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Fellowship of the Gifted: Affirmation
David Petty
David Petty
Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Ephesians 4:1-16

4:1 Therefore I, the prisoner united with the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called.

Always be humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love, and making every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit gives through the binding power of shalom. There is one body and one Spirit, just as when you were called you were called to one hope. And there is one Lord, one trust, one immersion, and one God, the Father of all, who rules over all, works through all and is in all.

Each one of us, however, has been given grace to be measured by the Messiah’s bounty. This is why it says,

“After he went up into the heights,
he led captivity captive
and he gave gifts to mankind.”[Psalm 68:18]

Now this phrase, “he went up,” what can it mean if not that he first went down into the lower parts, that is, the earth? 10 The one who went down is himself the one who also went up, far above all of heaven, in order to fill all things. 11 Furthermore, he gave some people as emissaries, some as prophets, some as proclaimers of the Good News, and some as shepherds and teachers. 12 Their task is to equip God’s people for the work of service that builds the body of the Messiah, 13 until we all arrive at the unity implied by trusting and knowing the Son of God, at full manhood, at the standard of maturity set by the Messiah’s perfection.

14 We will then no longer be infants tossed about by the waves and blown along by every wind of teaching, at the mercy of people clever in devising ways to deceive. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in every respect grow up into him who is the head, the Messiah. 16 Under his control, the whole body is being fitted and held together by the support of every joint, with each part working to fulfill its function; this is how the body grows and builds itself up in love.