Ephesians 4:1-16 | Day Eight
By: Sophie DeMuth | To download this series in it's entirety, click here.
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." - Ephesians 4:2-3
We finished chapter 3! That means we’re halfway through Ephesians. Spend some time reflecting on key things God has taught you so far through Ephesians before jumping into chapter 4.
Quiet your heart and mind before God. Give Him your worries and pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit as you read today’s passage.
Read Ephesians 4:1–6. What stood out to you from these six verses? Why?
We like to throw around the word “calling” in the church. Here, Paul isn’t talking about an individual calling. What calling is he talking about (see 1:18)? What is the hope we’re called to (what has God promised us in the future)?
What has Jesus done for us? What does God give us if we put our faith in Jesus?
What does it mean to live a life worthy of salvation and of eternity? Do we have to act a certain way to be saved? Since we’re saved by grace, not by works, why does Paul encourage the church to live a life worthy of our calling? (If you’re having trouble, see 1:14 and 3:21.)
Read Ephesians 4:1–6 again. This time, list out all the things Paul asks the church to do (ex: be humble, gentle, etc.). Which one of these commands comes naturally to you? Which ones do you see room for improvement?
Thinking back to chapter 2, who is the “bond of peace” (v.3)? Why was it important for the early church to have unity? What divisions existed in the early church that needed reconciliation?
How do verses 4–6 contribute to what we’ve already learned about unity through Christ?
Look back at the list you made of Paul’s commands. How could you take practical steps this week toward exercising humility, gentleness, patience, brotherly love, and unity? Pick one to focus on this week and write out specific ways you could put it into practice.
Jesus suffered, died, and came back to life and now offers us a way to be reunited with God for eternity! Therefore, we strive to obey Him in order to glorify Him, build up the church, and grow in love.
Now, let’s continue reading Ephesians 4:7–16. This passage can be a bit confusing. Let’s break it down bit by bit.
Looking back at 4:3, what does Paul urge the church to strive for?
Read Romans 12:5–8. What do these verses say about unity? What do they say about diversity? How does God’s grace factor into our gifts?
Paul encourages the church to be unified earlier in Ephesians, but now he’s focusing on their diversity through spiritual gifts. Verses 7–9 establish Jesus’ authority to give spiritual gifts to His people how He chooses. According to verse 7, we all receive spiritual gifts by Jesus’ grace.
According to 11–13, why did Jesus give certain gifts to certain people? How do diverse gifts help the church become unified and mature (v.13)?
What spiritual gifts have you noticed in you life? If you’re unsure, ask a trusted Christian friend what gifts they see in you, take a spiritual gifts quiz, or ask God to open you eyes to how He’s gifted you. If you already know your gifts, brainstorm ways you can use your gift to help grow the church this week.
Paul compares the church to a body—needing maturity—with Christ as the head. How does picturing the church as a body help you see the unity and diversity of God’s people? How have you seen the church come together by using individual gifts (ex: putting on a Sunday service, doing work in the community, on a mission trip, etc.)?
How would you rate yourself on the spiritual maturity scale? Would you say you’re more like verse 14 or verse 15? Why?
How could you take steps toward spiritual maturity this week? In what ways could you use your gifts to bless others, especially the church?
Write out the verse for today and thank Jesus for the measure of grace He’s given you through your spiritual gifts. Pray that He would build you up in love this week so that you can become mature, speaking the truth in love (v.15–16).