Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Unity is vital to the health of a church

Ephesians 4:1-6

The church is called to be unified in purpose and passion. Paul writes, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6)

We share the same faith, the same baptism, and the same God yet, disunity and division is common among our churches. When church members don’t work well together, the church is weak. Jesus said, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (Mark 3:24-25)

Furthermore, Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. The world will know if we are Christians or not by the way those who are believers act toward one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Considering this, Paul urges us “to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:1-2) 

Humility is the cornerstone of unity. It represents an attitude that recognizes the worth and value of other people. Pride, on the other hand, tends to create conflict. When we put others’ needs ahead of ours, we foster harmony.

Gentleness is another characteristic that promotes unity. Easily misunderstood as weakness, it embodies the quality of moderation. It manifests strength under control, enabling perseverance.

Patience is the third trait mentioned by Paul. The word used here is synonymous with longsuffering, which is showing patience despite difficulties, particularly those caused by other people. Without patience, no group can be at peace. 

To live a life worthy of our calling in Christ necessitates that we treat one another with humility, gentleness, and patience. That requires the effort of the entire body of Christ for “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it...” (1 Corinthians 12:26). This is why Paul wrote, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3)

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