| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 41 - Page 44 of 246 Index | Zoom | |
Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord (5: 10),
and so through the whole series.
"In Christ" expresses our doctrinal position, our standing.
"In the Lord" indicates our practical relationship, our state.
I may address a fellow believer as a dear brother "in Christ" far more freely than I call
him a brother "in the Lord". This distinction must be remembered when applying the
teaching of I Cor. 7: 39:
"She is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only IN THE LORD."
This limitation means much more than that marriage should not be contemplated as
between a saved and an unsaved person. Many an unhappy and profitless marriage has
been contracted by two children of God. The trouble has arisen from the fact that though
they have been one `in Christ', they have not been one `in the Lord'. They did not seek
the same thing, they did not believe or practice the same thing. Their callings may have
differed, and division and bitterness have often been the result. The Apostle was a
prisoner not only of Christ Jesus, but of the Lord. As such he could exhort those who
recognized the same Lord to walk worthy of their calling, and later, exhort them to
consider his own walk as a pattern.
The theme of chapter 4: may be discovered by noticing the way in which he returns
to his subject. First he speaks of the walk positively, as worthy of the calling, with all
humility of mind. Then, after a long digression concerning the unity of the Spirit, he
returns to the walk, this time speaking negatively--not as Gentiles, in the vanity of their
mind. This again is followed by teaching concerning the new man. It will be more
apparent if set out thus:
Ephesians 4: 1 - 32.
1, 2. The walk, positively. Humility of mind.
| 3-16. The One Body.
17-19. The walk, negatively. Vanity of mind.
| 20-32. The New Man.
This division of the subject brings to light an important truth. By omitting the
parenthesis of 3: 2-13 we realize that the great prayer of 3: 14-21 arises directly out
of the fact that the Church of the One Body is the Temple of the Lord. The Apostle's
"I therefore" of 4: 1 links the One Body on to the Temple, indicating that the Body
aspect is the outward (and perhaps only temporal) manifestation of the real and lasting
Now, we see further by the analysis of chapter 4:, that the One Body is also a
reflection of the New Man. This is confirmed by a reference back to chapter 2: 15, "For
to create in Himself of twain one new man". No doctrine of Scripture is isolated. All is
part of the great purpose of the ages. While we must ever seek rightly to divide the Word