Today we discuss the final point in this 3 part series. We are looking at Ephesians 4:1-6. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here. The first point we looked at from this passage was the encouragement to walk out YOUR Calling. The second point was to walk worthy.
Now let’s look at the third point: Keep Unity.
We are to be “one” as a body of Christ. Look at Ephesians 4:3-6: “…diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope at your calling—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.”
Paul is talking about single-minded living in these verses. The Message says it this way in verses 3-4: “…alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences. You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly.”
What if everything we are, think, and do was permeated with oneness? We would be diligently (eagerly) keeping (guarding) the unity of spirit with peace that binds us in the body like prisoners bound in fetters together.
Look at the ones in this passage that draws the body together: body, spirit, hope, Lord, faith, baptism, God, and Father. We are also told in John 14:6 that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life—the ONE Savior.
1 Timothy 2:5 tells us: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, Himself human.” In Acts 4:32 we read: “Now the large group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but instead they held everything in common.”
This was the state of early church: believers had one heart and mind. There was an urgency of desperation in the early church. We are desperate today as well.
We see in John 17:11 that Jesus prays for oneness in His disciples. Then in verses 20-21 He prays for oneness in ALL believers…that’s you and me. He prays for oneness in the body as there is oneness between Himself and His Father. Why? So the world may know “You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me” (v. 23).
The world will know God sent Jesus by the unity of believers—by our love.
As we read on in Ephesians 4:11-16, we see this is not about us all being the same, but it’s about unity in our diversity and giftedness so that we complete the body! Imagine how this would impact our families, our community, and our culture.
How then are we to respond in a disagreement without being mean (even on social media)?
One writer suggested we simply respond this way:
“I strongly disagree with ______________ about _____________.”
Or, “I believe _________________ is incorrect about _______________.”
In our disagreements, we must not call the other person a heretic. We should investigate closely before using the term “heretic” or “false teacher” as those are serious accusations to make.
The enemy does not want the body of Christ unified and does all he can to keep us divided. It’s no surprise that the end of the book of Ephesians (chapter 6) includes instructions for putting on the armor of God to stand strong as both the body of Christ and as individual followers. The devil is mad and frantically working his evil plans. As long as we are not unified in peace, he’s happy. But peace and unity in the body intimidates him!
As long as he can keep us independent, selfish, arrogant, and in conflict in the body, we cannot reflect unity—the unity that draws people to Christ—to a lost world.
By our love and unity within the body, the world will know us! They will know God sent Jesus.
Let’s close this series by looking at Ephesians 2:12-14:
“At that time you were without the Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility.”
What is God saying to you about oneness? Do you believe it? What will you do about it?
Dr. Robert Conroy said “There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.”
So, let’s DO what He is telling us…walk out OUR callings, walk worthy, and keep unity.