April 19, 2018
At youth group we’re continuing to make our way through the book of Ephesians, slowly but surely. This week, we focused on Ephesians 4:1-16. Chapter four is a big shift in direction in the book of Ephesians. The first three chapters were all about Paul reminding the Ephesian church who they are in Christ, and now, in chapter four through six, Paul is exhorting the Ephesian church to live out their identity in Christ.
Our main focus was on unity in knowledge and faith, Christlike Maturity, and love that builds up the church. In an attempt to be brief, Paul wants the Ephesians to be unified on what they believe, or in other words, he wants them to share a common doctrine, one that’s grounded in the Bible. We talked about what it means to have good doctrine, and how we must measure other doctrines to the Word of God first and foremost. Importantly though, God gifts various people to teach good doctrine to the church, and to proclaim it to the world. To others, he gives them gifts that enable them to DO the work of ministry, having been equipped and unified by good teaching and doctrine. This leads Paul into talking about Christian maturity, because belief must lead into action. So Paul urges the Ephesians to walk in a manner worthy of their calling, and to being mature in the faith so they are not carried to and fro by the winds of false teaching. As Christians, we need to be careful, because false teaching abounds not just from other religions, but from culture that tells us, “dating this person or that person is better than being involved in church,” or that “church is only for boring people.” I really reiterated to the students that Spiritual maturity, knowing good doctrine, living in Christlikeness, does not equal joylessness. In fact, it gives you MORE joy!
The end goal of Christian unity through good doctrine, through spiritual maturity, through individual God-given gifting is not ultimately for ourselves… as Paul says in Eph. 4:16, it’s to make the body grow up in love. God wants his church to serve one another, to care for one another, to exhort one and other (the church includes our own families too)! Good doctrine for knowledge’s sake is meaningless. Maturity for maturity’s sake is meaningless. Both of those things for the love and betterment of the body of Christ are their purpose!
If you ever need or want to chat about youth group, your student(s), or anything else, please never hesitate to reach out to me!