Summary: Even more than reading our tracts, the world is watching our tracks.
Walking in Unity
I want to know how rich you are. Do you know why? Is it for tithing purposes? No. It’s for your sake. I mean true riches. Add up everything you have that money can’t buy and death can’t take away, and that’s how rich you really are!
The first half of Ephesians was doctrinal...all about the riches we have in Christ Jesus. Now it moves from doctrine to duty. We move from our riches in Christ to our responsibility to Christ. We will focus more on our Walk than our Wealth now. It all translates into shoe leather now...will we practice what we preach?
I like to read my sermons out loud several times during the week so I can hear what it will be like when I stand in the pulpit. Often I make changes and improvements as the Lord leads. I do this in my office as well as at home. Yes, my family is made to endure hearing the same sermon multiple times. So, if you stop by the church and hear shouting coming from my office, please don’t think there’s a big brouhaha in progress. And if you drive by my house and there’s a silhouette of my arms flailing about, don’t call the police for a domestic call. I’m simply practicing what I preach!
That’s not what the Bible means when it says to practice our preaching. It’s the practical outworking of the doctrinal in-working. God wants us to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Your walk talks and your talk talks, but your walk talks louder than your talk talks. What we do is more important than what we say. Even more than reading our tracts, the world is watching our tracks.
So let’s look at our marching orders. Here’s 4 walks to live by in the last half of this book:
1. Walk in Unity. 4:1-16
2. Walk in Purity. 4:17-5:17
3. Walk in Harmony. 5:18-6:9
4. Walk in Victory. 6:10-24
And these challenges from the last half of the book will perfectly parallel the doctrines we learned from the first half.
In chapter 1 we were placed into the body of Grace...THEREFORE, we are to walk in unity.
In chapter 2 we were raised from being dead, dominated, and doomed, THEREFORE, we are to walk in purity.
In chapter 2 we were reconciled to God, and the wall of partition was broken down, THEREFORE, we are to walk in harmony.
In chapter 3 we see Christ’s victory over Satan, THEREFORE, we are to walk in victory!
Doctrine parallels duty. That tells me that what we believe determines how we behave.
It’s easy to say the words, "Jesus may come today!" But if we really believe that, it should translate into living differently.
I’ll just give you the beginning of the walking in unity series today, and continue the next couple of weeks.
Unity is not the same as uniformity. Unity comes from within. Uniformity comes from pressure from without. Unity brings us together. Uniformity brings us to compromise. It comes at the expense of conviction, doctrine, and beliefs.
Unity is not the same as union. Today’s ecumenical movement [one church] says we must tear down walls of doctrine which divide us. I say, tear down walls of prejudice and jealousy, but don’t touch a wall which God built, like the wall of doctrine!
Tie 2 cats tails together and throw them over a clothesline. You will have union. You will not have unity.
Unity in the body of Christ says the arms and legs can work together, and don’t have to look like each other. You don’t have to shift flesh from one area to another to have unity. [I have that furniture problem where your chest falls into your drawers!]
Unity allows us to work together, but not at the expense of our core principles. With that said, we don’t have to be exactly alike to work together, or that would be uniformity. 2 Pastors can work together without completely agreeing on every minor detail. Now it would be a problem if they disagreed on major things, but otherwise we can agree to disagree, formulate a plan, and go with it in unity. You and your spouse can compromise on little details, but it gets ugly if you can’t get together on something big like your philosophy of raising children. But when a man and woman have a tiff over something like what TV show to watch next, it can usually we worked out easily by the man just deciding if he wants to eat or not!
There are 4 graces of unity: [you need all 4 to have unity]
v. 2 Lowliness=humility.
This quality of humility is strange because once you find that you have it...you just lost it!