As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord,one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it[a]says:
“When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.”[b]
9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions ? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
4:1-2 Up to this point in scripture, Paul has spent a lot of time
explaining how much Christ has done for us. Now there is a calling
involved. This calling is not about deserving or trying to live up to what
Christ has done for us, because we don’t deserve anything. This
calling is about understanding the way we should live because of
what God has done for us. When we understand what Christ did for
us combined with cultivating relationship we develop a desire to live
like Christ. He then goes on to list some attributes of what it looks like
to live out that calling.
4:3-6 This is not a journey that we are called to be on alone. God did
not create us to be loners. We are to enjoy fellowship with fellow
followers of Christ, supporting each other in the good times and bad,
striving towards the future. We do this because God is over all and
works through all things.
4:7-10 Just as God expects us to live a life worthy of the calling we
are expected to use the “special gifts” that Christ has given us. Christ
who died descended and then ascended has given us these gifts to
spread the “Good News,” striving to bring bits of heaven to earth
anticipating His return.
4:11-13 God has given each of us at these spiritual gifts listed. None
of them are more important than the other. Rather they are equally
important, necessary and vital to furthering the kingdom of God.
4:14-16 Maturing in our spiritual gifts helps us to mature in our faith.
This will not only strengthen the body in its current state, it also helps
those who are still new in their faith to grow stronger, creating a
wonderful cycle. We grow in our faith and become more like Christ
through the way that we act along and in community. Maturing in our
different spiritual gifts helps the whole body to grow.