“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
The Grace Of Unity: Ephesians 4:1-6
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) Endeavouring 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.
With this devotional, we are beginning the second division of the book of Ephesians. Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3). It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.
In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.
- The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
- The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
- The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
- The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
- The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
- The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
- The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
- The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-21)
The first effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of UNITY (4:1-6). This is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I. The responsibility of the Lord’s call upon His people (vs 1)
II. Characteristics of the grace of unity (vs 2-3)
III. Godly examples of unity found in the Lord and His people (vs 4-6)
After explaining the importance of seeking unity, Paul now shares with us the final example of unity that God has given to us…
(Ephesians 4:6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Paul’s final example of unity is God the Father….
One God and Father
Paul had previously used both of the other persons of the Trinity in his examples (“One Spirit” – vs 4; “One Lord” – vs 5). He now points us to the person of the Father as another example of unity.
Paul describes the first person of the Godhead as:
1. “God” – this helps us to understand that, as the Triune God, He is the Only One who is deserving of our worship
2. “Father” – this helps us to understand He is our Creator, Originator, Loving Caregiver and Ultimate Authority Holder
How does He picture unity for us? The decrees of our Heavenly Father have brought about unity throughout humanity in two different ways….
1. His physical creative decrees have unified all mankind in His CREATIVE family…
“Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?” (Malachi 2:10)
2. His spiritual redemptive decree have unified the saved in His REDEMPTIVE family…
“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:26-29)
These families share a few basic principles….
1. They were both formed, originated by God
2. As their Creator/Father, God possesses authority over each member of the family
3. As their Creator/Father, they are sustained and cared for by God.
However, WE SHOULD NEVER EQUATE THE TWO FAMILIES, many many differences separate them. A few of these many differences include…
1. Entrance into each family –
a. We entered His Creative family by physical conception;
b. His Redemptive family by faith.
2. Many blessings are given to members of His Redemptive family that are not given to His Creative family. A few of these include:
a. Christ and His work on the cross
b. Spiritual life
c. His forgiveness and righteousness
d. His indwelling Spirit
e. His enabling graces for service
f. Eternal life with Him
g. and many many other blessings too numerous to list.
The Father’s relationship to His family members are described in more detail…
Because we are His children by creation and/or redemption… He truly is Father of all mankind.
who is above all,
Because He holds the position of Father over His creative family and His redemptive family… He holds authority over us all.
and through all,
Because He holds the position of Father over His creative family and His redemptive family… He works through His creative and redemptive children bringing to pass His Sovereign will.
Both lost and saved are under His control as He brings to pass His will among all mankind.
and in you all.
Because He holds the position of Father over His creative family and His redemptive family… He dwells “in” His families. In other words He dwells among His family members, caring for them, and watching over them, and sustaining them.
(Please note: Not only does He dwell “in” His families (ie among the members of His families), but in a very special way, He dwells “in” those who are saved in the person of the Holy Spirit.)
Paul continues to show us several examples of unity that is worked by God on our behalf. So they include:
1. Unity within a local assembly
2. Unity of the workings of the Holy Spirit
3. Unity of our eternal inheritance
4. Unity in the workings of Jesus Christ
5. Unity in the true doctrines which we believe
6. Unity in the symbolism of baptism
7. Unity shown through the families that proceed from the Father
ALL of these come to us entirely as gifts of God’s grace. May we all follow these examples that are set by our Lord and strive for unity among ourselves and those around us.
May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more!
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