Kevin Phipps / Feb 2, 2020 / Ephesians 4:1-16
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Sermon Summary / Transcript
In chapters 1-3 of Ephesians, Paul establishes the doctrine of our salvation and identity in Christ, and in the remaining chapters he takes us into the practice. In this, the final sermon in this year’s Faith Focus series, Pastor Kevin helps us look at Ephesians 4:1-16 and our corporate identity in Christ.
So where does Paul begin as he moves from doctrine to practice? He begins with the church, with our unity in Christ and to each other.
1 (v1,3) Because we are one in Christ we should work for unity. Paul is a prisoner in the Lord. He has a deep connection to the Ephesian church because he’s suffered for them. He appeals to them to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” He’s encouraging them to do this as a church, maintaining “the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.”
2 (v.2) These virtues – humility, gentleness, patience – are how we maintain that unity. Humility is produced from undeserved honor, gentleness is strength under control, patience is long suffering, and in bearing up with one another we put up with one another. These all point to love as God has loved us.
3 (v.4-6) The foundation of our unity is the triune God, and so unity must never come at the cost of truth. Unity without truth is not true unity. One Lord means watching our own allegiances and affiliations. We belong to Christ first and foremost. One faith means the objective Faith, the faith of the creeds and confessions, the faith of the five solas. One baptism – not referring to modes or recipients – is our baptism into Christ. One God and Father of all: For his family, the church, He is the omnipotent and sovereign one. This is Jesus’ prayer for us in John 17, that we may be one as He and the Father are one. And this so that the world may know.
There are times when unity is in need of repair, but there is grace for restoration through the blood of Jesus Christ.