Summary: The Church is one body. Unity is worth the effort.
“An architectural magazine is responsible for the statement that the members of a Presbyterian church in Waterloo, Iowa, have constructed a new church building out of a single large rock. Stone was scarce, and while looking about for a possible quarry their attention was called to this huge boulder which stood in the middle of a plain about eight miles from the town. This mass of rock was like an island in the midst of a vast sea. About eight feet of it projected above ground. The work of excavating this gigantic boulder was at once begun. When exposed to view, it was found to be twenty-eight feet high, thirty feet long, and twenty feet wide. On this monolith the workmen began their labors with drill, hammer, and dynamite, and the enormous rock was converted into building-stones, which were removed to the town and built into a beautiful church.”
So it is with us. While the Church is comprised of many parts, we are hewn of one will, one mind (God’s), one faith, one baptism. We are called to live in unity.
CIT: The Church is one body. / CIS: Unity is worth the effort.
His glory is worth it! Our stability is worth it! Our growth is worth it! Our witness to the world is worth it! Our testimony at the judgment seat of Christ is worth it!
This passage of Scripture, indeed the entire New Testament in many ways, is about active tense living out of unity in the Body of Christ. There is more to my salvation than me. We are saved into the Body of Christ.
My text today, as we walk through the book of Ephesians, has led us to a topic that we have discussed at some length more than once of late – Church unity.
The wonderfully providential thing about this is that while we have addressed this topic, I had remained desirous of addressing it in some very simple, concrete, and directly practical terms. The text for today in Ephesians chapter 4 not only lends itself well to this, such concepts are inherent to the text. This morning we will mine the text practical, simple, applicable ways to increase unity.
Foundationally, we must live a life worthy of our calling to salvation in Christ. (vv.1-3) Before
The devil would greatly prefer to send you and me to Hell from a pew than a sidewalk. The enemy accomplishes far more in a person who thinks that they are right with God from a pew than a person who knows they are not right with God but doesn’t pretend to be.
Earlier this week I was at Liberty University for their mission’s week. I had a great conversation with a missionary from England. He said that in England people are either on fire with the Holy Spirit, in love with God followers of Jesus or they have absolutely no interest in the things of God and are out and out atheists or agnostics. In his experience in his home country there are no halfway believers.
He went on to say that it is an amazing phenomenon that he finds fascinating, particularly in the Southern United States. Here? If asked, everybody’s a Christian. Yet, most don’t go to Church. “You ask them,” he said, “they’ll tell you well I grew up over at so and so and such and such church.” But when pressed with the question “Do you go there now?” The reply nine times out of ten, “Well I’m between churches right now…” We both spoke in spontaneous unison saying “Ya, in between churches for 20 years!”
Sadly, there is as much lukewarm Christianity in the pews as there are false professions in the street. Why do we act like thieves who steal their own possessions? Why do Christians break into their own darkened spiritual homes, smash their own spiritual windows and rob themselves of the treasure of full commitment to and trust in God?
Friends, why do we trade joy for sorrow? What backward wisdom compels us to choose helplessness over strength; isolation from our Heavenly Father rather than connection to Him and His Church?
the man of God of the last generation, A.W. Tozer, who wrote that “It is either all of Christ or none of Christ! I believe we need to preach again a whole Christ to the world - a Christ who does not need our apologies, a Christ who will not be divided, a Christ who will either be Lord of all or will not be Lord at all!”
What constitutes a life worthy of our calling? It is the surrender of our will, our heart, and mind, our entire life to Christ. Though we do it imperfectly, to live a life consistent with our calling in Christ we must do it completely.