Setting the example Jesus left for us to follow
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"Walk in Unity", "Spiritual Gifts", "The New Man", "Do Not Grieve the Spirit"
Our Weekly Bible Study begins with us reading the assigned scripture ahead of time and preparing our hearts for study and discussion. When we meet (virtually or in person) we first read the scripture as a group, and then take turns sharing and discussing what impacted us the most, and our general interpretation of what we read.
Making Notes as we go through Bible Study is always encouraged, as it helps to increase our understanding of what we have read, and also allows us to become more comfortable and familiar with the Bible.
To make participation easier and more memorable for our younger children, we will include a link to Storybook Bible images of the readings whenever these are available.
This week’s virtual Bible Study focused on Ephesians 4, the fourth chapter in our study on the Book of Ephesians. After praying and reading through the chapters, we discussed the verses at length, and shared our personal views on what we had read.
The first three chapters of Ephesians dealt with the wealth of the Believer. Paul showed us in detail what God has done for us- we have been given all the information we need in order to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. This chapter, chapter 5, and the first part of chapter 6 all deal with the manner in which we should walk. The last part of chapter 6 deals with Spiritual warfare.
Verse 1: If we don’t understand God’s provisions, we may feel frustrated or inadequate. This is why Paul took the time to show us what God has done for us; now he tells us how we should walk in response. God has done so very much for us that we have every reason to walk worthy.
Verse 2: This is to walk lowly, in gentleness, bearing with one another (agape or unconditional love).
Verse 3: We must first keep the unity of the Spirit. It is our responsibility. Unbelievers do not have this calling, but the love inside us will prevent us from harming them in any way.
Verse 4: One God, triune, just as our bodies are triune with a body, mind and spirit.
Verse 7: We each have been given a specific grace according to the gift we have received from the Lord.
Verse 11: “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, “- It is important to understand that church doesn’t decide who is an apostle or a prophet- these are not simply church appointments; they are appointments given by the Lord.
Verses 12-13: These gifts are given to certain believers for specific reasons:
They are given to be used for these purposes until we all become like Christ, until our lives become an example- until we each achieve the stature of a perfect man. In 2 Peter 1: 1-8, Peter describes the stature of a perfect man in detail, explaining exactly what this man’s character would look like.
Verse 14: The gifts are to be used to ensure “…that we should no longer be children…”. With this in mind, if we are to come even close to the stature that Christ desires for us, we must be prepared to put away childish things. Furthermore, before going out to evangelize and witness, we must first go through the training period of the Lord, otherwise we will be vulnerable to being tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine…”
Verse 15: When we are equipped, we can speak the truth in love. The race is not for the swift, but for the one who endures the training to come into the stature of the perfect man. This is a stature that can only be achieved in the fullness of time.
Verse 16: After training has been endured, the whole body is grown and edified in love. There is no longer any arrogance, no boasting, it is all done for the sake of Ministry, with every part doing its share, in lowliness, for the good of the whole.
Verses 17-20: Your behaviour can no longer be like that of a person who does not know God. like one who is living in the “futility [or pointlessness] of his mind…”
Verse 21-22:We must put off our former conduct. We cannot bring this over into our walk with Christ; if we do, this means that the “old man” is still alive; the new creature operation has not taken place, and the corrupt, deceitful spirits still exist within us.
Verses 23:We must be renewed in our minds; our old conduct must be left behind, must be put off.
Verse 25: “Put away lying”- Lying is not just the act of telling a lie- we are also lying when we do not seek and accept truth. There should be no pretense, no hypocrisy existing within us.
Verses 26-27: “Be angry and sin not”- Speak truth firmly, but without sinning. Also clear your anger before the end of the day, otherwise you will leave yourself open to Satan’s schemes- he will use that wrath that you are carrying to haunt you. It is also important that we do not give place to the devil in our thoughts, or through the places that we go, or in the things that we expose ourselves to (songs, movies etc.).
Verse 29: We are reminded yet again that we must put the old man aside, we must remember how important it is not to be involved in corrupt communication with others, or to partake in corrupt behaviours. When we do, we may lead others to question our faith, and may even cause them to stumble in their own walk.
Verse 30: Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. The word “grieve” means to be in intense pain- When we sin, we grieve the Holy Spirit. We often know full well that certain behaviours are sinful, but we engage in them anyway. It is important to understand that the Holy Spirit is a person; a sensitive Spirit, and if continuously grieved, it will leave- fly away, much like a gentle dove that flies away when it has been tormented. Grieving and quenching can lead to blasphemy. We must ask ourselves, are we grieving the Spirit of God? Quenching it? There is grace given for grieving and for quenching, but once you get to a stage where you are blaspheming, that is another matter. (Ref. Proverbs 29:1- “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy”-KJV). (Ref. also– Romans 1:24- “God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them” (NASB).
As you read through this week’s Bible passage, ask yourself:
What are MY thoughts on what I am reading?
How can I apply this to MY life?
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