Daily Bible Verses for 5/24/2017

The Unity of the Church Part I – (Ephesians 4:1-6)

Daily Verse(s)
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, 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 you all.

Reading Notes
Paul in this section of his letter is exhorting the believers at Ephesus to come together in unity. Unity as one body under the lordship of Jesus, and one in unity under their submission to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Since there is only one God, and one Lord Jesus Christ, there is only one salvation and therefore one body, who is the church. The church is made up of fellow believers in Jesus, people from all walks of life, from all tribes, tongues and nations. And because of this oneness in Jesus, which we all share because of our calling and because of the work of God in our hearts and minds, we are called by God the “body of Christ.” And through the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we are here to do His will in the world today. Moreover, because God has promised to give Jesus all who come to Him through faith alone, we are also called by God, the “bride of Christ.” This is because together we will spend eternity with Him. We have to remember that Paul was writing this letter from a Roman prison. He was imprisoned for preaching salvation through faith alone in Jesus alone, therefore it’s known as one of his “prison epistles.” Eventhough Paul was imprisoned for preaching the Gospel of Christ, despite this God was still in control.

Moreover, through Paul’s imprisonment the Lord was spreading the Gospel message across the Roman Empire, all the way to the Roman Emperor himself. Paul and the other Apostles give us a real life example on how to live out our faith. And it’s Paul, who calls for all believers to live out their faith with all humility and gentleness, seeking the welfare of others above their own personal comfort. During Paul’s time much like today the Gentile world did not value humility, nor gentleness. Humility and gentleness were considered distasteful, they were considered abnormal behavior. Rather, pride was considered a virtue and displays of pride were considered proper. So for Paul to teach gentleness and humility went against the beliefs of everyday society, and against the values which most people held dear during Paul’s time. We have to remember, pride and rebellion are the hallmarks of our fallen world, and the same behavior Paul experienced is also true in our world today. However, Paul from the scripture teaches that Jesus calls for humility, gentleness, peace and love from all believers. This means we are to love one another as Christ loved the church, we are to give our lives for one another as Jesus has given His life for us. And it is through this bond of peace that believers can grow together into one body called the church. And just as the human body is controlled by man’s spirit. The church is governed by Christ and empowered through the Holy Spirit who indwells all followers of Jesus.