The following is an outline from our church family’s study on June 30, 2019, with some revisions for clarity. This is a study on Ephesians 4:1-3. If you would like to have more information on the term “saint,” you can read my previous article titled “Walking Like a Saint” (found here: https://bibleliving.blog/2019/06/30/walking-like-a-saint/).This is a rather bare outline, but it does help define major terms. You will note that I utilized Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, and I have made note of it in the “Works Cited.”
Walking Like a Saint – Pt. 1 Humility, Gentleness, Patience, Unity
In Ephesians 4:1 Paul urges us to come along with him and habitually live in a way that matches the calling to which we have been called.
What is this calling? Ephesians 1-3 covers this calling in great detail.
Can we narrow the teaching of Ephesians 1-3 into one word and one sentence that describes the calling of God’s people? YES
- One Word: Saint (Ephesians 1:1) (for further information see the following article… “Walking Like a Saint” (found here: https://bibleliving.blog/2019/06/30/walking-like-a-saint/).
- One Sentence: Saints are those who have been called out by God for Himself from Satan, sin, and the world.
We are holy in our position. Now we are called to live in a way that matches that calling. We are holy in God’s sight, so we are to live a holy life before Him in practice. This is what Ephesians 4-6 is all about.
What characterizes lives set apart by God for God?
1. Humility – to have a correct opinion about myself. To think of myself the way God presents me in His Word.
Such an attitude of humility will lead to an attitude and actions of…
2. Gentleness – to have myself under control
A meek/gentle person restrains themselves, holds themselves back, does not wrongly exercise their strength. Instead they hold themselves back in self control.
3. Patience – The KJV has a good translation here – “longsuffering.” That is perfect, because the word literally means to “suffer long.”
4. Love – bearing with/putting up with one another in love
– These attitudes are absolutely essential for unity in the body of Christ, locally and globally.
And all of this is for the sake of…
5. Guarding the Spirit’s Unity
A. Spirit’s Unity (Ephesians 2:11-3:13) – This is the unity that the Spirit has created within the church through the death of Jesus Christ. Through Jesus’ death, the Spirit has made believing Jews and Gentiles into one body, the church. Through Jesus Christ death the hostility has been put to death, and we are now reconciled to God in one new body.
B. Guarding that Unity – keeping watch over something to protect it. As Strongs puts it: “to guard (from loss or injury, properly by keeping the eye upon…”1 Like a sentinel, standing on the wall of a fort, we are to guard the unity the Spirit has already produced. We are not commanded to create unity. That is the Spirit’s work, which He has already done. Instead we are to guard that unity. This is the work of the entire church body.
C. Diligently – Eager is the word “diligent.” To again quote Strong’s: “to use speed, that is, to make effort, be prompt or earnest”2
Believers, how will we be diligent to guard the unity of the Spirit?
1. Know Doctrine – Know the Bible! The unity of the Spirit is based in truth. Read Ephesians 4:4-6 if you doubt that unity is based in doctrine.
* What will you do right now to be a man or woman of the Word of God?
2. Be Humble – we must have a correct opinion of ourselves that matches the Bible.
* What steps will you take today to be humble?
3. Be Gentle – we must have control of ourselves. It is the Spirit that produces this in His own people (Galatians 5:22-23)
* What steps will you take today to be gentle?
4. Be Patient – we must be willing to suffer long under mistreatment, even from other believers.
* What steps will you take today to be patient?
5. Love one another – we must seek the good of the whole body, even at the cost of our own good.
* What steps will you take today to love one another?
Let us depend on God’s kindness that is saving us to live as those who are holy. Amen
By His Grace,
1. James Strong. 5083 “keep,tereo“. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance (Abingdon Press, 1986).
2. Ibid. 4704 “endeavoring, spoodazo.”
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