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Summary: Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

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Dakota Community Church

August 12, 2012

Grace at Work - 3

Unity

According to our passage unity depends upon four primary things the first one being:

1. How we treat one another

Four qualities are given as the correct treatment of each other here:

Ephesians 4:2-3

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

A.) Humility

B.) Gentleness

Ephesians 4:2

Be completely humble and gentle...

The Greek language in which the New Testament was originally written, was a precise & expressive language. When the Greeks defined the meaning of a word they ofter used an illustration for clarity.

Gentleness was defined as "power under control" - illustrated by the picture of a tamed horse.

That is the kind of “Gentle Jesus” we have - Total absolute, power, completely - perfectly controlled.

Water under control turns huge turbines, generating electricity to light a city.

The same water out of control would be a flood destroying everything in its path.

A disease out of control can devastate the body and kill its victim.

A disease under control can produce vaccines and save lives.

In order for unity to exist in the Body we must deal with one another in gentleness.

How does that look?

"Gentleness" is all about, dealing with broken people. Sin has twisted and perverted every one of us. When we are victims of another’s broken behavior, and we have the power to lash out, to do our worst so to speak - we don’t.

When we encounter hurt and broken brothers and sisters we refuse to take advantage of them. We do not manipulate them for personal gain - though it may be within our “power” to do so.

We do not further victimize them - rather we seek cautious restoration.

Galatians 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.

Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit!

Again we see that as we walk with Christ, our eyes fixed upon Him, the natural out growth of that walk is these things - including gentleness towards one another.

Now here it is in action:

Galatians 6:1

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.

Notice the terminology; "if someone is caught."

"You who are spiritual" - those of you who are filled with the Holy Spirit, "restore him gently." That’s the way gentleness is to work. It is a tool of restoration.

We live in a battle zone.

"When you see the victims of that carnage - Be gentle! Be careful. Life is so fragile.

It is easily broken. But it can also be restored. So treat it gently.

Pick up the broken, show them the way to repentance, the way back to grace, because they are our brothers and sisters and they belong to our Father!

C.) Patience

Ephesians 4:2-3

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient...

Look at Paul’s final instructions to the Thessalonians in light of what we are learning about treatment of fellow believers and especially now in this case - patience:

1 Thessalonians 5:12-24

Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil.

23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

Those who admonish you, the idle, the timid, the weak, - be patient with everyone!

These are the people we tend to lose patience with are they not?

Nobody likes the effective admonisher - am I right?

Those lazy folks - always busy with other things on moving day - does that get to you?

How about the timid and the weak - every said out loud, “Why doesn’t that guy grow a spine?”

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