Ephesians 4:1-6

The Purpose of the Church Part 1


Today we are continuing our study in the book of Ephesians

A) On Wed nights Chapter by Chapter verse by verse – On Sunday mornings – taking our time to focus on some aspects in-depth


B) Just completed 10 studies where we focused on the IN CHRIST statements found in chapters 1-3

1) 15 statements that focus on Doctrinal aspects of our relationship to Christ – Who we are in Him / Who He is in us { WEALTH OF THE BELIEVER


C) Today we begin a new in-depth series as we move now to Ch. 4 Where Paul begins to talk about the BELIEVERS WALK

1) Ephesians Divided in this way: Ch. 1-3 Wealth / Chapter 4- 6:9 Walk

    Ch. 6:10 – the end WARFARE


D) Chapter 4 begins the section on the Walk of the believer – First thing that Paul talks about concerning the walk is the Church

1) This will be our focus for the next 4-5 weeks / And then our final in-depth portion that we will focus on – Sunday am will be marriage Ch. 5


So Today begin to focus on the Church – Series of studies the Purpose of the Church. Rd v. 1- 6


Paul begins exhortation to walk worthy of their Calling

A) The word worthy carries w/ it the idea of Weight – And the balancing of scales—


B) what is on one side of the scale should be equal in weight to what is on the other side.

1) the word came to be applied to anything that was expected to correspond to something else.


C) A person worthy of his pay was one whose day's work corresponded to his day's wages.

D) SO  the  believer who walks in a manner worthy of the calling with which he has been called is one whose daily living corresponds to his high position as a child of God and fellow heir with Jesus Christ.


E) His practical living matches his spiritual position.


So Paul is exhorting them to walk worthy of their calling – and he will describe a worthy walk in several ways in Chapters 4-5

A) But he starts w/ the subject of Unity in the Body of Christ


B) 3 Things I want us to consider about this subject of Unity that Paul is dealing with here


C) 1st Admonition to Keep the Unity

          2nd The Marks of Unity

                  3rd How Unity is to be maintained


 1st the Admonition to Keep the unity – v. 3 Endeavoring to keep the Unity ….. peace

A) The first thing that I want you to see here is Paul is not talking about Creating a Unity – but maintaining a unity that already exist


B) We all share that unity together whether we realize it or not.  We are sinners who have been saved by Grace – Unified at the Cross

1) ILL Meet at the Park – Be all over the Place / Meet in the Amph – more focused – still divided / Meet in the lower section –


C) The Meeting place of All Believers is the Cross { Wed Communion

1) Meet at the Cross – Unity – Sinners saved by Grace


D) So there is a unity that exist in the Church – as a whole

1) And Paul is telling us we really have to work hard at keeping unity among ourselves as believers.  And it’s not an easy thing to do. 



That’s why he uses this word endeavor. 

A) Endeavor is a word that talks about exerting great effort, because our natural tendency is to become divided. 


B) Our natural tendency is to say that I’m right and you’re wrong, and therefore I don’t want to see you again, I don’t want to talk to you anymore,

1) I don’t even want to be in the same building you’re in,


C) That is the natural tendency that we have in our flesh – Churches can divide over the craziest of things  - Color of pews / pews or Chairs

1) Style of Music / dress / that is what we need to fight & guard against


D) So first of all the ADMONTION is to Keep the Unity- because  there is a unity that exist among us & we need to fight & work hard to keep it in tact .


And there are Certain marks that Define the Unity that we share in Christ  so the 2nd thing we want to consider are the marks of this Unity. A) 7 marks that he points to in V4-6


B) Mark #1 – There is One body

1) Notice the apostle does not say one organization. But a BODY !!! A living Organism


C) One thing that fascinates me - is the study of Human  anatomy .

It is amazing the way that we have been put together

1)I love statistics like these /in a 24 hour period Your heart beats 103,689 times


D) Your blood travels 168,000,000 miles / equivalent of 6,720 times around the world! /

1) You take over 23,000 breaths  /  inhaling  438 cubic feet of air


C) You speak 4,800 words { women a little more / You move 750 muscles / You exercise 7,million  brain cells


The body is a masterpiece / Beautifully "engineered," it is governed by several hundred systems of control –

A) each interacting with and affecting the other.


B)  The essence of a body is that it consists of thousands of cells with one mutually shared life.

1) That is what the Church is Million of Souls Connected together by the Life for JC – All working together to function as He has purposed .


C)  Travels to Africa – Saw people – very different in the way they lived – yet there was this connection – Union – Sharing the life of Christ { Beautiful


D) So Mark #1 We are one Body


Mark #2 There is One Spirit – Reference to the HS – who is the life of the Church living inside of the individual members

A) The Person of the HS is the great, eternal, invisible power behind the Christian church.


B) The strength of the church never comes from its numbers- wealth or programs -  But from the power of the HS living in & thru it’s people .


C) The prophet Zechariah was once confronted with a great mountain which God said would become a plain.

1) When Zechariah began to look around to see how this could happen, where the power would come from,


D)OR what instruments would be provided to level that mountain and make it into a plain, the word of the Lord came to him, saying,

"Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts," {Zech 4:6b RSV}.


It is the Spirit of God that is the true power of the church – That is who we are to depend upon – So there is One Spirit


Mark #3 There is One Hope of our Calling

A) What is that hope? It is expressed hundreds of times throughout the Scriptures.


B) Perhaps the simplest expression of it can be found in Colossians,1:27  "Christ in you, the hope of glory,"

1) Glory is the hope of the church.  Heaven – we are going to see the Lord We are going to be with Him & like Him –


C) That is the hope of the church -- that we should no longer be frail, stumbling, faulty men and women such as we are,

1) but, fulfilling God's intention , we should be like Christ.


Mark #4 There is One Lord – One Ultimate Authority that we have yielded ourselves to

A) He is the supreme person of the universe. There is no other Lord; there will never be another Lord.


therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father," { Phil 2:9-11 RSV}.


B) That is why the early Christians would not say, "Caesar is Lord," as the persecutors of the early church attempted to get them to do.

1) That is why the modern Christian cannot say, "Buddha is Lord," or any other person is Lord, only Jesus.


C) Jesus Christ is Lord – He is Sovereign – Lives are to be Yielded to Him and revolving around Him and John declared in his epistle

1 John 4:3 that anyone who denies that Jesus is Lord he is not a Christian ,and he has the "spirit of antichrist,"




Mark #5 There is One Faith

A) Understand Paul is not talking about the ability to believe but the CONTENT of what we belief here


B) Christian faith is not a potpourri of teachings from many different sources – But rather a belief that is based on the WORD OF GOD !

1) There are certain essentials that we must cling to:


C) First, is that there is one God.  That’s an essential.  We believe in one God.  We’re not polytheistic in any way, shape or form. 

1) We don’t believe in a multiplicity of gods.  We believe in one God. 


D) That’s the clear teaching of the Bible.  And if you are not holding to a monotheistic view, meaning that there is one God,

1) then you’ve denied an essential of the faith.


Now another essential of the faith is the Trinity.  The Bible teaches that there is one God, but that one God exists in three persons.



Another essential is the deity of Jesus Christ.  – Jesus is God in the flesh

A) Another essential would be the virgin birth of Christ.  Because if Christ was not born of a virgin then He’s not God, the Son. 


B) Another essential is that Jesus lived a sinless life, because again if He didn’t live a sinless life then He was a sinner. 

1)  And how could He die for our sins if He had His own sins to deal with?


C)  Another essential is the vicarious death of Christ, meaning that Christ died for us. 


D) And it’s an essential also to believe in a bodily resurrection. 

1) If we reject the bodily resurrection of Christ, then we have no guarantee that anything that Jesus ever said was actually true. 


D) And we certainly have no guarantee that His sacrifice for our sins was accepted by God. 


E) You see the resurrection does two things:  It proves the claims of Christ, and it also shows us that His sacrifice was acceptable. 

1) And so the bodily resurrection is an essential of the faith.


And then one last essential  is that we believe that salvation is by grace through faith, not by works. 

A) That is an essential doctrine of the Christian faith. 


B) Paul spent much of his ministry, life & writings fighting  against those who tried to bring in another gospel [and] he called it a gospel of works. 

1) He said it’s not a gospel at all.  Let them who preach it be Accursed !!!


C) Those are the essential things that we need to be in agreement on – This is what Paul means when He Says ONE FAITH – mark of our unity


Now in the Church today – there is a movement called the ecumenical movement – it started about 100 yrs ago

A) The Focus of the Ecumenical movement is to CREATE unity in the Church – instead of maintaining the unity that already exist


B) They want to create a unity between faiths by denying the essentials of Doctrine

1) They say that In the name of Love we need to embrace our differences

We need to live in harmony so the world can come to the Lord, because all of these divisions are stumbling people and all.  So let’s all get together.

 But if we’re going to get together we’re going to have to drop some of our dogmatic ideas because those are the things that cause division. 


C) And so the ecumenical movement basically says things like, the deity of Christ, or Christ being the only way to God,

1) or the authority of Scripture, or things like that, cannot be emphasized or held tightly to, because those things tend to be divisive. 

D) But a Unity that ignores DOCTRINE is not unity at all.  They are trying to create unity. 

1) But They’re giving up truth to create unity.  And you cannot do that.


I think G.K. Chesterton put his finger on our problem fifty years ago in a little book called Orthodoxy:

“What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be.

A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert--himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt--the Divine Reason. G.K. Chesterton,


E) Mark #5 One Faith


Mark #6 There is One Baptism: Reference here is not to method but to the Fact that we have been Baptized into the Body of Christ

A) 1 Cor 12:13-14 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free -- and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.


Mark #7 There is One God & Father of us all who is above all and through all and in all."

A) In Him we live and move and have our being


B) So those  the Marks of our unity !!!  and Paul says, we are to “endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit.” 

1) Those are the essentials that Mark the body of Christ – but it is in the non essentials where we get into trouble – division happens


C)  So how do we maintain the Unity?  Attitude and Activity

1) Attitude toward each other & the Activity we are to engage ourselves in


V.2 Paul deals with our Attitudes – Book of Acts Briefly consider Activity

Eph 4:1-2 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love

A) Here Paul reveals 4 attitudes that we should have – if Unity is going to be maintained among us !!!


B) 1st is Lowliness : Lowliness is humility.  The word literally means to be brought low… It’s the opposite of asserting yourself.

C) There are some people that simply aren’t happy unless they are the center of attention, where their ideas are preeminent,

1) where their voice is heard, where they are on center-stage.

C) BUT the way of the cross is humility and self-sacrifice. Others first

Phil 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.


There’s something beautiful about a humble life.  There’s something attractive about a humble life. 

A) You meet someone – comes up that they play golf – really ? – any good ? 


B) I’m ok – You go out and play – the guy is incredible- Play amateur tour – But he didn’t tell you that


C) You meet someone who is a painter – So you paint – Yea I tinker around a little – You go to his house see this painting –

1) That is a neat picture who painted that ? I did – (You realize – this guy does more than tinker around –


D) You start to notice his work in art galleries all over the place – Hawaii – realize – wow – Incredible


Humility is attractive / Pride is Repulsive

Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith

A) SO Unity is maintained thru Humility – Realizing I am no better than you – Know no man after the flesh


B) The Next attitude He mentions is Gentleness

1) Humility always produces gentleness, or meekness. Meekness is one of the surest signs of true humility.


C) Meekness or gentleness is power under control

1) It refers to that which is mild-spirited and self-controlled, the opposite of vindictive and vengeful 


D) Jesus in the Garden told Peter to put away his sword – don’t you know that I could call a legion of Angels at this moment

1) Power under control


E) We’re not to be contentious people.  We’re not to be argumentative people- always out looking for a fight or doctrinal dispute

1) We’re to be people who are humble and gentle. 


Next is  longsuffering,

A) Longsuffering— just what it sounds like, suffering for a long time with people, and with people that make you suffer, because they’re irritating,


B) Or because they have a tendency to agitate you, or whatever. 

1)  Remember God is so longsuffering.  He’s so patient with us.  And so He calls us to be that way as well.


C) Finally - Bearing with one another in love.  - Peter tells us that such "love covers a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8).

1) It throws a blanket over the sins of others, not to justify or excuse them but to keep the sins from becoming any more known than necessary.

D) "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions" (Prov 10:12). Forbearing love takes abuse from others while continuing to love them.


E) Put it simply – forbearing love remembers that people are sinners – that there will be times where we blow it – react in the flesh

1) Forgive and not hold it against someone .


So Those are the Attitudes that are to mark our hearts in order to  Maintain Unity { Finally turn Acts 2 Consider – Activity

Acts 2:42-47

42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.


46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.



A) They Continued Steadfastly – no man is an Island – Heb 10 Don’t forsaking fellowship 


B) Their time together centered around the word ( apostles doctrine ) Fellowship and Communion – Remembering Christ death


C) Had all things in Common – Really? Different places backgrounds …

1) What did they have in common – JESUS


D) But the most important thing in maintaining our unity  is to keep our eyes on the Head !  Close w/ this little story

Brother Hammer was appointed to preside over the Master Tool Convention. Brother Screwdriver objected, saying “Brother Hammer, you’re too noisy to preside over this meeting. You’re always driving home your point, always nailing people. I call for your resignation immediately.


Brother Hammer responded “Well, what about you, Brother Screwdriver? All you ever do is spin around in circles.”     “That may be true, said Brother Screwdriver, but al least I’m not like Brother Plane. His work is so surface, so shallow. What right does he have to even be here?”


“If you’re going to kick me out, protested Brother Plane, what about Brother Ruler? He thinks he’s always right, measuring everyone else by his standards”

“Well, if you’re going to come down on me, argued Brother Ruler, what about Brother Pliers? He needs to get a grip!”


“At least I don’t rub people the wrong way, said Brother Pliers,who was  staring at Brother Sandpaper.


Just then the Master Craftsman walked in. And, as He used each tool at the perfect time, He created an object of great beauty.



Many parts - all have our place in the master’s workshop - need to let Him use us as He wants to !