Last week Karl challenged us to be consistent students of the Word and to be diligent before God as we discipline ourselves in the work of our sanctification – the process of becoming like Christ. Today I would like to build on the foundation Karl laid, looking at the fourth chapter of Ephesians to discuss the argument Paul makes for being worthy of your calling in Christ.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:1-16
Paul states God’s purpose for gifts in verse 13, then restates it in 14 and restates it again in verses 15 and 16.
1. Positive: v13 - until all of us attain the unity of the faith
2. Negative: v14 - until all of us are no longer undisciplined children following every new doctrine or scheme
3. Positive: v15-16 - until all of us respond like Christ, building up the body until everything works as it should