Ephesians 4 urges all Christians to conduct themselves in a way that is consistent with their union in Christ, so that they might maintain their union with him. To do this Christians must practice unity amongst themselves. As such they should be eager to bear with one another in love wherever and whenever they are with whatever capabilities they have been given.

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.
(Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV)

As the head of the body seeks the best for each member and in so doing looks after the whole, so Christ loves all Christians. He has given each member the means by which they might grow and persevere in unity now, his spirit who gifts all for the good of all. Christ has given his Church the gifts of the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers to equip each member for the work of ministry (Christs work) in this world. Building and sustaining unity in Christ.

The ministry of Christ and his people in this world is a ministry of unity, it is the job of all Christians to build this union to which they have been called. The apostles are the foundation of the church because they were witnesses to Christ on earth, passing on all they saw and heard. Then the prophets, the most faithful in the household of God. They declare the truth of God especially when, calling all to repent living a life of extreme faithfulness and throwing their lives away for the sake of Christ and his church (not mere teachers!!). The evangelist seeks to guide unbelievers into unity with Christ. The shepherd leads, protects and fights for those who have been put under his care. Lastly the teacher explains the revealed things of God, teaching each member to love him and one another.

The ultimate goal (the end game) of these gifts is to build up the church until the time when all are born into the complete and perfect union with Christ. So that being mature in Christ (like Christ and strong in faith), knowing and attesting to what is true (there is one God who is all in all), you will no longer be fooled by the deceitful doctrine of the world. Instead you build and practice unity in Christ by:
• Loving one-another, (unity would not be unity without love) without love unity is dead.
• Speaking the truth to one another in love (There can be no place for lies and deceit in unity)
• When you speak be encouraging, seeking to build up one another into Christ.
• Occupy yourself with honest work, instead of the self-seeking manner of your former lives. This will allow you to be generous with what God has you (Being united to Christ shows us how silly the concept of personal ownership is when we know that we belong to one another).
• Be patient with one another, ready to forgive.

As members of Christ Christians are also members of one another and should treat each other as such. Does one member of the body deceive another? How would a body perform the most basic of tasks if it rebels against itself? As it says:

Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.
(Matthew 12:25 ESV)

Therefore only speak truth (the truth of God, who is truth himself) with fellow Christians as is appropriate for the position that God has given you and in each situation you find yourself. In this way all should strive to ensure that every word they speak proceeds from love in unity intended to encourage and build up their fellow members (and therefore the whole union) of Christ.

Before you were united to Christ you occupied yourself with worthless pursuits seeking your own benefit at the cost of others. Now that you are part of Christ you must pursue honest work pleasing to God seeking to be generous with what the Lord gives us. Seeking the benefit of other at a cost to yourself.

If you who are united to Christ and go on sinning, conducting yourself as if you were never united to him you grieve the Holy Spirit because he is the spirit of unity. It is by your actions you can proclaim the goodness of unity in Christ or condemn it and yourself before God. Therefore in unity you must be patient showing kindness to one another acknowledging weakness and forgiving the sins of one another as Christ forgave you.

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbour, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
(Ephesians 4:25-32 ESV)

Remember the fact that you need to be reminded of this means that you are not naturally capable of doing this while you are still in Adam’s flesh.


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