There’s an underlying theme in Ephesians 4, and I believe it is this:
Oneness vs. Manyness
Writing to the church in Ephesus, Paul says, “You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.”
That’s quite the statement. I’ve never seen a church so united. But man, it would be a beautiful thing to see! And it’s a worthy cause to strive for. So that’s the part of the Oneness.
Then Paul says, “But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift.”
Paul goes on to outline each of those gifts here and in a couple other passages in Scripture (Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12). I’d love to dive deep on the gifts of the Spirit here, especially since it’s one of my favorite topics to teach. But I’ll hold back for now and save it for another time. Suffice it to say, there’s uniqueness and manyness in the gifts given, in how they manifest, in how much each person gets, etc. So that’s the part on Manyness.
When you can embrace that Oneness and Manyness, it’s an awesome thing.
Is it easy? No.
Will you ever get it perfect? Doubtful.
But to strive for it is a noble and worthy cause.
May God’s breath and life flow through us so that we grow up healthy in God, robust in love. Happy Friday!