Today’s chapters in Ephesians reveal that the Ephesus church had become quite dysfunctional. Paul makes an impassioned appeal for the believers to regain their vision of the true faith in Christ for there is only “one hope … one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” (4:4-6). He urges them to be “no longer children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning … Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way … into him who is the head, into Christ” (verses 14,15).
That is the first and greatest commandment isn’t it “to love the Lord thy God” with all our faculties?
True belief, true knowledge must be motivated by genuine love. Sadly over the many centuries since Paul’s time there have been many winds of doctrine, so note Paul’s next point, “from (Christ, the head) the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so it builds itself up in love” (verses 15,16).
This describes the ideal! Are you doing your part properly? Paul told them to live “with all humility and gentleness, with patience bearing with one another in love …” (verse 2) – a vital factor in “each part working properly”. In contrast the unbelievers “walk … in the futility of their minds … alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them … they have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality … but that is not the way you learned Christ! … assuming you … were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus” (verses 17-21). We must not let the world’s spirit influence us.
Sadly, the truth as it is in Jesus, is taught less and less these days – which makes it harder for “each part” to work properly. Paul appeals to them “to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created … in true righteousness and holiness” (verses 23,24). Let us make sure we are “speaking the truth in love” and being renewed in the spirit of our minds.