The above words are some very powerful words spoken by the Apostle Paul. Hang on, his words get even more powerful. But first, let me delve into what was just proclaimed by Paul. Who is Paul talking to? He's writing to Christians in Ephesus. Actually if you are a born again Christian, he is writing directly to you as well. The message is for all believers. Its very content proves that.
Paul implores you and me to walk (or to tread all around) in a manner worthy of the calling, or vocation of serving Jesus. To walk worthy of the calling means to walk in a manner appropriate to the calling. One of the Greek definitions means to walk in a Godly sort. Paul is saying that since God is the One who called us, we must walk like Him. To walk in a manner that is appropriate to His calling is to walk in humility, gentleness, patience, and in love, tolerating each other. Why? To preserve the unity of the Holy Spirit, in the bond of peace.
Sadly, unity in the body of Christ is missing today. The reason is because Christians are not diligent to preserve unity of the Spirit. Unity is no longer perceived as or believed to be the glue that holds the body of Christ together. Other issues like politics, denomination, racism, and personal opinion have pervaded the body of Christ. Simply stated, unity is not an important issue to the body of Christ. And because of that, the church at large is disjointed.
Let me move on to what Paul says next in this powerful passage. "There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all." (Ephesians 4:4 - 6) It's very easy to see here the key word "One".
- One body of Christ
- One Holy Spirit
- One Hope through our calling
- One Lord Jesus
- One faith
- One baptism
- One God and Father
If there is one body of Christ, one Holy Spirit, One hope of our calling, One Lord Jesus, One faith through which we enter God's grace, one baptism, and one God, then the body of Christ is comprised of "oneness" or unity. Oneness is inherent in every truly born again believer. We are all members of only ONE body. We are connected by oneness. Oneness is the basis for unity. God doesn't tell us to act like one, we are one! But God has given the body of Christ the responsibility of preserving the oneness. As a matter of fact, we must be diligent and intent on doing that! If we are not, the enemy will continue to divide.
Are you doing everything you can to "...preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace"? Does your political or religious or theological or ideological preference maintain a commanding preeminence over preserving the unity of the Spirit in the body of Christ? The word "preserve" in Ephesians 4:3 actually means "To guard (from loss or injury, properly by keeping the eye upon)." Did you catch that? To guard from loss or injury as we constantly monitor the precious commodity of unity.
Think about how the world sees all the division in the church. Is it any wonder that folks are not flocking to the church, but instead are leaving the church in droves? Let's wake up church! Let's do what Paul says we must do in order to be effective. We must preserve (guard) the unity of the Spirit among us! It has been there. But somehow in these last days we've overlooked the importance of preserving the unity of the Spirit.
Preserving the unity of the Spirit in the body of Christ is the responsibility of the church, not God! He's already done His part by making us one in Jesus Christ. There is a heavenly "oneness" awaiting the church that she has ignored. Join with me in being adamant about guarding the unity Jesus has already made available to us. It's past time!
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