“Unity in the Body of Christ”
An Exegetical Paper on Ephesians 4:1-6
Main Idea and Outline
Ephesians 4: 1-6 Paul urges the church in Ephesus to live according to what God has called them to and to keep the unity of the Spirit. I. Paul reminds the church that they should live in unity according to God’s calling (4:1-3) A. Live a life worthy of the calling you have received (v.1) B. Be humble, gentle, patient, and love everyone (v.2)
C. Keep the unity of the Spirit through peace (v. 3)
Paul explains that unity comes from spiritual oneness (4:4-6) A. There is only one body and one spirit (v.4)
B. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism (v.5)
C. There is one God and Father of everything (v.6)
Today as Americans we have an extremely hard time maintaining unity. Churches are constantly spitting up and husbands and wives are getting divorces as if there is not anything wrong with it. We as Christians should be an example of unity to unbelievers. We shouldn’t let small decisions in our church, such as carpet color, or the times for services affect our unity. Just as Christian husbands and wives should follow the teachings in God’s Word on how marriage should be. We should only divorce under the few circumstances it gives, not just because we are tired of each other. Just as there is only one body and one God, we are to be one in our church and family. God has called us as believers to be in unity with one another and he teaches us in his Word how to maintain unity as a church and as a family. Context
The apostle Paul wrote the letter Ephesians to the church in Ephesus. Paul was in prison in Rome when he was writing this letter at about 60 A.D. Some people question as to who wrote Ephesians, but I believe and trust that it was Paul the apostle because there is such a great amount of evidence that he wrote it. The style and format of the letter to the Ephesians was written very similar to other letters Paul wrote in the Bible (Hoehner). Ephesus was in a great area for trade and traveling because of the harbor it had nearby at the mouth of River Cayster. The city drew in many people and continued to grow over the years. There may have been many churches in Ephesus since Paul was in Ephesus for over two years teaching and ministering to believers. Therefore, Ephesians may have also been written with the intention of other churches to read and not just to one church in Ephesus. Paul visited Ephesus multiple times to help the churches grow in their walk with Christ and to help reach other people. He was very close with these churches and he knew the problems they faced and their hard work (Hoehner). The exact purpose of the letter of Ephesians is debated among scholars because there is no particular situation addressed in the letter (O’Brien 49). Paul may have been writing to the believers in Ephesus to simply help them better understand the purpose God has for the church and his everlasting grace.
My passage is Ephesians 4:1-6. From reading chapters 1-3 and then reading chapter 4, I noticed there was a major break in the writing. In chapters 1-3 Paul tries to explain to the Ephesians the responsibilities that come with being made new in Jesus Christ. In chapter 4 and on through 6, Paul changes the role and gives the Ephesians ways to practice these responsibilities in their daily lives as Christians. Chapters 1-3 are mainly about the doctrine God has set before us as believers, while chapters 4-6 are more of teachings on practical living. There is a major verb change that is noticeably different in the first three chapters from the last three chapters. The shift begins in chapter 4:1. In chapters 1-3 there are hardly any imperative verbs and most of the verbs are descriptive and explanatory, whereas in chapters 4-6 the majority of the verbs are imperative. These two sections in Ephesians can be seen as a cause and effect....
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