Growing in Unity

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The following is an excerpt from Harold Hoehner’s commentary on Ephesians 4:16. I had read this section in my Exegesis of Ephesians class as required reading and I never finished the blog entry. I hope it blesses you and how you cherish unity within your local church.


Throughout, Paul makes it clear that the ultimate source of growth is Christ, the head of this body, the church. It is also important to note that this passage makes it clear that the ministry of the church is not the obligation of a few but rather the responsibility of every believer. The distinction between the clergy and laity is a human creation. This is due primarily to a confusion between gift and office.

In this section one observes that there can be unity in diversity. Although there is oneness of structure, there is variety in function. The unifying force is the oneness of purpose, that is, the use of gifts for body edification, not self-edification. The use of the gifts will provide growth for individual members and the corporate body to prepare both to meet the Lord.

Finally, Paul ends this discussion by reminding believers that everything he has stated thus far must have one all-important ingredient. That ingredient is love. This is the most significant in light of the fact that he was addressing Jewish and Gentile Christians. Historically, animosity existed between these two groups, but now in Christ they have been redeemed and reconciled with each other (2:11-18).

As a new people, united into one body, a significant change in conduct is required.” (4:16)

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