Working Together

Ephesians 4
16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

If one part does not do it’s job, there is no effective growing. As a body, we MUST be working together. We must have the same common goal and be working towards it for the good of those we are trying to minister to.

Revelation and Wisdom

I spent some of my morning seeking the Lord for wisdom and revelation. I thought these verses tied in well:

Proverbs 2:1
My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,

If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.

For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
Equity and every good path.

This could get confusing…

Ephesians 4
14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 

Paul is explaining the gifts being used to unify and grow us. He follows up by saying, “so that we are no longer children carried about by other doctrine”

I find it interesting that when it comes to faith, we are to think like children, but not when it educating ourselves in the Word of God. A child can easily be manipulated when it comes to education. They believe anything. This is why faith in something so hard to believe is easier for them.

The gift that keeps on giving.

Ephesians 4
13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 

 Till we all come to the unity of the faith: This is the first goal of God’s work through the gifted offices and equipped saints. 

And of the knowledge of the Son of God: When the gifted offices work right and the saints are properly equipped, Christian maturity increases and there is greater intimacy in the experience of God.

The gifts at work should be creating mature Christians who can further the gospel even more! This is the gift that keeps on giving!

Different Roles

Ephesians 4
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,

So GOD created some to be teachers, some to be pastors etc…

We all have different roles, different positions and different responsibilities.

12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the [e]edifying of the body of Christ,

These responsibilities are to make the whole body of Christ better. It is not to make just our life better.
Equipping means training those you are responsible for and giving them the tools they need to complete their job, which is MORE ministry.

Spirits in Prison

Ephesians 4
(Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also [d]first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

Commentary:
Some think that the phrase lower parts of the earth refers to Jesus’ preaching to the spirits in prison described in 1 Peter 3:19 and 4:6. While this aspect of Jesus’ ministry in Hades following His work on the cross is true (and prophesied in Isaiah 61:1-2 and Luke 4:18), Paul did not necessarily refer to it here.

I do not understand what it means to preach to the “spirits in prison.”

any thoughts?

Luke 4
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me [i]to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are [j]oppressed;

Ascended

Ephesians 4
(Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also [d]first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

Now this, “He ascended”; what does it mean: In this, Paul demonstrated how the words He ascended in Psalm 68:18 had reference to the resurrection of Jesus, speaking first of His rising from the lower parts of the earth, and secondly of His ascension far above all the heavens.

Grace to you, and you, and you…

Ephesians 4
But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says:

“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”

From my commentary:
“One may picture a military leader returning to Jerusalem at the head of his followers, after routing an enemy army and taking many prisoners.”

Grace was given: We all have grace given to us according to the measure of Jesus’ gift. This is basis for God’s distribution of spiritual gifts through His church: grace, the free, unmerited giving of God. No one deserves or has earned spiritual gifts.

I read this and think, grace was a battle victory that was divided up amongst God’s people.
What do you think?

Unity

Ephesians 4
I, therefore, the prisoner [a]of the Lord, [b]beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in [c]you all.

Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called:
The idea is clear. We don’t walk worthy so that God will love us, but because He does love us. It is motivated out of gratitude, not out of a desire to earn merit.

Your motivation is ALWAYS an important factor. Are we driven because we are trying to earn something? Or are we driven to exceed because someone already loves us and we are grateful for it? One creates a more pure attitude that will UNIFY people.
The other will step on everyone to get to the top.

Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace: This humble, forgiving attitude towards each other naturally fulfills this gift of the unity of the Spirit.

Above all we ask.

Ephesians 3
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

I can attest to the Lord doing exceedingly abundantly ABOVE all that we ask or think.
I have been so incredibly blessed by the Lord, and that power works in ME.

It comes when we learn to discipline ourselves and we learn to LOVE those around us. Whether Jew or Gentile. We love God’s people.