Unity and Grace

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are 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.

Paul wants to make sure that the Ephesians understand there’s only one God. Ephesus was where the temple of Diana was, and she was the God that most of them worshiped. Now Paul is telling them that his God is the one true God.  This was a very big change for them that is why Paul emphasizes the singularity of God.

He then says there is one body. By this he is talking about the church. Today we see the church split into hundreds of denominations, but it is still one body in God’s eyes. You might not know it by all the different doctrines that are running around. And you might not recognize it because the church unfortunately it’s not that much different than the world in many cases. Many churches have taken stances on social issues that contradict the Bible. A church based on Christ would never contradict the Bible. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is one body, one Church. We always have to remember that we have brothers and sisters in Christ. I would love to see the church unite and then start talking about moral issues.
There is one spirit.  The Holy Spirit is sent from God to come into each one of our lives when we get saved. There is one Lord – that is Jesus Christ Our Lord. It is one faith. We are all Christians. We call ourselves by the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. There is one baptism. We are all baptized into Christ. When the old man goes do into the water he dies, and the new man comes out. And there is one God who we call Father. He is above all and He is in us all and He works through each and every one of us. The Ephesians have to come to grips with the fact that there is only one God and he is above all the others.

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

I put verse seven by itself because it fits better that way and because  verse 7 gives us a whole lot of information. We are all given grace. By now, after our study of Philippians and this far through Ephesians, you should know that everything you’ve been given by God you’re supposed to give away. God does not give us his grace so that we can hold on to it and not do anything with it. He wants us to experience His grace in our lives and apply it to the areas where it needs to be applied, but then He wants us to give grace to those around us.
So how do I give grace? Well it starts by loving your neighbor as yourself. It starts by forgiving those that have wronged you. It begins when you take interest in those that are less fortunate than you are. It begins when it doesn’t matter to you if your favorite NFL team is playing in the afternoon and you also know that somebody need your help – you pick the helping part. The grace that He gives us is in high demand!  We must give it to other people. Now keep in mind that He talks says according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Some people may receive a larger portion of this grace to give away and you should never ever be jealous of that person.  Just because he’s helping other people faster than you are doesn’t mean you’re any less important to the kingdom of God.

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

This is a very interesting scripture and I am not goiing spend a whole lot of time on it. It says He ascended up on high and led captivity captive and then gave gifts to men.  Verse 9 and 10 clarify that statement He led captivity captive a little bit because they mention that He descended into the lower parts of the Earth before He ascended to heaven. There are many who believe that Christ went down to Hell to get the keys of death and hell. This was not the time to open the gates, but it will be coming. I kind of like that interpretation of these verses.  One day we will rise to meet Him in the air but until that day we have to carry on do our best to bring others to Him.

 

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