Summary: God saved us to improve his team, the church. We live worthy of being drafted by God when we do such. Paul shows us how to preserve the unity God has already created in Christ.
It happens every year in April. Team owners gather at Radio City Music Hall in New York City for the NFL Draft. They hope to select players who will change the future of their teams. They are looking for franchise players; players who will help them win big games and bring fans to their stadiums.
As believers, you and I have been drafted by God. We did not choose him. He chose us. He scouted us for years. It cost him millions to sign us to his team. He knew that in time, with his coaching, we could become franchise players. We could make his team better. We could draw people to the Kingdom Stadium.
In our text, Paul is urging us to live like we have been drafted by God. Listen to what he says: I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received (v. 1). Live like you have been drafted. Live in a way that reflects your million dollar contract. Live like you are the face of franchise, for indeed you are!
There’s an all-pro Christ-follower on the inside of you. Let him or her come out to play. Here’s how I know there is an all-pro Christian on the inside of you. All of us received a signing bonus when we were drafted, a signing bonus at salvation – The Holy Spirit. The Spirit made our heart his address. The Spirit coaches us up from the inside. The Spirit counsels us from the inside. He empowers us from the inside. As I respond to my Signing Bonus, the Holy Spirit, on the inside, I become the franchise player God envisioned when he drafted me. I live like I’ve been drafted!
Here is one of the most important ways in which we live up to being drafted … by making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit… When God drafted us he placed us on the same team by his Spirit. He brought us together as one, with one purpose and one mission. And we are to make every effort to maintain the unity he has created in Christ. But this requires intentional action.
Unity is like a fire – it tends to die out if left unattended (Ephesians, Life Application Study Bible, p. 76.).
We have to be determined to keep the fire alive. We have to make sacrifices to keep the fire alive. We have to leverage all or our creativity and emotional resources to keep the fire alive. This is the way we live worthy of being drafted by God.
This passage reflects why we have to read the Bible and be present when the Bible is being preached. Though all of us in this room want to obey God, I wonder how many of us see ourselves as keepers of unity … as peacemakers … as reconcilers. Even if we do, perhaps, we don’t value it at the same level God does. Yet God says this is one of the highest priorities of every believer. This is a part of your identity … my identity. We are not like others. Other groups are divided by politics, by preferences, and by personalities. Others are divided by individuality, by ethnicity and by sexuality. Not us. We were selected to preserve the unity of God’s team. Our specialty is community not disunity. Our signature is collaboration not isolation. Our skill is gathering people, not scattering them. We are the keepers of the flame.
For in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female for we are all one in Christ (Galatians 3:28).
So how do we stay one? How do we live worthy of the calling we have received?
To Stay One…Envision the Oneness We Already Have (vv. 4-6).
He shares with us seven ways we have already been made one in Christ in verses 4-6.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
The passage teaches us that the hard work of unity has already been done. God has already united us in the most significant and eternal ways. He is not asking us to create unity. He is asking us to hold on to what he has already put in our hands. I may not be able to create unity on my own, but I am good at holding on to something already in my hands.
Look at the seven ways God has already made us one.
God has made us One Body. We have a complex need for one another. Your hand richly depends on the rest of your body to be a hand. It needs the brain to tell it what to do, blood to stay alive, arteries to pump the blood to it, a stomach to send it the necessary nutrients and nerves to feel what it touches. Your hand can’t be a hand without the rest of the body. The same is true of us in Christ. We can’t be who we are without each other.