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Monday, January 30, 2017

UNITY IN THE BODY

Ephesians 4:1-2 New Living Translation
“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”
            The purpose of Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus was to strengthen their faith by explaining the purpose of the church and the body of Christ.  He verse 1 of the fourth chapter he implores them to lead a life worthy of their calling.  The use of the word ‘beg’ in this particular translation might lead one to believe that they were not doing so.  Churches are filled with people who come from different backgrounds, regions and cultures. In general, people can tend to rub each other the wrong way. Not everyone is going to believe exactly the same way. Therein lies the challenge, to be gentle, humble and patient with one another. That is much easier said than done. If someone is louder or stands out by looking different then the others, they are avoided or talked about. This is not the way a representative of Christ should act. Face it; we all do that from time to time for none of us is perfect.
       The characteristics Paul mentions is not complete. Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the spirit that include: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.” Every member of every community of faith ought to practice these characteristics, because this is what Jesus displayed in his life.  If we are to emulate Christ, then we must strive to exhibit these characteristics in our own lives.
          This life is not all about ‘YOU’. Paul makes that clear in his letter to the church in Philippi when he says in chapter 2 verse 3: “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”  We, as believers in Christ, are not better than anyone else, whether saved or unsaved. We are nothing more than sinners saved by the grace of God. Having said that it must be stated that we are children of the one true God and King. That doesn’t give us the right to be ugly to anyone else. We are to treat all others within the body as better than ourselves and be a positive example to those who have yet to be redeemed. No one is perfect; therefore we must strive diligently to become more like Christ in this life. We will never attain perfection, but we must at least seek it. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resources: The Life Application Study Bible; The Asbury Bible Commentary.

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