Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 4

How we develop as Christians

Ephesians 4:12

Christ’s special gift to his people is to provide church leaders who help them to develop as Christians. Even Christians do not always love God with all their hearts; even Christians sometimes care more about themselves than about other people (contrast Mark 12:28-34). We do not always trust God as we should. Our knowledge about God and our beliefs can be very weak, even as Christians. So, we very much need God’s help so that we can develop in our relationship with him.

Of course, God can and does help his people in other ways too. He himself is present in their lives by his Holy Spirit, to help and to guide them (Romans 8:9). He sends his special servants, the angels, to serve his people (Genesis 28:12; Hebrews 1:14). However, perhaps we can see God’s wisdom in his decision to send people, our church leaders, to help other people. We learn most easily from people who are like us. We cannot normally see God or the angels, but we do see our church leaders. They must deal each day with the same kinds of troubles that we deal with. They have developed in their faith (trust in Christ), and they can show us how to develop in faith too (see Hebrews 13:17).

The ‘body of Christ’ means all true Christians; the phrase emphasises their relationship both to Christ, and to each other (5:23-30). To ‘build’ the body of Christ means to make those relationships stronger; that happens when Christians have genuine love for each other (4:16). Our church leaders teach us how to show that love (see 1 Corinthians chapter 13); but every Christian needs to learn how to act in love (John 13:34-35).

Next part: God's plan: Christians who are mature in faith (Ephesians 4:13)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.