CHRISTIAN UNITY

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:4-6

“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)

While we may see many differences among the Church of Jesus Christ, nonetheless there is an essential unity that exists among all Christians. It is confusing at times when we see different denominations, different understandings of theological concepts, and different expressions of worship. However, we must never forget the fact that all true believers are one in Christ.

The emphasis of this passage is the essential unity that binds all true believers together. There is one body, the true Church of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a reference to the universal Church which is composed of all God’s people throughout the ages. The Church has one Holy Spirit who binds all true believers together. We have been called to one hope — the hope of eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ. Together we will enjoy God forever in resurrection glory.

There is one Lord — the Lord Jesus Christ — and one faith — the essential tenets of the Christian faith (such as those expressed in the Apostles’ Creed). There is one baptism — that which is done in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. This baptism is a sign of our incorporation into the Body of Christ, the Church. There is but one God and Father of all. He is omnipotent and omnipresent, and, therefore is over all through all and in all.

It is unfortunate when churches fail to work together. We can disagree on non-essentials, such as the mode of baptism or church polity. But, we are held together by our common faith in one Lord Jesus Christ. We are called to a common mission — to spread the gospel. We must work together.

Division, unresolved conflicts, and broken relationships within churches are all too common. When they occur, we must remember the common unity that binds us together. We must seek reconciliation and restoration. We have been called to live out the gospel in humility and gentleness and patience, bearing with one another in love, “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (v.3).

Lord Jesus, You are the one true Head of Your Church. You have sent the Holy Spirit to bind those of us who profess faith in you together. Forgive us when we allow conflict, division, and broken relationship to hinder the unity of Your Church. Grant us grace to live out the gospel in humility, gentleness and patience with one another. Let us be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

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