If you want the church to grow, it is important to know the four spiritual gifts that God has provided to guide the church into proper church growth. Paul reveals these four roles in Ephesians 4:11, and this study explains what these four roles are and how they work to lead the church into church growth.
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Do you want church unity? In Ephesians 4, Paul tells us how. Here is what Paul is saying about how to develop unity in the church:
Ephesians 4:1-3: Check your own attitude first.
Ephesians 4:4-6: Focus on all the things you have in common.
Ephesians 4:7-10: And regarding the things you do NOT have in common, praise Jesus for those, because He made you all different by giving you different gifts.
In Ephesians 1-3, Paul explained that God has given us great spiritual riches so that we can lead the world into peace. In the first part of Ephesians 4, Paul tells us Christians that the first way we can show the world how to live in peace is by living in peace with one other.
This begins, as we learned in the last study, by looking to our own heart first and developing certain attitudes of the heart.
In this study, we learn that as we seek to live in peace with other Christians, we should focus on seven key truths that all Christians have in common. When we focus on what we have in common rather than on on what divides us, we will begin to create peace in our midst.
Everyone wants unity, but nobody really knows how to achieve it.
Most people today seem to think that unity requires conformity. We think that unity is achieved when everybody thinks the same way, talks the same way, dresses the same way, and has the same opinions. Where differences occur, division results, and unity dies. And some people seek to achieve unity by silencing and cancelling those who have different opinions.
You see, when we are in a conflict with someone, we think it is the responsibility of the other person to change their ways, so we can get along with them. We point at their faults and what they said, or what they did, and say that if there is going to be peace, they have to change. Paul challenges all of this in Ephesians 4:1-3. In these verses, Paul shows how we can have unity with others even when there is disagreement.
Have you ever tried to actually love your enemies? It’s next to impossible, isn’t it? In Ephesians 3:18-21, Paul provides two ways that we can learn to love our enemies. These seem impossible as well, until we understand what Paul is actually saying about how to love our enemies.
In Ephesians, Paul has instructed his readers to live at peace with people they used to hate, and to begin loving their enemies instead. This is much easier said than done, so in Ephesians 3, Paul shows how he himself is doing this, and how his readers can follow in his example in loving their enemies, just as Jesus did. This is what we begin to learn in Ephesians 3:14-17.