June 17, 2019
Ephesians 4:7-16 New Living Translation (NLT)
The standard for Christian maturity is Christ, so the Holy Spirit brings supernatural transforming work to make us like Christ in our character. The Spirit works through all of us in order to bring us to unity in the faith. In other words, we help one another grow up. Every member has a part to play; Christian service to the body is everyone’s calling. Each of us needs to be operating in wisdom, so our faith is not shaken and we are not vulnerable to the work of the enemy. Wise Christians know better than to allow themselves to be isolated from the body, because spiritual strength comes in numbers and together we identify and stand against the work of evil.
In our passage today, the Apostle Paul teaches the early church at Ephesus about the gracious gifts of Christ and the need to help other believers grow in love, truth, and wisdom.
7 However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. 8 That is why the Scriptures say,
“When he ascended to the heights,
he led a crowd of captives
and gave gifts to his people.”
9 Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. 10 And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.
11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Prayer: Lord, help me to speak the truth in love and be a part of bringing fellow believers to the maturity and unity of faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.