The Unity Of The Spirit

//The Unity Of The Spirit

The Unity Of The Spirit

The Unity of the Spirit

I usually plan my messages weeks if not months in advance.  It’s better for my stress levels. I don’t have to ask myself every Monday, “What am I preaching about next Sunday?”  However, I do try to be open for special occasions and other relevant issues.

Last Summer the elders had asked me to preach a series on unity which I planned for January/February 2024. Since then we designated January-March 2024 as a time for selection of additional elders and deacons,  Consequently, I changed the schedule to include five lessons on the work and qualifications of these church leaders.

We’ve had a few special days since that time requiring relevant messages of their own. So now it’s time to get back to the lessons on unity.

My text for Sunday in Ephesians 4:1-3:

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.

This is the beginning of the paraenetic section of Ephesians. Paraenesis refers to the practical or ethical application of theology or teaching. The first three chapters of Ephesians consist of theology. In this case, what God has done for us. The last three chapters are application – how we respond to God. Paul often divides his letters into the what and the so what. Chapters 4-6 comprise the so what of Ephesians.

Paul encourages his audience to live a life worthy of [your] calling.” The first worthy living application is found in verse 3, Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

We can deduce at least four truths from this text.

First, Unity is a Product of the Holy Spirit. We are not responsible for creating unity; God has already done that. Earlier in this epistle Paul makes clear God’s eternal plan for unity (Ephesians 1:7-10; Ephesians 2:11-22; Ephesians 3:1-7).

Second, Our Responsibility is to Keep or Maintain that Unity. If we wish to live worthy of God’s saving work we need to maintain and guard what he created. This is why disunity, division, squabbling, gossip, backbiting, etc. is antithetical to the Christian life.

Third, We Must Make Every Effort to Maintain this Unity. We are to go the second mile; give it 110%. This involves examining our attitudes and behavior (Ephesians 4:2) and focusing on our commonalities in Christ (Ephesians 4:4-6). Unity is a major responsibility for every Christian because it is at the heart of God’s plan for humanity.

Fourth, Unity Must be Kept Through the Bond of Peace. Every Christian must examine themselves and ask, “Are my actions and attitudes contributing toward peace?” “Am I a peace-maker or a rabble-rouser?” (cf., Matthew 5:9; James 3:13-18). “Is my life full of self-made drama and conflict or do I seek to exemplify and promote peace to those in my life?”

I’ll say more in my lesson!

– Joey

By | 2024-03-03T01:52:09-07:00 March 3rd, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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