But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ. Eph 4:15 NASB
Paul’s exhortation is a call to action in our shared lives in the body of Christ. Messiah is the Head. He builds His church/ecclesia (Mt 16:18) by the Spirit.
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Messiah Yeshua, who don’t walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Messiah Yeshua made me free from the law of sin and of death. Ro 8:1-2
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if it is so that the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if any man doesn’t have the Spirit of Messiah, he is not his. 10 If Messiah is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is alive because of righteousness. Ro 8:9-10
16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God; 17 and if children, then heirs: heirs of God and joint heirs with Messiah, if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him. Ro 8:16-17 WMB
In Ephesians 4 Paul tells us how God helps us grow up in all aspects into Christ and walk in what God created us to do.
Our walk is relational. Paul begins with how to walk in one another relationships, then shows the relational oneness God provides so that we can diligently keep the unity of the Spirit.
1Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting, one another in love, 3diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us. 4There is one body and one Spirit — just as you were called to one hope, at your calling — one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. Eph 4:1-6 HCSB
There, Lord identifies Jesus. Lord also identifies God, the great I am (Gen 17:1). “‘I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living” (Mt 22:32). Jesus often used the same term, I am. In John, it occurs 70 times, 12 times just in John 8. “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (Jn 8:12).
Earlier in Ephesians 2, Paul tells us we are God’s workmanship, “created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.”
4 But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Messiah—by grace/charis you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places in Messiah Yeshua, 7 that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Messiah Yeshua; 8 for by grace/charis you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, that no one would boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them. Eph 2:4-10
There, we see God saved us by grace and also gave us a gift—faith.
Now Paul shows Messiah gives each of us one or more of the grace/charis gifts, which are spiritual gifts that empower us to do the “good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.”
- “When he went up to the highest place,
- he led captives into captivity
- and gave gifts to people.”
9Now what does this “he went up” mean except that he also had gone down into the lower parts of the earth? 10The one who went down is the same one who went up above all the heavens so that all things would be fulfilled. Eph 4:7-9 ISV
Messiah also gave us spiritually gifted people to equip us for the work of ministry and to build up the body of the Messiah.
Their work will not be complete until:
- all of us are united in the faith and in the full knowledge of God’s Son
- we attain mature adulthood and the full standard of development in the Messiah.
11And it is he who gifted some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, and still others to be pastors and teachers, 12to equip the saints, to do the work of ministry, and to build up the body of the Messiah. 13until all of us are united in the faith and in the full knowledge of God’s Son, and until we attain mature adulthood and the full standard of development in the Messiah. Eph 4:11-13 ISV
The outcome of our being united in the faith and in the full knowledge of God’s Son, and attaining mature adulthood and the full standard of development in the Messiah is:
- we will no longer be little children easily mislead
- we will speak the truth in love. “Every Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for convincing, for correction of error, and for instruction in right doing; so that the man of God may himself be complete and may be perfectly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:13-17 WNT). Also see Jn 17 Link and 2 Cor 6 Link
- we will grow up completely and become one with the head, that is, one with the Messiah. Or, “let us grow in every way into Him who is the head—Christ.” HCSB
each of us, each individual part, will do its job [the proper working of each individual part. NASB]
14Then we will no longer be little children, tossed like waves and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, or by clever strategies that would lead us astray. 15Instead, by speaking the truth in love, we will grow up completely and become one with the head, that is, one with the Messiah, 16in whom the whole body is united and held together by every ligament with which it is supplied. As each individual part does its job, the body builds itself up in love. Eph 4:1-16 ISV
Now, in view of Ephesians 4:1-16, we are shown more of how to walk worthy of the calling we have received. This is how we are to conduct ourselves.
17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their hearts. 19 They, having become callous, gave themselves up to lust, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you didn’t learn Messiah that way, 21 if indeed you heard him, and were taught in him, even as truth is in Yeshua: 22 that you put away, as concerning your former way of life, the old man that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new man, who in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.
25 Therefore putting away falsehood, speak truth each one with his neighbor. For we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and don’t sin.” Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 and don’t give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no more; but rather let him labor, producing with his hands something that is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but only what is good for building others up as the need may be, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Messiah forgave you. Eph 4:17-31 WMB
Scripture references on walk. Link