Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Ephesians 4:1-16
a)    “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,”

There is only one calling, i.e. Christ; the corporate call of the saints into the one new man. We are not called to fulfill our individual destinies, (whatever we believe them to be), as the one destiny of the saints is Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:20-28)

b)    “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

We “maintain” the unity in which we have been placed in Christ. We do not “do” unity as we already are in union with one another as members of one body; if indeed you are truly His.
This is done by walking in love with each other.
This is not the tolerant, “touchy-feely- huggy”, speak in soft tones, love that men call love.

c)    “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—
5  one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6  one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

What more need be said? (John 17:1-17)

d)    “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.
Therefore it says, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men."
(In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?
He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)”

The gift and gifts, (dorea and doma; not charisma), are given by Christ (the head) to His church    (Ephesians 1:22-23)

These gifts and their express purpose are:

e)    “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,
to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

We must remind ourselves that this is a letter and as such Paul refers back to that which he began with, and looking forward to its resolution.
Christ is seated in the heavenly places, and we are seated with Him, (Ephesians 1:16-2:7). The manifold wisdom of God is revealed from there (3:1-12 i.e. the one new man neither Jew nor Greek), and the battle (the reader will soon learn) is fought from there (6:12).

John 8:
31  So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,
32  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Therefore we speak the truth in love but we speak the truth first, regardless. The truth may hurt, (in fact it seems to always do so), but it sets the sons free.

John 15:
12  "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
13  Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Speaking the truth in love is the saint’s laying down of our lives for the church, at the possibility of being reviled for it.

This is walking worthy in the manner of the corporate calling to which we have been called.

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