1217 L05-Faith to Unite

Faith to Unite

December 31 • Bible Study Guide 5

Bible Background • EPHESIANS 4
Printed Text • EPHESIANS 4:1–16 | Devotional Reading • PSALM 68:1–6, 15–20, 32–35

Aim for Change

By the end of this lessons, we will: AGREE that our identity in Christ is foundational to Christian unity; VALUE the diversity of spiritual giftedness in the church; and COMMIT to exercising spiritual gifts according to Scripture.

In Focus

Junior was the oldest of three sons. He loved soccer and was a math whiz. The middle son loved basketball and reading, and the youngest was a star pitcher who also excelled on the debate team. The three were often in competition with each other trying to prove who was strongest, smartest, and the best.
Tension ruled the household as each son vied for his father’s approval. Because of the constant arguments, family gatherings were never fun.
At a family reunion, emotions erupted. When photos of the three sons flashed on the screen, the brothers started to make fun of one another with harsh, embarrassing put-downs.
Their dad had enough! He asked his sons to excuse themselves and they went into the hall for a heart-to-heart talk. “Listen, this competition between the three of you is way out of hand. Pride is the problem here, and there’s a serious lack of respect for one another. Yes, you all are different, but different doesn’t mean better or worse. It just means different.”
The boys stood silently, looking down at their shoes. Their dad continued, “Boys, I’m so embarrassed. Your mother is, too. We’re family! We’re here to support one another. Each of you has gifts and talents. It’s not about what you do, but who you are.”
His father put his arms around his sons. “Let’s huddle,” Dad said. “We’re a team—it could be soccer, basketball, or baseball, doesn’t matter! We’re a team. We’re in this together.”
Each one of us has been given unique gifts by God. How important is it to support, respect, and value one another?

Keep in Mind

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1–3).

Words You Should Know

A. Calling (Ephesians 4:4) klesis (Gk.)—The invitation to experience special privilege and responsibility.
B. Perfecting (v. 12) katarismos (Gk.)—To make complete, furnish, equip, or prepare.

Teacher Preparation
Unifying Principle—United We Stand. Many people search all their lives for something that will make them feel grounded, whole, and in sync with life. Where can they find that something? Paul told the Ephesians that even though they had many different gifts, their faith in Christ would bring them unity and help them grow together in love.
A. Pray for unity in your church, ministry, or school.
B. Read the passage in several translations.
C. Read the companion lesson in the Precepts For Living® Study Guide.

O—Open the Lesson
A. Ask one of the students to open with prayer.
B. Introduce the lesson, highlighting the Keep in Mind Verse.
C. Inform the class they are all uniquely gifted, and set a tone of excitement for the session.

P—Present the Scriptures
A. Ask volunteers to read the Focal Verses.
B. Discuss The People, Places, and Times, Background, and In Depth sections.

E—Explore the Meaning
A. Answer the questions from the Search the Scriptures and Discuss the Meaning sections.
B. Read the Lesson in Our Society section.

N—Next Steps for Application
A. Encourage the class to apply the Make It Happen section.
B. Ask for a volunteer to close in prayer.

Worship Guide

For the Superintendent or Teacher
Theme: Faith to Unite
Song: “Love Lifted Me”
Devotional Reading: Psalm 68:1–6, 15–20, 32–35

Daily Bible Readings

MONDAY
Live the New Life in Christ
(Ephesians 4:17–24)

TUESDAY
Live as Imitators of God
(Ephesians 4:25–5:2)

WEDNESDAY
Disciplined Living in Christ
(Colossians 3:1–11)

THURSDAY
Leadership Gifts in the Church
(1 Corinthians 12:27–31)

FRIDAY
Accept the Gifts of Weaker Members
(1 Corinthians 12:12–13, 22–26)

SATURDAY
Experience the Unity of Spirit
(1 Peter 3:8–12)

SUNDAY
Seek the Common Life from Above
(Ephesians 4:1–16)

KJV

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

NLT

Ephesians 4:1 Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.
2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.
7 However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ.
8 That is why the Scriptures say, “When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.”
9 Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world.
10 And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.
11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.
12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.
15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

The People, Places, and Times

Paul. A well-educated Roman citizen, Paul’s birth name was Saul. He was a Pharisee who persecuted Christians as proof of his zeal for the Jewish faith and way of life. On such a mission on the road to Damascus, he had a remarkable encounter with Jesus. Shortly after, he learned of his call from God to take His “name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15). As an apostle, Paul’s life exemplified one of great sacrifice and persecution. He wrote about his experiences in hopes of drawing people to Christ and to strengthen and mature believers.
Ephesians. The church of Ephesus was first started by Paul. He visited the city at the end of his second missionary journey (Acts 18:18–21). Then he returned on his third missionary journey and taught there for approximately two years (Acts 19:1–41). So many people turned from worshiping the Greek goddess Artemis that a riot was started by the silversmiths who created her idols. Paul wrote an epistle to the church, now known as the book of Ephesians. In the letter, Paul does not address a specific problem. Many have speculated that the church at Ephesus, while not absent of problems, was a healthy New Testament church.
If the apostle Paul were to write to your church today, would he consider it a healthy church? Why or why not?

Background

Paul writes to the Ephesians while under house arrest. His testimony about Christ had taken him all the way to Rome, where he waited to go on trial before Caesar. During this time, he sent a letter to the Ephesians explaining great mysteries of the faith and specifically the mystery of the church. While the first part of the letter is a theological explanation (1:1–3:21), the latter part of the letter is a practical exhortation or encouragement (4:1–6:24).
In today’s verses, Paul begins with the encouragement of unity in diversity. The imagery of the “body of Christ” is powerful because it calls all believers to rise above their individual circumstances and backgrounds to focus on Christ. The challenge, of course, is functioning as a unified body when people are so different. While the task of unity has not become any easier over time, the need for it is as urgent now as when Christ first called His believers to be one, just as He and the Father are one (John 17:21).
What contemporary issue(s) causes the greatest divide in the church?

At-A-Glance

1. One Calling (Ephesians 4:1–3)
2. One Hope (vv. 4–10)
3. One Church (vv. 11–16)

In Depth

1. One Calling (Ephesians 4:1–3)
Paul describes himself as a prisoner of the Lord, yet this is in contrast to his actual pedigree as a Pharisee and a “Hebrew of Hebrews” (Philippians 3:4–5). Although Paul had every right to retain his stature within the Jewish community, he prefers instead to be identified by his calling to advance the Gospel of Christ through great suffering (Acts 9:1–20).
Paul’s instruction to answer the call with “lowliness and meekness, forbearing one another in love” helps us focus on God’s intentions for us; when we put aside our own desires and ideas, we can put our attention where it belongs. Paul makes it clear that just as he has been called to be a prisoner of the Gospel, so too must everyone else cast aside their worldly possessions and enter a similar state of servitude to answer the call of Christ.
How does division in our churches hinder our witness for Christ?

2. One Hope (vv. 4–10)
Hope expresses expectation. It is not a conditional statement, which allows room for chance or human failure to factor in; instead, it is an assurance as we focus our attention on things to come. All believers have this hope—Jesus is coming again! We will be united eternally with Christ, so let’s be in unity now. The resurrection hope is for all believers no matter their ethnic background or social class.
When Paul speaks about “one body and one Spirit,” he refers to the body of Christ, into which all believers are united by the Holy Spirit, according to Jesus’ own promise (Acts 1:8). The one hope of our calling, which comes from our one Lord, is exercised in one faith, and is expressed within one baptism.
How does love of God and others support unity amongst believers?

3. One Church (vv. 11–16)
Paul acknowledges that apostleship, prophecy, evangelism, and even pastoring and teaching the flock of God are all God’s gifts, which He gives to whomever He chooses. These gifts are not to cause division, but rather to equip or train believers. The word “equip” evokes a doctor who sets a bone during surgery; with the gifts in operation, the church will not be out of joint. Whether the gift is to pastor, teach, or preach, the goal is the same.
Most importantly, the church is the body of Christ. We are all called and encouraged to occupy our proper place and exercise the gifts uniquely given to us by God. The body is “fitly joined together,” which implies again that nothing is out of joint. The gifts assure completeness (v. 16). The goal for the body—the saints—is that we mature into the knowledge of the Son of God.
With all of the gifts operating as they should, the church will be vibrant and effective with everything it needs to guard against false teaching. Believers will not be confused and deceived by the “sleight of men” and “cunning craftiness” (v. 16). The diverse gifts were given to guarantee that the church matures and grows in love, just like a healthy body.
How do the diverse gifts of the church complement each other to fulfill our holy mission?

Search the Scriptures
1. How should we respond when people attempt to justify alternate routes to God, or alternative religions (Ephesians 4:4–5)?
2. How do you know if you have been “called” for a particular work of ministry (vv. 11–12)?

Discuss the Meaning
1. What does it mean to “walk worthy” of the vocation to which we are called?
2. How can imperfect people attempt to “walk worthy” in this way? What do we have at our disposal that makes such a walk possible?

Lesson in Our Society
Our world has made a church out of celebrity and a god out of money. How can we aspire to financial success and stability without lapsing into idolatrous behavior? The simplest answer is to remain committed to seeking God for all that we need. Some may encourage a more extreme avoidance of popular culture or social interaction, but that would deny others the chance to see Christ at work in us. We should, therefore, be confident in knowing what we believe, establish healthy boundaries, and keep our trust firmly in God.
How is unity developed and maintained among the body of believers?

Make It Happen
• Take time to discover your spiritual gifts and ask for opportunities to serve.
• Encourage three brothers and sisters in Christ. Give them a call or send an encouraging text.
• Pray for the leaders of the church that they would be faithful in their task of “equipping the saints for the work of the ministry.”

Follow the Spirit
What God wants me to do:
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______________________________________
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More Light on the Text
Ephesians 4:1–16
1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.
Using an emphatic first person pronoun “I” (Gk. ego, EH-go), Paul begins his appeal by reintroducing himself, as in 3:1, as the prisoner of the Lord. This probably is to assert his apostolic authority. The use of the conjunction “therefore” adds the emphatic nature of the ego. The phrase can then be reworded as, “Therefore (i.e., in view of the things God has done through history), I myself, a prisoner of the Lord appeal to you.” The phrase “the prisoner of the Lord” probably means that Paul was both a prisoner of Jesus in loyal and loving obedience as an apostle, and a prisoner for Christ because he was under arrest and in custody.
“To walk” (Gk. peripateo, pair-ee-pa-TEH-oh) is an idiomatic way of saying “to lead a life, conduct oneself, or behave” (2:2). Paul urges them to conduct their lives in such manner that would match their calling, i.e., their commitment in Christ. Since the Christian life is a response to God’s call and willing obedience to Him, life is lived moment by moment and day by day in a way that demonstrates true commitment.

2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.
Paul gives five characteristics of such a life: lowliness, meekness, longsuffering (patience), mutual forbearance, and love. The unity of the church, Paul seems to imply, starts with individuals. Earlier, Paul prays to God that “Christ may dwell in (our) hearts by faith, that (we may be) rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17); love, he implies, is the soil in which we must grow and the foundation in which we must build a unified church.
To maintain unity in the church, we should walk in lowliness (Gk. tapeinophrosune, ta-pay-no-fro-SOO-nay)—a debasing quality and unacceptable virtue especially among the Greek world, and even today. The word is better translated “lowliness of mind,” a state of mind that prioritizes others’ worth and value over the self. The same mind was in Christ—He emptied Himself and took the form of a servant even unto death (Philippians 2:3–8). We are also expected to walk in meekness (Gk. praotes, prah-OH-tees) or gentleness. Meekness is strength under control—a gentle nature that does not want to fight or impose upon others. It defers to those who might harm you, which is related to the next virtue. We are also called to be long-suffering (Gk. makrothumia, ma-crow-thew-ME-ah) which means patience or endurance, i.e., not seeking revenge or being aggravated by others. This is a virtue God shows to us through Christ. Forbearing one another (Gk. anechomai, ah-NEH-kho-my) has the idea of putting up with, or enduring and bearing with, someone’s mistakes or attitude. It speaks of being tolerant toward others and having a mutual understanding.

3 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Paul identifies the nature of the church’s unity as the unity of the Spirit. He urges the Church to endeavor (Gk. spoudazo, spoo-DOD-zo) to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. The word spoudazo, translated in different ways in the New Testament (e.g., “diligent,” Titus 3:12; “study,” 2 Timothy 2:15; “do diligence,” 2 Timothy 4:9), means “to spare no effort” or leave no stone unturned in order to preserve the unity of the Spirit. In other words, we should do our utmost to preserve the Spirit’s unity.
Paul could mean one of two things when he refers to “the unity of the Spirit.” First, some translate it to mean the Christian’s spiritual harmony, using the small letter “s” for spirit (also meaning “heart” or “soul”). The idea then is that Christian unity is in the heart; it does not lie in one set of thoughts, nor in one form and mode of worship, but in one heart and one mind. The second, and more accepted meaning, is the unity which the Spirit creates or gives, starting in the individual hearts of its members. Preserving this unity therefore depends on both individual and corporate efforts of all members of the body of Christ, and begins with the attitudes in our hearts.

4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
In these three verses, Paul declares implicitly that the unity of the church arises from the unity of the Godhead, making deliberate reference to the Trinity. First, the church is one body because there is one Spirit by which it was created. Earlier, in Ephesians 1:23, Paul calls the church the body of Christ, comprised of both Jews and Gentiles. The unity of this body is due to the work of the Holy Spirit, who also indwells the body. One Spirit unifies and works through the body, which is the church.
This cluster of phrases describes the greatness and magnitude of this one God whom all Christians have in common as Father. The God, whom the Jews acclaim as “One” in opposition to the Gentiles’ many gods, is now the Father of all. This Father God is “above all” (i.e., over all things). This refers to the sovereign, supreme, and transcendent nature of God. He is “through all,” which probably speaks of active participation in the activities of His creation—human lives in particular. He is “in you all” with particular reference to the church at Ephesus, which is comprised of the Jewish and Gentile believers, and it also refers indeed to the universal church.

7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
Paul begins the section with the conjunction “but,” which suggests that in spite of the unity (oneness in the body), each member has room for individuality as well, which is evident in the giving of gifts. Each one of us, Paul says, “is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” The word for “grace” (Gk. charis, KHAR-eese) used here is the same grace by which sinners receive forgiveness (2:5, 8); they both are God’s favor to those who don’t deserve it. The difference is that God’s favor comes in different forms at different times in a believer’s walk—sometimes as forgiveness of sins, other times as the gift that Christ is pleased to give.
The sentence “When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men” refers to Christ’s ascension to the right hand of the Father as conqueror over death, defeating Satan and his agents. Jesus liberated those who were bound and took them like captives into heaven; they are secure. From there He gives gifts to the church, which might refer to the bestowing of gifts by the Holy Spirit.

9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
As an aside, Paul offers support and elaboration of Christ’s ascension (vv. 9–10). Here, Paul argues—by pointing to the death and resurrection of Christ—that for Christ to ascend into heaven, He must have descended and snatched the keys of death, hell, and the grave. Paul alluded to the same idea earlier in the letter (1:20–22), and explains this further in his letter to the Philippians (2:6–10, where he talks about how Christ humbled Himself to die on the Cross but was then resurrected and exalted above every created thing).
Paul insists that the One who descended is the same who ascended far above everything else, that He might fill all things (v. 10). The phrase “fill all things” (Gk. pleroo, pleh-ROH-oh) means “to accomplish” or “fulfill” all things. It seems to speak about completing His mission. The purpose of His ascension into heaven is then to free Him to accomplish fully the purpose for which He descended. One of those purposes is the distribution of gifts to the church by the Holy Spirit.

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Here, Paul lists five administrative offices given to the church: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. The word “apostle” is used in three ways in the New Testament. First, it simply means “the ones sent” (John 13:16). In this case, it applies to every individual Christian, for we are all sent as ambassadors of Christ to proclaim Him to the world. Second, there were apostles of the church (2 Corinthians 8:23), who were sent out by the church as messengers and missionaries. Third, a small group had a special designation as apostles, consisting of the Twelve (including Matthias), Paul, and James the brother of Jesus. They were eyewitnesses to the risen Lord, chosen and authorized by Christ (Acts 1:21, 22; 10:40–41; 1 Corinthians 9:1; 15:8–9). The second designation is probably the sense in which Paul uses the word here.
The next gift is the prophets with special ability from God to give guidance to the Christian community and declare His will (e.g., Acts 13:1–4). Next are the evangelists, preachers, or those who proclaim the Gospel (e.g., Philip, Acts 21:8; and Timothy, 2 Timothy 4:5). Then we have the pastors or shepherds, who are also teachers who give instructions. Some argue that pastors and teachers are two names for the same ministry, but they can be two separate ministries since we have some Christian teachers who are not pastors. However, all five relate to one form of teaching or the other, and they are set in the church to fulfill certain purposes and functions. These functions are twofold: to equip (“perfecting”) the saints for the work of ministry, and to build up (“edifying”) the body of Christ.
The word translated “perfecting” is the Greek word katartismos (kah-tar-tees-mahs), which means “to equip, to prepare, or to make ready.” Therefore, the function of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers is to prepare God’s people for the work of ministry or service. The same word for ministry is used when Christ said that He came to serve rather than to be served (Mark 10:45), and for Peter’s mother-in-law serving the physical needs of her visitors (Mark 1:31). These various teachers are endowed with the grace of God to prepare people to work within the church community.
The second function of the people endowed with special gifts is to edify or build up the body of Christ. The word used here in the King James Version, “edifying” (Gk. oikodome, oy-ko-do-MEH), has an architectural undertone. It means building a house, but is used figuratively here to refer to building up the members of the body of Christ.

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.
While the major twofold function and purpose of the gifts are to equip God’s people for the work of the ministry and to build up the body, the ultimate goal is threefold. Here, the word “unity” modifies both faith and knowledge. We are to continue to grow until we attain a complete unity of the faith (cf. v. 3, unity of the Spirit). Paul speaks of Jews and Gentiles being knit together in the belief of the Gospel of Christ (v. 5). The ministry of all members will also help the church grow to the full knowledge of Jesus. The apostle has already mentioned our knowledge of God (1:17); now the focus is on the knowledge of Christ. The aspiration of all Christians should be to attain this unity, which is based on our mutual understanding of who Christ is.
The full faith and knowledge of the Son of God leads to maturity and being “perfect.” “Perfect” (Gk. teleios, TEH-lay-oce) here refers to that which has reached the age of maturity or adulthood, rather than moral perfection. Although some interpret this as individual maturity in Christ, which is also a New Testament concept, the maturity here refers to the whole body of Christ. This maturity or perfection is measured “unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ,” i.e. according to Christ’s standards. In verse 7, Christ is the measure of God’s grace. Here, He is the measure or the yardstick of all maturity.
Paul uses the picture of a boat in a rough sea being tossed to and fro by the waves and “carried about by every wind of doctrine.” Some people cannot make up their mind, but often change from one opinion to another, according to the last teaching they heard, or books they read, or information they received. There is no stability in their thoughts. Such people are easy prey to those who wish to deceive them.
“Sleight” is a word we don’t use today except in the phrase “sleight of hand”; it means cunning and slyness. The Greek word it translates, kubeia (koo-BAY-ah), literally means “dice playing” and is used metaphorically here to describe the deception, trickery, and manipulation of unscrupulous people who take advantage of people’s ignorance.

15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.
Paul moves from the mark of immaturity, which is doctrinal instability, to the qualities of mature Christianity, which will promote unity and peace within the body. These qualities are seemingly a rare combination: truth and love. We can communicate the truth so that unity can be maintained, Paul says, by speaking the truth in love. This statement also carries the idea that we should speak with truthfulness and genuineness to one another as opposed to insincerity and cunning behavior, aiming to deceive others for our own selfish gain.

16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Paul then employs biological metaphors, using the human anatomy, to describe the church’s relationship with Christ. Paul compares the natural body and Christ’s mystical body, the church. As the body has many component parts which are joined fittingly together by different ligaments to the head, and each part works corporately with other parts, so it is with the church. Love is the important trait that controls the functionality of all parts of the church body in relation to one another (vv. 2, 15–16, 5:2).

Say It Correctly

Endeavoring. in-DEV-or-ing.
Effectual. ef-fek-CHOO-ul.

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