Summary: When we enter into fellowship with Jesus, we enter in as part of His church.
IV. PEACE AND UNITY
A. CALLED INTO FELLOWSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST
We may think that we enter into fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ as so many individuals: but ultimately, we enter in as part of His body, the church. This fellowship begins at conversion, continues in union with other believers, and is eternal. This is the true meaning of communion (1 Corinthians 10:17).
B. CALLED INTO FELLOWSHIP WITH THE FATHER AND THE SON
Jesus says that He has given us His glory (John 17:22). The “Spirit of glory” (1 Peter 4:14) is the same Spirit who makes possible our endeavors to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3).
There is a community of the Father and the Son within the Godhead (John 17:23). We are drawn by the Spirit into that Oneness.
C. CHRISTIAN UNITY IS BASED UPON THE UNITY WHICH EXISTS WITHIN THE GODHEAD
Those who are born again have but one God and Father, because we are all members of the same family. There is only one Lord (Jesus), so there is but one hope of our calling, one faith and one baptism. There is only one Holy Spirit, who has created the church as one body.
D. UNITY IN DIVERSITY
Yet even though God is the “Father of us all” (Ephesians 4:6), we do not lose our individuality as “every one of us is given grace” (Ephesians 4:7). The five teaching gifts which Paul mentions here (Ephesians 4:11) are intended to equip all of God’s people for “the work of ministry” (service) (Ephesians 4:12). We are called into one body (Colossians 3:15), and the body is not one member but many (1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27).
E. MATURING INTO THE “BODY OF CHRIST”
Unlike the world’s religions, the church is not in the business of seeking after God. We have already found Him in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. Instead, we are running - together - towards the goal of a greater growth into Christ (Ephesians 4:13).
In fact, we shall most certainly accomplish that to which we aspire. The unity of the church is as certain as the unity of the Godhead, as we have seen. This is a reality in the mind of God: but in the meantime, the church’s visible unity needs a little maintenance work (Ephesians 4:3).
Paul calls this process “holding the truth in love” and - using the metaphor of the body - “growing up into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). This is an efficacious work, because it is based in the work of Jesus (Ephesians 4:16).
F. MEMBERS OF ONE ANOTHER
All our relationships within the body of Christ must be governed by the Christian law of love (Ephesians 4:2). We must never forget that we are a forgiven people, and therefore we must be forgiving towards others (Ephesians 4:32).
One of the practical reasons given for “putting away the lie” (as the Greek of Ephesians 4:25 reads) is that we are members of one another. We are to work in order that we might can give to those in need (Ephesians 4:28). Our conversation is to be for building up and edification, ministering grace to others (Ephesians 4:29).