A Passage That Could Transform the Church

Posted on August 19, 2022

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By David Ettinger

Common Theme
I write quite a bit of blogs such as this one, whether they deal with Christians transforming their individual lives, or the Church as a whole becoming more effective.

Examples include “This Verse Will Keep You Humble!”; “This Verse Cuts Deep”; “This Verse Can Enhance Your Life!”; and “The Bible Passage You Should Read Every Day of Your Life.”

The common theme of these blogs is that they focus on Bible passages which if Christians would actually obey, their lives would be much more Christlike. And if the vast majority of true believers would obey them, the Church, too, would be much more Christlike, and hence be much more effective in spreading the Gospel.

As I was reading through the Book of Ephesians, I came across another “transformation” passage; one if obeyed could revolutionize the Church! The passage is Ephesians 4:1-3:

Therefore I [Paul], the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Speaks for Itself
In my similar blogs, I pulled out a word or two and briefly examined them. I gave the Greek version of the word and explained its various meanings, which are usually deeper and more wide-ranging than their English translations.

But in this case, it isn’t necessary. For instance, if someone you trust and admire in the Lord tells you to be more humble and gentle, you get the gist. Hopefully, you would ponder such an admonition and really think about what it means to be humble and gentle, and how to act in such a fashion with those you come in contact with.

And then there’s “patience” and “bearing with one another in love.” The Greek may give you a tad more insight into what these mean, but you know what the Bible is asking you to do.

So, how patient are you? Me? Not very. But I have my marching orders. God – through Ephesians 4:2 – is calling me to be patient, particularly with others as the words “bearing with one another in love” indicates. I’m not nearly where I should be in this area, but I realize how much more effective I would be as a Christian if I take these commands to heart!

And then there’s verse 3, “being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” This has to do with divisions in the Church – both within individual churches and in churches’ dealings with one another.

Of course false teaching and apostasy should be criticized and dealt with, but Paul is talking about the unity that should exist among true believers with like doctrine on the primary tenets of the faith.

If we all agree that Jesus was born of a virgin, is God, lived a perfect life, died for the sins of humanity, rose from the dead, and now sits at the right hand of God, then we’re in agreement. Differing on baptism, music, and “non-essentials” of the faith should not deter us from the unity believing churches should strive to achieve.

Transforming Power
Let me ask you, how are you doing with Ephesians 4:1-3? Me? Not so great. Therefore I need to take steps and be more obedient to God’s commands. Do you need to do the same?

If you and I commit ourselves to being more Ephesians 4:1-3-minded, do you think we would be better people and better Christians for it? I believe so.

And if the Church strives to be more Ephesians 4:1-3-minded, do you think it would be transformed, better off, and more effective for it?

I believe so!

David Ettinger is a writer/editor at Zion’s Hope, Inc., and has written for Zion’s Fire magazine since its inception in 1990.

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