Friday, January 5, 2018

Ephesians 4:8-16 (DB of 5/1/2018)

Key verse  4:13
Paul continues talking about the unity in the faith. Not only is unity necessary between people of different origins but it is also necessary in the Body of Christ.
1. Jesus went up and thereafter he descended (8-12)  
Paul underlines the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the living hope in God's Kingdom given that it is the only efficient element that can reunite everyone. Jesus who is Spirit (2Co 3:17) came down on the Day of Pentecost in order to give man the gift of God. God's goal is to build the Body of Christ after Jesus's departure. Jesus who then came down established his servants to edify the Church. All of its ministers are men of God. Firstly, there are the apostles and the prophets who make up the foundation,(2 :20) then there are the evangelists like Philip and Timothy and lastly there are the pastors and the teachers (two different titles for the same person) who are perhaps in charge of the churches that the apostles had built. They play a triple folded role : perfect the saints' faith, serve and edify the Church.
2. The growth of the Church (13-16)
During His visit once more on Earth Jesus wanted to make the Churches grow in their faith. Becoming untied in the faith is a sign of great maturity for the saints. All Christians must have the same knowledge and relationship with the Son of God. As their faith grows, the Christian becomes a made man in the faith who continues to grow in order to imitate the Christ. The Church is constantly under attack and the faithful ones are called to defend it. However, if they are not mature in their faith, they are easy prey for Satan and fall for any human philosophy. By their human traditions, men trick and seduce the newly converted. Therefore, Jesus sent them His servants especially the teachers who can defend their faith by the Word. The truth mixed with love is so powerful that it can counter Satan's lies and his attempts to manipulate fragile minded men. It can also make Christians grow. Each part of the Church, be it big or small, is paramount in order to make the Church united in Christ who is its leader. The Christian has to follow his example to grow. The Church has to edify itself continuously in the discipline of love that is the most sublime attribute (16).

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