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How to Interpret the Bible-1 INTERPRETING THE BIBLE how-to-study-your-bible1

KEEPING THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT

Ephesians 4:1-10 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

Unity in the Body of Christ

4  Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, enduring one another in love, being diligent to preserve the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Gifts In Men

Therefore it says,

“When he ascended[22] on high he led captivity captive,
    and he gave gifts to men.”

(Now the expression “he ascended,” what does it mean but that he also descended to the lower regions of the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Paul, here, admonishes lowliness in the presence of another’s excellence; meekness in suffering injury; long-suffering under provocation; forbearance toward the trying mistakes and failures of others. Remember that the unity of the Church, as the body of Christ, is already made; but it is for us to maintain it. We must avoid whatever in word or deed would break it. There are seven different bonds of unity, but of these, the greatest is the nature of God, which is transcendent, who is above all; penetrant, through all; and immanent, in all. Each saint has some grace or gift; use it. On the whole, after we reach maturity, we had better center on what we can do best.

What a magnificent conception is given in Ephesians 4:8-9 of the ascended Christ! The original conception was supplied by Deborah in her noble song. Descending from her morning vigil on Tabor, she summoned Barak to lead captive the foe who for so long had held the land in captivity. But in Jesus’ ascension, a long procession of yet mightier foes was led captive by Him. Among them were Death, the Grave, and Hades, the underworld. It is from the hands of Jesus that even the rebellious may obtain their gifts. There is no depth to which Jesus will not go to save; no height to which He will not lift us.

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