diagram of the ligaments of the foot
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
Isaiah 52:7

The Uniform Series text for Sunday, December 31, is Ephesians 4:1-16. Here are some questions we might get to in our class on this text:

In v1, the author says he is “the prisoner in the Lord.” Later, he talks about the “bond of peace” (v3). Later, he talks about Christ “making captivity itself a captive” (v8). Are these references to being bound in some way related? How? Does it suggest anything to us about the “unity of the Spirit”? What?

Is it always a good thing to “be free”? Is it always a bad thing to “be bound”? Why, or why not? What is the author telling us about freedom and obligation in this text? How do we feel about this message? Why? Do freedom and obligation affect “unity” in any way? How?

What are the realities that are “one” in vv4-6? Are there other things that are “one” that are not on this list? What, if anything, do the items on this list have in common? What does this particular list of “ones” tell us about the church? Why?

In v5, is there one calling? Why, or why not? What effect does v11 have on your answer? Why?

Find the places “love” is mentioned in the text. What does this use of the word “love” tell us about the tasks of the church/Christian community? How do the other instructions in the text help us understand what “love” means in this context?

The author uses the image of the “body” for the unity of the church (v4, 12, 16), and in v15 says “we must grow up in every way into … Christ.” Does the word “we” in v15 refer to individuals, or to the church as a whole, or to both? Why do you think this? Does our answer to this question make any difference? Why?