Ephesians Chapter 4 Lesson 1
spoudazontes threin (verse 3) – “being zealous to keep”. The word “to keep” is an infinitive, meaning continuous action, i.e. “continually, forever.”
(verse 11)profhtas – “prophets.” This refers to those who proclaim the Word of God. Its’ narrow use is those men who received divine inspiration and proclaimed that the people of Israel. The specific line of the prophets was from Moses to John the Baptist. Here it is used in the wider sense, meaning preachers.
euaggelistas – “evangelists, preachers of the Gospel.” These are people who specifically proclaim the Gospel. The narrow sense refers to the writers of the four Gospels. The wider sense is anyone who preaches or witnesses of the Gospel.
poimenas – “shepherds, pastors.” This is the office of the pastor, the under shepherd of God’s flock.
didaskalous – “teachers.” The context indicates these are teachers of the Word.
· Verses 2-3 describe how to fulfill verse 1.
· Verse 3 shows us that unity of the Spirit is what unites us as the Church. We are to use peace (through forgiveness) as the glue that holds us together.
· Note the “ones” in this section
1. One body (the church) bonded by the peace of God
2. One Spirit who sanctifies the Church (see Luther’s explanation to Article 3 of the Apostle’s Creed in the Small Catechism)
3. One hope, given us by the Spirit (this is assurance, not a wish)
4. One Lord, who has served us unto death
5. One faith, the doctrine revealed in God’s Word, which is not to be compromised.
6. One Baptism, in which we receive the blessings of God’s grace
7. One God and Father of all, who provides all things for His family
· Note our Lord’s purpose in sending workers of the kingdom
1. To prepare believers for service to build up the Church
2. This, done through the Word, makes us all one in faith and in our knowledge of God’s Son
3. Then we will not be led astray by trickery, because we are grounded in the Word
4. Rather, we speak the truth in love (confession of faith is an act of love)
5. By this He fits us together and builds us up in love
· The unity of the body of Christ is discussed in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31
· The work of church workers is discussed in 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9
· The power and purpose of Scripture is discussed in 2 Timothy 3:13-17
1. How do we live “in a manner worthy of people whom God has called”?
2. How does the oneness discussed in this text take place?
3. What role do pastors play in working toward this oneness?
4. What role do God’s people play?
5. Why do false and true doctrine matter?