Our 2 chapters today in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians reveal that the situation among the believers there had become quite dysfunctional: Paul makes an impassioned appeal for them to regain their vision of the true way of belief and faith in Christ for there is only “one hope … one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” [Ch. 4 v.4-6]
He urges them to be “no longer children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning … Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way … into him who is the head, into Christ.” [v.14,15] That’s the first and greatest commandment isn’t it, “to love the Lord thy God” with all our facilities, being in utter awe of what God must be.
We can know what is true belief and it is sad that many do not; but that true knowledge must then be motivated by genuine “love.” Sadly over the many Centuries since Paul’s time there have been many winds of doctrine. How vital it is to grasp Paul’s point that we must “grow up in every way” “into” Christ. And then. “the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so it builds itself up in love” [v.15,16]
This describes the ideal! Read it again – are you doing your part properly? Paul told them to live “with all humility and gentleness, with patience bearing with one another in love …” [v.2] – these are vital factors in “each part working properly.”
In contrast, the unbelievers around them (and us), Paul says, “walk … in the futility of their minds … alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them … they have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality … but that is not the way you learned Christ! … assuming you … were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus ..” [v.17-21]
Today, we must not let the spirit all around us, influence us.
Sadly, the truth as it is in Jesus, is taught less and less these days – which makes it harder for “each part” to work properly. Paul appeals to them “to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created … in true righteousness and holiness.” [v.23,24] Let us make sure we are “speaking the truth in love” and making ever greater efforts to be renewed in the spirit of our minds.