Unity of the Spirit
1 So I, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called [that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior—a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation],
2 with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another in [unselfish] love.
3 Make every effort to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace [each individual working together to make the whole successful].
4 There is one body [of believers] and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when called [to salvation]—
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 one God and Father of us all who is [sovereign] over all and [working] through all and [living] in all.
7 Yet grace [God’s undeserved favor] was given to each one of us [not indiscriminately, but in different ways] in proportion to the measure of Christ’s [rich and abundant] gift.
8 Therefore it says,
“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And He bestowed gifts on men.”
9 (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had previously descended [from the heights of heaven] into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He who descended is the very same as He who also has ascended high above all the heavens, that He [His presence] might fill all things [that is, the whole universe]).
11 And [His gifts to the church were varied and] He Himself appointed some as apostles [special messengers, representatives], some as prophets [who speak a new message from God to the people], some as evangelists [who spread the good news of salvation], and some as pastors and teachers [to shepherd and guide and instruct],
12 [and He did this] to fully equip and perfect the saints (God’s people) for works of service, to build up the body of Christ [the church];
13 until we all reach oneness in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, [growing spiritually] to become a mature believer, reaching to the measure of the fullness of Christ [manifesting His spiritual completeness and exercising our spiritual gifts in unity].
14 So that we are no longer children [spiritually immature], tossed back and forth [like ships on a stormy sea] and carried about by every wind of [shifting] doctrine, by the cunning and trickery of [unscrupulous] men, by the deceitful scheming of people ready to do anything [for personal profit].
15 But speaking the truth in love [in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth], let us grow up in all things into Him [following His example] who is the Head—Christ.
16 From Him the whole body [the church, in all its various parts], joined and knitted firmly together by what every joint supplies, when each part is working properly, causes the body to grow and mature, building itself up in [unselfish] love.Ephesians 4:1-16 (AMP)
- Ephesians 4:2 The key to understanding this and other statements about love is to know that this love (the Greek word agape) is not so much a matter of emotion as it is of doing things for the benefit of another person, that is, having an unselfish concern for another and a willingness to seek the best for another.
- Ephesians 4:16 See note v 2.