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Summary: The unity that comes in Christ, based on Ephesians 4.

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Unity

Ephesians: God’s Riches In Christ, Part 7

Ephesians 4:1-16

We’re in a series on the book of Ephesians.

Today we’re going to be looking at Ephesians Chapter 4.

In August of 1987, there was suppose to have been a world changing event.

According to the New Age movement it was the time for a tremendous harmonic convergence.

There was some unusual coordination of the planets and their elliptical orbits around the sun and according to the new age leaders.

this arrangement of the planets would continue until 1992 to prepare us for visitors from another world in the next century.

So New Agers gathered on Mount Shasta in California, at a canyon in New Mexico, Enchanted Rock in Texas, Serpent Mound in Ohio, the great pyramids of Gaza in Egypt, and at Glastonbury, the home of King Arthur in England.

According to the New Agers leadership, at least 144,000 people had to grab hands and hum at the same time.

If we had done that, they believed it would tune us in to the new vibrations of this dynamic convergence. Obviously, their predictions never came true.

And this whole story would be funny except that it really tells us something about people in our society today

who don’t know God.

There is a tragic, empty longing that people have

to belong to a group of people that are joined together in the pursuit of something better,

joined together in seeking a better life.

Whether its 144,000 new agers joining hands and humming,

or whether it’s the Falun Gong cult in China

that’s causing the Chinese government so much trouble,

or whether its Moslems in the middle east,

who have joined together in a holy war against western society.

People just long to be a part of something bigger than themselves,

that adds meaning to their lives.

You see,

our world is divided in every way.

We’re divided racially, economically, politically, socially, religiously

and every other way you can think of.

So these New Agers dreamed of being unified, caught up and swept away in the force caused by this convergence of the planets.

Jesus also spoke about being unified,

caught up and swept away by a new force for harmony.

But it was not a dynamic convergence of the planets, Jesus talked about being

caught up and swept away, by the powerful flow of love that sweeps back and forth between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Jesus described this force,

in a prayer he prayed.

On the last night before Jesus went to the cross, He began to do what He now does continually for us.

A few hours before His arrest, Jesus began to pray for all of us.

We read about it in John 17:20-26, Jesus is praying, just before he was arrested and taken to be crucified.

Now what so you think Christ prayed for in the final moments before His arrest?

If I was Jesus,

I’m sure I’d be praying for strength, to face the crucifixion,

and I’d be praying that

the disciples would support me, that not run away at the first chance,

that they’d remember what I taught them,

and that they’d be bold in telling others about God.

Do you know what is the last thing Jesus prayed for?

He prayed for believers unity,

He prayed for Christians to be in unity, so that their unity would make such an impact on the world,

that the world would believe that God had sent Jesus, his Son.

John 17:22-23 ---- Message

Jesus is praying for believers here, and says ---- The same glory you gave me, I gave them, so they’ll be as unified and together as we are — I in them and you in me. Then they’ll be mature in this oneness, and give the godless world evidence that you’ve sent me and loved them in the same way you’ve loved me.

Jesus knew that Christians could never make a lasting impact on the world unless spiritually the world saw in that church a oneness, a unity.

This was a big deal,

both to Jesus and Paul.

In Ephesians chapter 4,

Paul talks about what brings unity to the church.

The whole chapter is really about creating unity.

vs. 3 sums it up, Paul tells them,

Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace.

So Paul takes up where Jesus left off,

and says,

we need to always live in unity

and peace toward each other ---

and now here’s some practical ways to do it.

Paul says, first

UNITY COMES WHEN:

We lead a life worthy of our calling.

vs. 1-3

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace.

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