Posted in Daily Living, Lesson

Paul Encouraged Unity

Paul_encouraged

If it isn’t enough for the Lord Jesus to pray for you to get along with your Christian brethren, will you be willing to follow the advice of the Apostle Paul? He was a proponent for walking in unity.

Here it is, the third week of discussing this topic, and I realize I’ve never shared a definition of unity. Dictionary.com says “That sate of being one; oneness.” And the Greek word used by Paul agrees. It means simply “one.”

In Ephesians chapter four, Paul explains what things should drive our unity. “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all…” (Ephesians 4:4-6).

Unity in church should be about what’s best for the body. Every believer shares the same hope and is empowered by the same Spirit. They worship the same Lord through the same faith. Members of the church have the same type of baptism.

Look at all those things that should drive us closer together.

So why does Paul say that keeping unity is an “endeavor”? (Ephesians 4:3)

Because we’re human. And unity is too much about others and not enough about what we want. Therefore, it won’t happen on its own. We’re going to have to purposefully strive to live in unity with other believers.

Let’s take a look at Ephesians chapter four and see if Paul gives us any help in this endeavor.

First of all, “I…beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1). Paul knew from personal experience that living for Christ was one trial after another. In fact, he was imprisoned for his stand at the time he wrote this letter.

We are called to something higher. When Jesus saved us, God intended for us to perform “good works” (Ephesians 2:10) so we could be conformed to the image of Christ.

That’s great, sister, but HOW can I walk worthy of this high calling while I’m wearing this sinful flesh?

In Ephesians 4:2, Paul tells us five things we must do in order to be like Christ:

  1. “With all lowliness” means kick your pride to the side
  2. “and meekness” which is taking on an attitude that puts others first, seeks to serve others rather than self
  3. “with longsuffering” because people will take advantage of your humble service, but you can keep on serving them anyway
  4. “forbearing one another” includes extending both mercy and grace to your brethren when they step on you
  5. “in love” because love bears all things without seeking its own

Obviously, this isn’t an easy task. That’s why Paul said by doing all these things, we’d be “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).

Endeavor can be both a noun and a verb. Used here, it is an action. In the Greek, it means “to make haste, to be zealous, to be diligent.”

In short, don’t quit trying to live peaceably with your fellow church members. Unity is essential to the life and health of the Lord’s church.

Next up: The Beauty of Unity according to Psalms

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Author:

Freelance writer and editor whose background in education and BA in English Language & Literature amps her love of all things books. Twenty years of parenting and 26 of marriage gives unique insight to her preferred audiences of women, young adults, and teenagers.

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