Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Indian Head, MD
Connected for a purpose
August 1, 2021

Connected for a purpose

August 1, 2021

Metropolitan UMC, Indian Head, MD

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Eph 4:1-16 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it[a] says:

“When he ascended on high,
    he took many captives
    and gave gifts to his people.”[b]

(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

 

Background

In this passage Paul makes a major transition from doctrinal to ethical instruction. The word “therefore” (4:1; cf. Rom. 12:1; Col. 3:5; and 1 Thess. 4:1) signals that Paul’s imperatives—that is, his description of how believers ought to live—flow fittingly from his indicatives—that is, his description of what God is doing “in the church and in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 3:21). Since God’s plan is “to gather up all things in [Christ]” (1:10), and since Christ came to “reconcile both groups [Jews and Gentiles] to God” (2:16), believers ought to make “every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (4:3). Because Paul’s plea for unity does not entail uniformity but instead requires diversity, it is an apt application of his announcement of grace and peace to Jews, Gentiles, and all peoples. [1]

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Point 1 

Notes from Point 1

Point 2 

Notes from Point 2

Point 3

Notes from Point 3

Summary

[1] Joel E. Kok, “Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year B,” in The Lectionary Commentary: Theological Exegesis for Sunday’s Texts, Volume Two, ed. Roger E. Van Harn (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001), 325–326.

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