Walk in a Manner Worthy of Your Calling (4:1-16)
Welcome to Week 6 of your Ephesians Bible Study.
This week we’ll be studying Ephesians 4:1-16. In this section, Paul makes a break from the previous three chapters both in style and content.
Early Chapter Theology
In Chapters 1-3, Paul spent a great deal of time explaining the nature of the church as conceived by God.
We who were Gentiles and alienated from the promises of God, have now been brought into God’s household by faith in Christ (Week 2).
We now get to experience the rich spiritual blessings (Week 1). This is the great mystery which God had purposed since the beginning of the world (Week 3).
But now that Paul has highlighted who we are in Christ, he now asks us to respond in a manner worthy of that calling. In other words, those who are of the household of God should behave as those of God’s household would behave.
Read Ephesians 4:1-3
Questions to Reflect on the Passage
- Paul lists 6 initial traits / characteristics / behaviors that define those who have been called into Christ’s church. List these ways and define in your own words what each of these traits are.
Read Ephesians 4:3-7
- Paul lists 7 elements in the above verses that indicate unity? What are these elements? Why is “unity” so fundamental to Paul’s vision of what the church should be?
Read Ephesians 4:11-16
- According to Ephesians 4:11, how many gifted types of people did Christ give to the church? What are the gifted types of people? What roles do these gifted people perform if we were to think in terms of Paul’s church planting mission? Does the passage indicate how many of each type Christ gave to the church?
- According to Ephesians 4:12, what is the reason Christ gave these gifted people to the church?
- According to Ephesians 4:12, what tasks do the “saints” perform?
- According to Ephesians 4:13, 15 and 16, what is the end goal of the work that the saints perform?
- According to Ephesians 4:14 and 15, why must this work be performed in the first place?
Questions to Reflect on Your Life
- Which of the characteristics / traits in Ephesians 4:1-3 do you most need to cultivate today? Comment and explain.
- Why is the unity of the church so critical to God? How does ignoring the traits highlighted in Eph 4:1-3 contribute to the disunity of the church? Be specific?
- Ephesians 4:11 enjoins a list of gifted people which Christ gave to the church? Most churches seem to only emphasize the role of a pastor / teacher? Why aren’t the other roles emphasized?
Also, the passage seems to indicate that there are a multiplicity of each type of person in the church?
- What would it mean for your church to recognize that there are perhaps dozens of “pastors” in your church, though only one is ordained?
- Ephesians 4:12, appears to imply that the “ministry” of the church belongs to the saints. Is this your perception of your role within the body of Christ? What “ministry” is Paul referring to here?
- Ephesians 4:14 speaks to erratic teachings and doctrines that circulate within the church. Can you give some specific examples in your context today of what constitutes good or bad doctrine? By what criteria are you able to discern between the two? Be specific.
- Ephesians 5:13, 15 and 16 all speak of the growth of the body as the end goal of this work or ministry that the saints perform. Paul states that every joint and every part is important to that growth. What part are you playing in the maturing of the body of Christ?
- Finally, what are the implications for viewing the church as a body (with you as a contributing member) vs. an institution that holds services and runs several programs? What changes for you when the church is described as a body?