With most of Paul's letters the first half are spent telling us about the truths of redemption and the last half tell us how to apply those truths to our lives. These first few verses start us off on the second half. The Christian faith doesn't just end with God's grace. It is a lifestyle that we must walk daily to reach the goal. We are to love others and to ultimately bring glory to God. Love is the background to all the qualities listed in verse 2 which are supposed to be used toward uniting the church.
There are several things that are facts when it comes to the unity of Christians. 1) that we are one body of believers with Christ as the head. 2) is that there is one Spirit at work in each of our lives. The same power throughout all believers. 3) there is one Lord who brings together the believers. If we are united with Christ then we can't be opposed to our "brother." 4) is that there is one faith which equals a unite of hope. 5) there is one baptism that marks the beginning of each believers walk. 6) and finally there is one God. We were all created by one God, saved by one God, protected by one God. Our faith is not divided among many which would lead to hopelessness.He is active in all of us.
In these verses Paul speaks on the diversity within the body. He has a gift that He gives to all without holding back but that is personally fitted to each believer. The main gift He gives us is the Holy Spirit but within the Holy Spirit there is a variety of gifts that are to be used within the church. 1)apostles-they were to give true accounts of the gospel and start the missionary movement. 2) Prophets- known as speaking with authority 3)Evangelist (missionaries) are capable of communicating with people outside of the church 4) Pastors- to sheppard over the body. We as a whole are to build up the church and not bring it down by our immaturity in the faith. When we act childish we are not glorifying Him and His kingdom.
Chapter 4: 17-24
Paul with a urgent manner tells us not to walk in the ways of the Gentiles but rather in knowledge and wisdom. Gentiles walked in dark places and with harden hearts. We are to take off our old ways as if it were like a coat that we no longer want to wear or even have. When we do this a new person is revealed, one who want to follow after Him.
Each of these last verses represent examples of a new way of life. (vs 25) speaking the truth, (vs 26-27) dealing with anger, (vs 28) honest work, (vs 29) gracious speech, (vs 30) harmony with the Spirit, (vs 31-32) Christlike relationships- not a dating relationship but everyone. Look at each of these categories and if there is one or more that you feel you need to pray about please do so that God can continue His work in you to completion.