Summary: We are all individuals but joined together, united by the Holy Spirit as part of God's church.
UNITED IN SPIRIT
Reading: Ephesians 4v1-16
Recap on last time: The Christian family
We Belong; Children of God; Children of Light;
Heirs of the Kingdom.
Read again: v3-6
People are different!
But as social people, we need each other.
We all definitely need each other's company, support, encouragement, help, and lots more. We all need relationships and we all hope for unity and not conflict.
So sad when families are divided by disputes, by wrong attitudes, and many other causes.
When conflicts go on for years, even through generations; families divided instead of united.
Last time we considered the blessings of being part of the family of God?
Are you blest? or are you struggling to find your place of peace and unity in the church of Jesus Christ?
In this fellowship do we have a close loving family bond? One that shows the love peace and unity that Jesus can bring into the lives of all who turn to the Lord?
Oh, what a special family we belong to, when we follow the principles of united family relationships!
We are all joined together, united by the Holy Spirit.
The passage we are looking at reminds us of how we should be joined together as individuals making up the whole family of God.
We are exhorted to
Live Worthy of the Calling
We were all born into human families, with all their differences, natures, circumstances, upbringings; all of which have a big part in moulding our natural characters. Yes, we're all different not only in appearance, but in temperament, aspirations, and a multitude of other aspects.
Sometime later, we were born again into the family of God; that's the moment we gave our lives to God through Jesus and the cross of Calvary.
Then the old life was replaced by a new life, a new identity and wonderful new horizons. That's an ongoing process as we grow in the things of God and continue maturing as New Creations.
Life in the natural becomes more and more life through the Spirit of our Living God.
Let me read those verses again Ephesians 4v1-2
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling, for which you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love. NLT
What a great privilege to be called by God into His family. What a privilege to be able to call he great Creator and Holy God, our Father, even Daddy (Abba)!!
What an awesome responsibility then, to be a Son or Daughter along with the multitude of brothers and sisters in the whole family of God.
An so we need to watch how we walk, remembering we are reflections of the love of God, ambassadors of Christ to every who meets with us or even passes us by.
Are we individually and as a church radiating God's light and love, do people see or feel that? Or do they just see a peculiar people in that little building up the road?
We have many onlookers who are influenced by our manner and reactions. We even have a great cloud of witnesses to the faith, spurring us onwards from heaven. (Hebrews 12v1)
Let's remember, each of us has our shortcomings and faults, that's being human. But let's not judge one another, but be patient and gentle, try to understand and see the good. It's easy to be a critic and a discourager, but the calling of God is to be a true listener and gentle encourager towards the good.
Sometimes the outward manner of someone is far different to their inner private self.
We are reminded to keep
The Unity of the Spirit and the Bond of Peace
Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. (NLT)
Building unity can be hard. Our intrinsic different characters and understandings make perfect unity an ideal rather than a reality.
It can cause some big rifts, arguments, partisan tendencies, and be a hindrance to our peaceful existence as the family of God.
In short, human beings are not perfect (never can be in this life), so the church is not perfect. We have an imperfect church struggling to show God's ways to a massively imperfect world.
How can we overcome this? We saw, last time, that we are called to be children of light. The Christian family is a family showing light, goodness, not darkness and sin.
It's a battle that only the power of the Holy Spirit within each of us can empower us to win, hour by hour, day by day.