THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT

Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 4:3-6

“There is one body and one Spirit — just as you were called to one hope that belongs to your call — 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)

Paul exhorted his readers to be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (v. 3).  Unity among believers is important to God.  God wants us to be united together in His family.  Disunity and divisiveness are detrimental to the cause of Christ.  Thus all believers are to be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Paul explains the basis for the unity of God’s people.  He writes, “there is one body and one Spirit.”  Obviously He is talking about the Church — one body.  Though there is great diversity in the Church, as we will see, there is a unity that is found because we all are united by the one Spirit of God.  The Spirit is common to all true believers.  God’s Spirit is the power that enables us to be one with one another.

All believers are called to one hope.  We do not have separate “hopes.”  Our hope is the sure hope of eternal life.  We all look forward to the second coming of Jesus and eternal life together in the new heavens and the new earth.

We are also untied because there is only one Lord — our Savior Jesus.  We are all the recipients of His grace, love and forgiveness.  And we are united in one faith — the essential beliefs of our Christian faith.  Core to our doctrinal unity is the sacrament of baptism.  While we may differ on the mode of baptism, we agree that baptism is the sacrament of our incorporation into Christ’s body, the Church.  We also agree that true baptism is administered by the trinitarian formula — “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Finally Paul writes that we are united by our “one God and Father of all.”  He is omnipresent in that He is “over all and through all and in all.”

Now we see why unity is so important.  We must actively pursue it.  We must be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  Where there is conflict, we must work diligently toward reconciliation.  We must actively seek peace with all our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Jesus prayed this prayer to His Father — “that they may all be one, just as You Father are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me” (John 17:21)

Lord Jesus, I know it grieves You when there is division among Your people.  I pray that You give me the ability to be a peacemaker.  Enable me to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

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