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Ephesians 4:1-6

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:1-6

Today, we begin Part 2 of our study through the book of Ephesians. In the first three chapters, the Apostle Paul described the wealth of our new life in Christ. In Ephesians 2:4, we learned of God’s rich mercy, and later, in verse seven, Paul wrote of “the surpassing riches of His grace.” It’s so rich that we can’t grasp it unless, as he said in Ephesians 1:18, “the eyes of our heart may be enlightened.”

Now, as we begin Chapter 4, Paul turns his focus to the application of these truths in the character of our lives. If all these things are true, how then should we live? We must see that we are not given a long list of things to do. More importantly, we are taught what to be. Paul sums up all the inner work in shaping our lives into Christlikeness in Ephesians 4:15: “…we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,” Now let’s discuss some of what it means to grow up.

Read Philippians 2:1-8:

“1 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” - Philippians 2:1-8

Discussion Questions

  1. What does this passage teach us about the character of Christ? How does that shape our understanding of “growing up” as believers?
  2. Have you ever regretted being a self-promoter? Tell the story.
  3. What are the characteristics of a life worthy of our calling (v. 1–3)?
  4. Why are these virtues so important for maintaining unity?
  5. Why are humility, gentleness, and patience so rare today?
  6. Reflect on when you needed to humble yourself in dealing with others. How did it change your behavior and impact the situation?

Dig Deeper

Bearing with one another in love requires understanding and empathy. Share a moment where you needed to understand someone’s perspective before adjusting your behavior towards them.

We are commanded to keep the unity of the Spirit. But Paul also says we already have one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all. How do these seven “ones” contribute to living out true unity?

Let’s closely examine the seven “ones” described in Ephesians 4:4-6. In our sermon, we heard these described as essential and non-negotiable. Examine each and discuss ways our lives can be damaged by failing to hold tightly to these truths:
One body (the church)
One Spirit (the Holy Spirit)
One hope (our destination)
One Lord (to Whom we owe everything)
One Faith (in Whom we trust)
One Baptism (our testimony)
One God (Whom we worship)

Read Jesus’ prayer in John 17: 1-26.

How do Jesus’ words help us understand what He wants for us and who we should be?

Close your meeting with a prayer for each other.
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