Summary: 22nd in Ephesians series dealing with a worthy walk with long-suffering
“Walk in Unity”
I. Our Wealth and Worth In Christ 1-3
II. Our Worthy Walk in Christ 4-6
A. Walk in Unity
1. Exhortation to walk worthy of our calling 1
2. Characteristics of a worthy walk in unity 2-3
Walk worthy of your calling by…
“Walking with all humility”
“Walking with all gentleness”
“Walking with longsuffering”
Bearing with one another in Love
Being diligent to keep unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Paul urge the Ephesians to demonstrate longsuffering by bearing with one another in love, which is the perfect bond of peace, and by doing everything possible to preserve the unity established by Jesus through His death on the cross. His death established the foundation for peace with God and each other in a newly created community of spiritually connected people.
This community is connected to the already unified Godhead and to each other.
3. Unifying factors of the church
The unity of this community is based on a seven-fold bond. The more things in common the greater the sense of unity. I am not sure we have taken the time to consider just how much we have in common with every other Christian in the world.
Unfortunately, the church is known more for its disunity than its unity.
One site I visited estimated at least 33,000 different denominations. Many denominations formed over disagreement related to core beliefs, church government or a particular practice.
All claim their foundation in the Biblical truth. Many of the disagreements are significant and bitter. The truth is, most are linked by the seven bonds found in our present passage.
1. ONE BODY
The Bible employs the symbolism of the human body to illustrate the interrelation between Christians and Christ and between Christians and each other. Unity is based on the fact that we are all part of one body. Here, Paul focuses on the relationship of Christians with each other. Three concepts are important when you think about the body.
Unity, diversity, mutuality.
The body functions as a single unit -- unity.
The body is comprised of diverse members but is still one body -- diversity.
Every part of the body is interdependent – mutuality.
Paul fully unpacks this theme in first Corinthians chapter 12.
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. 1 Corinthians 12:12-14
At the moment of regeneration, the Holy Spirit connects the believer to the body of Christ.
If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. 1 Corinthians 12:19-20
And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it. 1 Corinthians 12:26-27
Christians may not belong to the same denomination but every true follower of Jesus Christ becomes part of the same body. Every part of the body serves every other part of the body.
All the members are necessary. We are interconnected in such a way that what affects one affects all. Whenever parts are guess connected or disregarded it affects the whole.
When parts of our body decide to do their own thing and fight against the other parts of the body we can become incapacitated. There must be a unity of purpose. We must all receive our directions from the head. We need to realize that all of us are essential part of Christ's body.
That's why Paul says we need to be diligent to preserve the unity.
2. ONE SPIRIT -- The same Holy Spirit indwells every Christian.
Unity is based on the fact that the same Holy Spirit indwells every Christian. We were all made to drink of one Spirit. We get in trouble when we stop listening to that Holy Spirit. When there is strife, it means that one or both have stopped listening to the Holy Spirit. Luke made an interesting observation after some long discussion among leadership in the early church.
Since we have heard that some of our number to whom we gave no instruction have disturbed you with their words, unsettling your souls, it seemed good to us, having become of one mind, to select men to send to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul…
For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: Acts 15:24-25,28