“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4.1-6
Unity is something difficult to achieve. Just look at the conflict in Ukraine or the streets of Chicago. Or how about the political and religious fighting within the Southern Baptist Convention or within what was the United Methodist Church? Satan must love when the world is in turmoil, and especially within the walls of the church. And yet people are fighting for what they strongly believe as the deepest convictions of their hearts.
Paul, is writing as a prisoner for the Lord. Not only is he physically in prison for his faith, but he is a willing slave, servant, bond-servant for Christ. He has submitted himself to the cause of Christ. He rejected fighting and humbled himself before the Lord. And as a result, he is urging the church to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” The urge is a plea for all believers to strive to be the person Christ has called us to be.
And then Paul tells us how we ought to live — be humble and gentle, patient, bearing with one another in love (v.2). He says “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of people.” Why? I mean, what happens if we don not strive for unity? The devil takes a foothold. We find ourselves in disunity and it’s that place where the devil really thrives.
We should strive to obey Christ because as Paul writes “there is one body, one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope,” v.4. But the oneness continues — one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God….and this God, according to Paul, is “over all and through all and in all.” We strive for unity because God is one.
Unity is never easy. Peace may be allusive in places like the Middle East, but this doesn’t mean we give up. We strive to have the unity of Christ in keeping with the Spirit and the Scriptures.
Where do you see disunity in your area of influence? How can Christ empower you to bring unity to the places where you live and work?
“O Lord, you are One. As Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the oneness of your majestic character and example reigns supreme. Thank you Lord for the unity of your Spirit. Thank you for the strength of your love. Come now, Holy Lord, and help your church to be one. Even in the midst of strife and division, allow our Christian charity to reflect your grace. I love you Lord and praise your name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen