I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called… (Eph 4:1)
What calling? Consider how Paul began his letter to the Ephesians:
- Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places is available in Christ (1:3).
- We should be holy and blameless before him (1:4).
- In love our heavenly Father predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ (1:5-6).
- We have redemption through the blood of Christ, the forgiveness of our trespasses (1:7-8).
- God has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose (1:9-10).
…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph 4:2-3).
What unity? By God’s design, there is (4:4-6):
- One body
- One Spirit
- One hope
- One Lord
- One faith
- One baptism
- One God and Father of all
In accordance with the purpose of his will, God gave… (4:11)
- The apostles
- The prophets
- The evangelists
- The shepherds
- The teachers
“…to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (4:12-16).
But what happens when you subtract the apostles and prophets?
- The foundation of the household of God is removed.
- We are left with evangelists, shepherds, and teachers; but whose will?
- Human cunning, craftiness, and deceitful schemes are introduced into the equation.
- Saints of God are tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine.
This sermon was delivered on April 17, 2016.