God’s Word about HIS Church

This letter is essential to the biblical church of Jesus Christ!

Recap of Chapters 1, 2 & 3

This letter written to believers / the church / holy people / faithful followers of Christ. Christ chose His people before creation, predestined adoption… purchased by Christ. The revelation that Christ will be given all authority when He returns is central. Christ gives us a share of His inheritance (both Jews & Gentiles). In saving us God seals us with His Indwelling Spirit, a guarantee of eternity. Paul prays believers grow in spiritual wisdom & understanding of their call & power. We were all dead in sin, God made us alive in Christ, united in His resurrection. We are saved by God’s unmerited favor, to be His masterpiece He planed long ago. Christ’s work on the cross unites all believers no matter the background. This creates The Church: all spirit filled believers, based on the foundation of God’s messengers. We are all called to be bondservants of Christ if He has called us. The church is how God will display His wisdom to the forces of evil. Paul prays for believers to be spiritually strengthened by understanding Christ’s love. The church glorifies God by Him working in unity with a balance of love and truth.

Ephesians 4:1-16

1 Therefore, as a bondservant of our Lord, I beg you to live a life worthy of the privilege you have been summoned to. 2 A life of total humility marked by kindness and patience as you endure with one another in (generous) love, 3 continuously striving to protect the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

  • As one who has accepted the eternal privileged, I urge you to do as I have
  • Salvation has incredible privileges & responsibilities (opposite of Cheap Grace)
  • We live in harmony with what we have been given by being totally humble!
  • We are to kindly and patiently endure with other Biblical Christians
  • Christ’s bondservants are called to make the unity of HIS Body a big priority
  • The unity of the Spirit is essential to the privilege we’re given, we must protect it 

4 There is one body of believers, united by One Spirit—you were called to this singular hope. 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 

  • There is only one group that makes up Christ’s Church (He knows the roster)
  • The Holy Spirit is a unique and one of a kind ‘Divine Person’ (As Christ is)
  • The ‘Singular Hope’ is that there is but ONE way for people to be saved
  • The Biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ is a specific message / specific truth
  • There is only One worthy to be the Lord of our souls (Jesus Christ)
  • There is only one proper Church, it is based on Scripture (ONE Divine Destiny)
  • There is only one ‘State of Identification’ (multifaceted meaning of ‘baptism’)
  • Indwelling Holy Spirit ‘Marks You’ / Obedient Self-Identification: Biblical Baptism
  • There is but ONE United Deity who in Three Persons encompasses Everything!

‘In Christ’ is a shared identity, a shared metaphysical reality, a shared calling, a shared hope, a shared revelation of who God IS!! All of these together unite us in the sacred and awe-inspiring privilege of being Jesus Christ’s Body! For each member of the body of Christ, these Privileges / Gifts are the same (universal / normative)

7 On the other hand, to each one separately grace was appointed according to the specific gift of Christ. 8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended to the heavenly realm, He led His captive multitude, supplying them with spiritual gifts”

  • God has a corporate relationship with each of us and and individual one as well
  • He specifically & uniquely gives us grace in the form of different spiritual gifting
  • When God’s Spirit indwells you (Christ takes you captive) you get ‘spiritual gifts’
  • God quotes Himself: reference to part of Psalm 68:18 

He ascends into the heavenly heights, taking his many captured ones with him, leading them in triumphal procession. And gifts were given to men, even the once rebellious, so that they may dwell with Yahweh. Psalm 68:18 TPT

  • The indwelling of God’s Spirit unites us with God for eternity (dwell with Him)

9 In saying, “He ascended,” it means He had previously descended to a lower place: Earth. 10 The One who descended is the Very One who also ascended far above all the realms of the universe, that He might encompass all things.

  • Psalm 68 is a ‘Messianic Psalm’ written by David 
  • This foretells the Incarnation and the ultimate ascension of Christ
  • As we saw last week, He condescended to human level in order to be above all
  • Christ ‘came down’ and sacrificed Himself making us His ‘Bondservants’

11 He alone appointed those He would send, those who would speak for Him, those who would proclaim His message, those who would steward His body and who would teach His will and ways.

  • To all of Christ’s captives, to the ones who are forever HIS… 
  • He gave individuals different spiritual gifts (everyone get something)
  • Apostles: Those gifted to go to different places to grow His Body
  • Prophets: Those gifted to speak from God’s point of view: (General & Specific)
  • Preachers: Those gifted to proclaim the Biblical Gospel Of Jesus Christ
  • Pastors: Those gifted to lead & care for His Church: Spirit Indwelt Believers
  • Teachers: Those gifted to act as an experienced guide to the Scriptures

Why did God in all of His wisdom endow His ‘Captives’ with spiritual gifts like this?

12 His purpose is to specifically prepare those He made holy for duty serving the Gospel, providing spiritual structure for the body of Christ, 13 until we all arrive to oneness of conviction and insight regarding the revealed Son of God, making us fully mature based on all that Christ is. 

  • Christ doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called
  • Each one He puts His Spirit in He then prepares to spirituall serve ‘His Body’
  • These gifting areas are there to provide the spiritual foundation of ‘His Church’
  • These gifts will be given & used by Jesus Christ’s Church until…
  • All of Christ’s Captives completely understand Him in perfect, united maturity
  • This is known as ‘Heaven’
  • The work of being discipled so that you can disciple goes on until Jesus returns

14 We are not meant to remain immature; our thinking unsettled, moved by every wind of shifting information, influenced by human lust and deceptive schemes.

  • God has set up His Body (The ‘WE’ here) to grow, gifted people to assist in that
  • If you have been given God’s Spirit it is incumbent upon you to become mature
  • When you remain immature you can be pulled this way and that
  • When you remain immature you jump on every new ‘progressive teaching’
  • God is a big subject, you can’t google it or watch a few YouTubes and have it
  • It takes years of study and application under the superintending of God’s Spirit 
  • People spend years studying for their career, how about for your eternity?
  • We should focus on our discipleship more than anything else: Why?
  • Immaturity is destructive! It gives Satan ways to fracture our unity
  • It’s opposite of what God desires; those not pursuing maturity are in rebellion
  • Maturity is born of consistently walking with God and His People by His Spirit 
  • There are no shortcuts!

15 Instead let us establish our lives on the truth of generous love, growing in every way according to our head; Christ; 16 He fits his whole body together in unity, each part supporting the whole in a unique way so that the whole body develops spiritually from generous love. 

  • Instead of neglecting doing what it takes to become mature, let’s do this:
  • Make the truth of the biblical Christ the foundation of everything we do
  • Get to know Jesus so well you constantly grow to be more like Him
  • Cooperate with Him & His Bondservants to become part of this ‘Holy Organism’
  • Support other members in abundant love, growing the whole church spiritually


Just like Paul, we are all called to be bondservants of Christ. And because it is such an eternal blessing we should do our best to honor the One who gave us these blessings by living in the ways this Scripture lists, united by His Spirit. 

Through the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ’s Body is united in ONE; calling, reality, identity, fellowship, Lord, and eternal hope. For each individual Christ has made His captive, it is the same.

The Body of Christ, HIS Church, is defined by specific truths stated in God’s Word that are singular and unchanging, they do not evolve, they don’t change with the times. These truths are defined by God’s Word and have been followed by His people for almost 2000 years. 

Jesus Christ possesses His Followers, they are His ‘captives’. The Biblical church is made of such people and exists to disciple and deploy them. Having indwelt them with His Spirit they become willing bondservants and vehicles of HIS grace.

Each captive Christ takes shares in the same eternal privileges, but each is also gifted individually with measures of specific gifts to provide spiritual structure for Christ’s Body, The Church. These structural gifts represent God’s foundational business, the core competency of Jesus Christ’s Church. 

God places people into the spiritual leadership structure of His local church by equipping them with measures and combinations of the gifts listed:

Woody: Pastor / Pastor / Prophet 

Greg: Pastor / Teacher / Prophet 

Todd: Apostle / Pastor / Teacher 

Spiritual Maturity (defined by Scripture) is not a option, it is essential to each person who is biblically converted to Christ Following. Immaturity in the Body of Christ opens it up to spiritual attack because evil influences can ‘move’ the immature. (5)

Four Musts for Maturity: To become mature God says YOU MUST:

#1. Establish your life on the truth of time tested interpretations of the Scriptures.

#2. Grow in ‘Generous Love’ based on the biblical person of Christ Jesus.

#3. Allow God to integrate you into His local family business, His Spirit Indwelt Body.

#4. Biblically support YOUR church and the God-established leadership of it. (6)


Have you spent as much time, energy and resources living up to the privilege of being Christ’s bondservant as you have spent on your education, career, family, sports, travel, entertainment?

If God’s Word declares the singular unchanging truth about so many aspects of what we know as Christianity, how can there be new interpretations of what a Christian is and what Jesus’ Church is?

How much have you focused on discovering your spiritual gifts and developing them? Can you expect to become spiritually mature without operating in your spiritual gifting?

Rate yourself from 1 to 5 as to your consistent obedience to the 4 musts of maturity. 

#1. Establish your life on the truth of time tested interpretations of the Scriptures.

#2. Grow in ‘Generous Love’ based on the biblical person of Christ Jesus.

#3. Allow God to integrate you into His local family business, His Spirit Indwelt Body.

#4. Biblically support YOUR church and the God-established leadership of it