Lesson 6: Growing in Unity in ChristEphesians 4:1-16
This week, we ask the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Specifically, we will look at what it means to be a mature Christian, how we are to act inside and outside the church body, and why Christ provides gifted people to each local church body.
It is important to note that, as we mentioned at the beginning of this study, Ephesus the city was a focal point for great philosophy and thinking. It was filled with people who were well-versed in all the current philosophies of the day, to including then-current trends in Jewish thinking and, now, this new Christian movement.
We observed that, within the church at Ephesus, there were many who still argued for converted "Christians" to also be Jews; and many Gentiles and Jews in the church held differing views on what the "gospel" actually was. Ephesus was a church full of differing views and differing doctrinal teachings.
Paul is writing to this congregation to set the record straight and to encourage them as they begin to walk and grow in their faith and their knowledge of Christ. His letter addresses what it means to grow and mature in your walk and faith, the importance of the unity of the Church, and presence of gifted people provided by Christ for the building of the Church.
Read Ephesians 4:1-16 and answer the following:
- In verse 1, what does Paul tell us that we are to do?
- In verse 2, how does Paul tell us that we are to do it?
- Read Ephesians 4:4-6. List each of the seven elements of unity with the church. (Hint: Look for the word "one" before each of the elements.)
- Within the church, what gifted people did Christ give to the Church? (See Eph. 4:11)
- What are these gifts to be used for? (See verse 12)
- Paul then tells us in verse 13 that we are to work toward unity in two areas. What are they?
- In verse 14, Paul helps us define what it means to be a mature Christian by showing us what a mature person is NOT. List the characteristics and behaviors that are NOT the signs of a mature Christian listed in this verse:
- In verse 15, what does Paul tell us will happen when we "grow up" or mature?
- In verse 16, who holds the whole body together in unity?
It is important that we reflect on what it means to be a mature Christian, and what it means to work in unity within the Church. After studying this lesson, would you consider yourself to be a mature Christian? Have you ever known anyone whom you considered to be a mature Christian? Why?
Perhaps as we meditate on this lesson and consider the mature Christians that we’ve known, we can more readily assess the status of our own growth and determine what we need to do to grow up and become more like Christ.
I pray God’s blessings on you this week as you study His Holy Word, growing and working with us in the Kingdom as we look forward to His Second Coming.
Yours in Christ,