Ephesians 4:1-4, 7-16

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. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.

However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say,

“When he ascended to the heights,
    he led a crowd of captives
    and gave gifts to his people.”

Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. 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.

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 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.

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. 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. 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.


This portion of Paul's letter to the Ephesians is like a rallying cry for the church. First, he addresses the "gifts" that Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Then he explains how their job is to "equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ." This is part of our job description as believers. We are called to be equipped, and we are called to serve. God has not designed us to only be fed and ministered to. Rather, we are called to do our part in keeping the body of Christ healthy and growing. We are also called to be ambassadors in the workplace and in our communities. Our homes should be places where we can rest and find peace and where hospitality is practiced with those around us. We are called to engage our culture, not isolate from it.


1. How do you feel most equipped to serve and build up the body of Christ?
2. Is your home a place where you practice hospitality to those around you?


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