16 P E T E C H A R E T T E I believe these are all worthy pursuits, and they should all be evident in the life of the believer. But these are not the one over- arching task given to the Church for which she is uniquely quali- fied. That task is the maturation of disciples. Therefore, because of the importance of determining the Church’s mandate from God, there must be clear biblical evidence to support the conclu- sions at which we arrive. To gain understanding into this, some deeper Bible study is needed. I will present a biblical case that the Church’s mandate from God is to mature her disciples. This cannot be “proof texted.” While I will focus on Ephesians 2:6–7 and 3:9–11, the flow of thought throughout this epistle must be examined. Working through this will also present a working example of how I man- age big-picture topics in interpreting individual passages. Several years ago, I was discipling two men, and they, in turn, helped me to mature. We went through the entire book of Ephesians, paragraph by paragraph. It was during that study that I saw God’s purposes revealed for individual believers and for the Church as a whole. This is specifically found in 2:6–7 and 3:9–11. This new understanding formed the foundation for this book. I followed a basic step-by-step process for my exegesis, moving from the general to the specific. Through this process, Paul’s flow of thought guided my interpretation of individual passages. I want you to see how I arrived at my conclusions. Step 1: Examine the flow of thought through the book of Ephesians, drawing initial conclusions. Step 2: Examine these conclusions and determine the big conclusion that the text provides. Step 3: Examine 2:4–7 and 3:9–11 in detail, as the grammar indicates purpose. Step 4: Examine 4:1–6:20 as an outworking of 1:1–3:11.