Tag Archives: Ephesians 4

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 255/260: Paul and the Ephesians

Read Acts 19:1-7; Ephesians 4:4-6

One Baptism

Baptism is a very touchy subject for a lot of people. One group teaches one thing about baptism, while another teaches something entirely different. How are we to know what is correct?

God has revealed for us exactly what He wants us to know about baptism. First, it is immersion. This is the very definition of the Greek word God used. Words have meanings, and we cannot change the meanings of words just because we don’t like them. If God wanted to indicate sprinkling as a proper way to baptize, He would have used a different Greek word.

God also revealed the purpose of baptism. Take some time to look at these Scriptures and see what is written:

• It is for salvation (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21).
• It is “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).
• It will “wash away your sins” (Acts 22:16).
• It is the means by which one gets “into Christ” and “into His death” (Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3-4).

These are not trivial matters. They are eternally significant.

You may be thinking to yourself, “I don’t think this is how or why I was baptized.” You are not alone. There were twelve men in Ephesus in the same situation. They had been taught the baptism of John, not the baptism of Jesus. They had not been baptized for the proper purpose. What did they do when they found out? “When they heard this, they were baptized int eh name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:5).

Does it really matter, though? Paul wrote, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).

Paul included seven things in this inspired list of “ones.” If “one baptism” is as good as another, why isn’t “one God” as good as another?

President Biden on Unity

The White House

I watched part of President Biden’s inauguration speech today. He made some good points, even though I would disagree with the way he would apply some of those points. The President spoke of the importance of unity. “Uniting to fight the foes we face: anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, violence, disease, joblessness, and hopelessness. With unity, we can do great things—important things.”

I can’t help but wonder if Biden’s speechwriters were influenced by the letter to the Ephesians. Regarding anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, and violence, the Holy Spirit commanded through the pen of the apostle Paul, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Regarding joblessness, do we not all have work to do in the Lord’s church? “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

Regarding hopelessness, Paul wrote, “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—that at the time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:11-13).

The President affirmed, “With unity, we can do great things—important things.” I wholeheartedly concur! “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13).

Did Paul—inspired by the Holy Spirit—tell us to strive for something in the church that is impossible to achieve? “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3).

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 94/260: Read Ephesians 4

There are so many rich thoughts in this single chapter. Worthiness. Unity. Oneness. Love.

Why must we “walk worthy of the calling”? Why must we “endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”? What is the importance of the seven ones of verses four through six? Isn’t love the answer to everything?

God established His church, but did not leave her to fend for herself. Within the church, there are men designated to fill certain roles. During the first century, the Lord’s closest followers served as apostles. Inspired men served as prophets. We do not have those offices still today, but others remain.

Pastors—the elders or bishops of the local church—fill such an important role. The word “pastor” does not refer to the man preaching each week. Some preachers are pastors, but not all pastors are preachers. A pastor is one who oversees the flock (Acts 20:28), who ensures sound doctrine is taught in the pulpit (Titus 1:10-11), who watch out for the souls in Christ’s church (Hebrew 13:17).

Unfortunately, not all churches have men qualified to serve as pastors. But in time, with study and devotion, God qualifies them for the task.

Have you thanked your elders lately? Thank them personally and tell them you are praying for them. They need to hear it.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Ephesians 1:22-23. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be ________ over all things to the ________, which is His ________, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Pray

Pray for the men who are overseeing the local church where you worship.