Summary: Looking at how the Holy Spirit alone can bring real unity to the church which then results in revival
Eph 4:2-3 NKJV
..with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Because of sin the unity between man and God was broken
Salvation re-unites us to God, and also to each other in one purpose of mind
In the previous 3 chapters Paul emphasizes the principles of unity
Chap 1 Paul speaks about being re-united with Him
There was a wall of partition Eph 2:14 separating us
Sin always divides; God against man, man against man and man against himself from within
Produces fights and quarrels
Christianity is the only religion that people see doesn’t take itself seriously
It’s time to stop playing with the holy things of God
John 17:22 sees Jesus praying that we all may be one…
It is only the Spirit of God that can unite us
If you understand who the Holy Spirit is and His purpose you will be united with gratitude to the Father through Jesus and to other members of His body
We cannot produce artificially the unity of the Spirit, and He doesn’t ask us to!
If the Holy Spirit isn’t in us, we cannot have unity
It is His work
It starts within and works itself outwardly
It is not mechanical
Paul asks us to take care not to break the unity of the Spirit that is already there if God’s Spirit is present
We are to maintain it
Like a car; it will not run effectively if we do not maintain the internal engine. It needs oil, water, fuel to spark and power up.
It’s no good having an external shiny car that doesn’t work!
We cannot neglect it, but with care and attention fill it up regularly
The Spirit is internal
2 Cor 13:14 says ‘Where the Spirit of God is, there is unity’
This unity is primarily spiritual, unseen; but shows itself outwardly
We cannot start with the external and hope to arrive at internal unity
One of the dangers is an appeal for people to work together and pray together
This is contrary to the Apostle’s teaching
When it is present, we will recognise it
Let’s look at ‘endeavour’
It doesn’t mean, ‘trying to attempt it’
Be diligent with speed; be quick about it
To ‘keep’, to guard, hold fast, preserve
We’re not told to make unity, or create it
We cannot be Christians without the work of the Spirit, because it is the Spirit Himself who unites us
People come together for common causes, but this is unity in only one area
Jade’s cancer, 9/11, famine relief etc.
Chap 3:10 powers will see and wonder at the unity of Jew, Gentile and God
How do we keep this unity?
With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love
KJV: With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love
Meekness: ready to suffer wrong and commit everything to God
Humility and meekness the first things we need to keep unity
All: in every situation, at all times
Wear humility and meekness like a garment; not just Sundays
Forbearing: ‘to hold yourself up against’
If someone tempts you into a wrong attitude, then put up with it, suffer it
If someone disagrees with you, then so what?