WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
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FAITH TO UNITE
(CHRIST calls us to unite in love and service)
In Ephesians chapter 4, verses 1-16, the Apostle Paul urges us to maintain attitudes that express love and unity within the Body of CHRIST, which is the Church. In the Greek the word Paul uses for “worthy” in verse 1 is “axious” and it literally means “to balance the scale”. Here Paul is saying that we must give “equal weight” to our “calling” and “conduct”. In other words, we must make an effort to practice what we preach, and our doctrine must be balanced with our lifestyle.
This passage, along with Romans 12:1, and 1 Corinthians 12, constitutes “the Christian image of the holy Body of CHRIST”. Whenever a person joins themselves to a society or faith, they must obligate themselves to change or adapt to a living style that is compatible in that society, or faith. People who choose to join the body of CHRIST must adapt their style of living into a way that is compatible with GOD’s Word. We must work on being “humble” and “gentle, and also be “patient” and “loving” to those who are our “neighbors”, who are also living in the “community of GOD” (v.2).
In verses 4-6 we find no less than seven theological elements of the Christian Church. There we see that;
· We are all one body
· We have the same SPIRIT
· We have all been called to the same glorious future
· There is one LORD
· There is one Faith
· There is one Baptism
· There is one GOD and FATHER over us all, in us all, and living through us all.
JESUS, the ONE WHO descended from Heaven to this lowly earth in order to usher in to us, “a brand New Covenant” from GOD, is also the ONE WHO gives us all certain gifts that should be used to enhance, improve, nourish, and grow HIS Body, the Church. The apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers are responsible for equipping GOD’s people to do HIS work and build the Church to the point, where, we are unified in Faith and knowledge of JESUS CHRIST, and, are mature and full grown in the LORD. Our goal is to measure up to the example that CHRIST JESUS showed us as a 100% man, during HIS life here on earth (Vs.11-13).
GOD does not wish for us to continue to act like children who can’t make up their minds about what they believe. HE doesn’t wish for us to fall prey to the cleaver liars who make their deceitful words sound like the truth (v.14). And if we are able to hold fast to the truth, becoming more and more like CHRIST, the whole Body will be fitted together perfectly as each part (person) does their own specially assigned work. By performing our own special work assignment to the best of our GOD-given ability, we will also be helping the other parts of the Church to grow so that the whole Body is healthy and operational, and filled with love (v.15-16).
To waver back and forth like a ship lost at sea, is not the life of a true Christian. Each member of the Body of CHRIST must grow and mature and reflect GOD’s image to others through our own behavior, by standing firm in GOD’s Word. Satan will always plant people in the Church who will try to introduce his agenda through the things that are popular in the world, such as miming (witch craft), worldly music, trunk or treat, trunk fest, fall festivals and other things that parallel Halloween, etc., but serious, mature Christians must resist such influences in the Church, and, in their personal lives.
The Church must function like a body because it is a body, the Body of CHRIST. It needs all of its parts to be working properly, held together by “love” if it is to have a productive spiritual life, and grow by GOD’s standard of success, not the world’s standard. And we should always remember that, most importantly, the one thing that will keep the Church healthy and efficient, is by it maintaining an intimate and personal connection to JESUS CHRIST, WHO is the head, brains, mind, and SPIRIT of the Body.
The Church has never needed our human ingenuity to operate successfully. It only needs us to share the gifts with the Church that GOD has so graciously given us, and it is incumbent upon us to know the difference. We don’t need to try and improve upon that which GOD has already perfectly set up. We just need to be obedient and do things the way GOD says do it. And when we take the time to study the plan of GOD, we’ll find that it is not open to our own personal interpretation, but rather, we’ll find that “the Word of GOD interprets itself to us” all by itself.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website