivered Him over to death on our behalf, how will He not also, with Him, freely give us all things (Romans 8:32)?"

 

Jesus says the Kingdom of God is like a man who found treasure buried in a field. With great joy he went out, sold all his possessions, and purchased that field. The point of the parable is this: the one who owns the field possesses all that lies buried within the field. It is not a matter of getting the individual pieces of treasure, but of gaining the field. Once we have the field, we have the treasure.

 

The Scriptures tell us that hidden in Christ are "all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3)", "every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)", and "all the fullness of God (Colossians 1:19)." Since this is the truth, we maintain before God that His Gift to us is Christ, and to the extent that we appreciate the value and preciousness of the Lord Jesus, to that same extent will we be satisfied spiritually. We will find fullness in the Son, and will not find it necessary to be continually pumped up or propped up as we go about our daily walk as Christians. Imagine the foolishness of asking God for a "few coins" to get you through until Sunday while wealth is buried just below your feet. Or, imagine the vanity of thinking we have to go "here" or "there" to get something from God (such as a "blessing", a "word", an "anointing", etc) when we already have everything He has. I will go so far as to say that when we know the preciousness and costliness of the Lord Jesus we will not ask God for anything else. The one who must ask God for "things" has not yet fully appreciated the treasure he has in Christ already. [1]


 

Ephesians 4:7-16

WHY BRING THIS UP?

 

Six Problems among the "called-out ones" in Ephesus.

 

(4:7) Gifts - The First Problem – 4 Parts (The Wrong Purpose Sought)

1.        The Ephesians had a basic misunderstanding of the Purpose of Christ's Gift and His giving of Spiritual Gifts to every believer through the Holy Spirit.

2.        The Ephesians were seeking the Wrong Gifts (Self Aggrandizement).

3.        The Ephesians were seeking the Wrong Grace (Source of Power).

4.        The Ephesians were NOT GIVING CHRIST PROPER CREDIT.

 

(4:8-10) Gifts - The Second Problem (The Wrong Source Sought)
          The Ephesians were ignorant of the Position, Power and Place of the Lord Jesus Christ (Who He Was).

 

Problem:
The Ephesians were ignorant of the Position and Power and Place of Christ.

This is an allusion to Psalm 68:18 and not a direct quote:
( Spoken of God - Psalm 68:18-19 “Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captive Thy captives; Thou hast received gifts among men, Even among the rebellious also, that the LORD God may dwell there. Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation.)

(Difference between receiving gifts and giving gifts - God’s intention in receiving gifts (Psalm 68) is to in turn be able to give gifts to His people. See Psalm 68:12 "Kings of armies flee, they flee, And she who remains at home will divide the spoil!" Even though Paul is not quoting the verse, He is taking the opportunity to expand the meaning of the words found there. Paul’s writing clarifies God’s meaning in his reference to Christ.)

Psalm 68:18 - The reference is to GOD (not to the giving of gifts). It was HE who ascended on high, It was HE who dwells there. It is HE who is our salvation. It is JESUS the CHRIST.

“These grace-gifts are two fold: (1) Gifted men as gifts to the Church. (2) Gifts to men with which to properly function in their posts within the corporate structure.” MacCorkle, “God’s Special Secret,” MBM Books, 1993, p.156


Who Christ was - Ascender, Liberator, Giver of Gifts
The FILLING of God's creation by Christ Jesus:
From Heaven - He Descended to Earth
From Earth - He Descended into the Earth (Sheol - not Gehenna - place of the dead - not the Eterna Abode of The Dammed)
From Sheol - He Ascended to the Earth
From Earth - He Ascended to Heaven (and sits at the right hand of God the Father).
In Heaven - Gifts given to Christ (by the Father at the completeness of His work) to give among men to facilitate "God among men - in us!"
From Heaven He gave (gives) gifts that are to fill roles in the Church in the earth.

The Gifts:
Specifically - to authenticate the giving of new revelation
Generally - to enable believers to administer the things of Christ (encouraging, edifying, building up the body of Christ) to the body enabling it to grow and survive and become effective.
 

 

(4:11-13) Gifts - The Third Problem (The Wrong Use)

The Ephesians were misusing the gifts

1.      As Apostles

2.      As Prophets

3.      As Evangelists (good news-ers)

4.      As Pastor/Teachers

5.      For Equipping the Saints for the WORK of SERVICE

6.      For the BUILDING UP OF THE BODY

7.      For the ATTAINMENT OF UNITY OF FAITH

8.      For the ATTAINMNET OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD

9.      Resulting IN THE MATURE MAN

10. Resulting IN THE STATURE

11. Resulting IN THE DISPLAY IN US OF THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST

 

 

Ephesians 4:11: In 1 Cor 12:8 - 28 the Holy Spirit is seen as enduing the members of the body of Christ with spiritual gifts, or enablements for a varied service; here certain Spirit-endued men, i.e. apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are themselves the gifts whom the glorified Christ bestows upon His body the Church. In 1 Corinthians, the gifts are spiritual enablements for specific service; in Ephesians, the gifts are men who have such enablements.

The Lord, in bestowing the gifted men, determines providentially (e.g. Acts 11:22 - 26), or directly through the Holy Spirit (e.g. Acts 13:1 - 2; 16:6 - 7), the places of their service. Some churches or places need one gift, as, e.g. an evangelist; others need rather a pastor or teacher. Absolutely nothing in Christ's service is left to mere human judgment or self-choosing. Even an apostle was not permitted to choose his place of service (Acts 16:7 - 8).
 

 

 

(4:14) Gifts – The Fourth Problem (Doctrinal Instability RESULTS FROM IMPROPER UNDERSTANDINGS OF THE GIFT OF CHRIST)

If they had exercised their Gifts they would NOT BE:

1.      CHILDREN at Sea

2.      DECEIVED by False Doctrines

3.      Spiritually TRICKED by men

4.      VICTIMS of Deceitful Scheming

 

The Ephesians were misusing the gifts
SOME:
apostles - sent out to preach the gospel - an office
Prophets - interpret and proclaim God's message
Evangelists - Preach the Gospel
Pastors - Shepherds - those who lead the local churches in the Gospel
Teachers - teachers - those who lead the local churches in the Gospel
FOR:
equipping
Work of service
Building up
Body of Christ
UNTIL
all these offices remain in authority -till Christ rules in person and we are complete In Him
WITH
Unity
Knowledge
Maturity
Stature
the Fullness of Christ
(Ephesians lacking - Faith, Knowledge, maturity, Christ likeness)
 

 

AS A RESULT
Ephesians Unstable in Doctrine
no longer children

 

(4:15) Gifts – The Fifth Problem (Using these WRONG GIFTS to Hurt and Destroy FELLOW MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST)

1.      INSTEAD – Speak the Truth

2.      INSTEAD – Speak in Love

3.      INSTEAD – GROW UP – IN ALL ASPECTS – IN HIM (Christ)

 

BUT
Ephesians using truth to hurt and destroy
Grow Up
in all aspects
In Him
 

 

(4:16) Gifts – The Sixth Problem (Defective Knowledge of THE BODY OF CHRIST)

1.     EACH INDIVIDUAL – part of the ONE BODY

2.     EACH INDIVIDUAL – "is being FITTED" into the ONE BODY

3.     EACH INDIVIDUAL – PARTS HELD TOGETHER BY THE GIFTS (JOINTS)

4.     EACH INDIVIDUAL – Needs to WORK PROPERLY as it's OWN PART

5.     EACH INDIVIDUAL – SHOULD RESULT IN BODY GROWTH

6.     EACH INDIVIDUAL – SHOULD RESULT IN THE WHOLE BODY BUILDING ITSELF UP

7.     EACH INDIVIDUAL – SHOULD DO ALL THIS IN AGAPE (No Self)

 

 The Ephesians tearing down the body "in Love"
(Self Love, Self Gifts, Self Idol)
The whole body
fitted and held TOGETHER
"that which every joint supplies"

Sitting under Godly men CAUSES:
The GROWTH of the BODY
FOR;
the building up of itself - in love
growth = Growth = GROWTH etc.
 


[1] 2006 Chip Brogden and http://www.TheSchoolOfChrist.Org Permission is granted for non-commercial (free) distribution provided this notice appears.

 


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Ephesians 4:7-16
Looking for Causes
“Why Bring This Up?”

Ephesians 4:7
The Problems:
1. Ephesian misunderstanding of the PURPOSE of Christ’s gifts.
2. The Ephesians were seeking IMPROPER gifts (gifts other than the gifts of Christ’s intentions - healing, miracles, raising from the dead, etc.).
3. The Ephesians were seeking IMPROPER graces (the resources (power) for exercising their gifts).
4. The Ephesians were NOT GIVING CHRIST PROPER CREDIT for His gifts. (They were giving themselves credit for the gifts).
The Text:
“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.”

Ephesians 4:8-10
The Problem:
The Ephesians were ignorant of the Position and Power and Place of Christ.
The Text:
“Therefore it says, ‘When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.’ (Now this expression, ’He ascended,’ what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)”

Ephesians 4:11-13
The Problem:
The Ephesians were misusing the gifts
The Text:
“He gave some as apostles, and (He gave) some as prophets, and (He gave) some as evangelists, and (He gave) some as pastors and teachers, [(or He gave) some as pastors and (He gave some as) teachers] for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.”

Ephesians 4:14
The Problem:
Ephesians unstable in doctrine (as Children would be)
The Text:
“As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;

Ephesians 4:15
The Problem:
Ephesians using truth to hurt and destroy
The Text:
“but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ,”

Ephesians 4:16
The Problem:
The Ephesians tearing down the body "in Love" (Self Love, Self Gifts, Self Idol)
The Text:
“from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
 


 


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