The Beauty of Unity

Chapter 4 marks the turning point in the book of Ephesians. Paul begins with doctrine (chapters 1-3), and follows with how we live in light of God’s blessings (chapters 4-6). This shift can be expressed in many ways: from doctrine to duty; from creed to conduct; from the Christian’s wealth to his walk.

Because of the amazing theological realities of chapters 1-3, Paul urges the Ephesians (and us) “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.”

May God help us to walk in a manner worthy of Him.

The unity we enjoy comes from ____________ (Ephesians 4:1-6)

The unity we enjoy is attained when _________________ (Ephesians 4:7-14)

The unity we enjoy is to grow up ____________________ (Ephesians 4:15-16)

Main Idea: God unifies His church and gives everyone a spiritual gift to build up His body in love.

CONNECTING

Leslie Flynn wrote a book titled Great Church Fights. Have you ever observed church people fighting? What was the cause? What were the results? What did you learn from it?

Read aloud Paul’s words from Ephesians 3:14-21. Now read Colossians 3:14 – “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” What did Paul mean by “love is the perfect bond of unity”? What does that mean for the local church today?

UNDERSTANDING

Read Ephesians 4:1-6. Reading between the lines, what problems was Paul concerned about in Ephesus? What qualities ought to characterize a “life worthy of the calling” (4:1-3)? What is the source of this unity (4:4-6)?

Read Ephesians 4:7-14. What is the purpose of spiritual gifts? What is the difference between the unity that already exists (4:1-6), and the unity to which we are to attain (4:7-14)?   

Read Ephesians 4:15-16. How are we to grow in unity? According to Paul’s letter, how would you define a healthy church? What does it look like to “speak the truth in love” (4:15), as opposed to love without truth or truth without love?  

LIVING:

Of the five qualities listed in 4:2, which ones need to be developed most in your life? What relationship will benefit by most by your growth in these areas?  

From Ephesians 4, what is the problem of living the Christian life apart from the church? In what way do you need others? What gifts has God given you to help build up His body?

ASSIGNMENT: As a LIFE Group, memorize Ephesians 4:15. Then read 1 Corinthians 13. Paul knew that though the church had gifted people, they had problems loving each other and being unified. What does this teaching mean for us at Stonebridge today?

Join us for “Saturate!” Assemble bags on Saturday, March 23 from 9:00-11:00 AM, walk the neighborhoods on March 30 at 9:00 AM or join the prayer team. Select REGISTER below -OR- Text Saturate to 319-320-1834 to sign up!