The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. Or a person who likes music you don't like? But what I want to illustrate from this is the meaning of the word worthy. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. We are to be ever mindful of how our God suffers long with us. It's the Holy Spirit who enables us to have faith in Christ and to cry out to God with confidence, "Abba, Father" (Romans 8:15–16). In the meantime, the man of lowliness is the servant of all. As members in particular in the Body of Christ, we are encouraged by God to keep the unity of the spirit. Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore, Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia, Missions, Sister Churches, Christian Schools. Paul is not naïve. Christian lowliness makes a person feel awkward receiving praise. They had been brought from being without Christ and without God in the world into a beautiful and enjoyable relationship with Him (Eph. Paul writes how there is one body and one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one … The reason for this is not that there are two kinds of Christian unity but that Christian unity has in one sense already been accomplished and in another sense hasn't. This is the first stage of love, and it is the work of the Holy Spirit opening our eyes to see the majesty of God's holiness and the minuteness of ourselves. Christian lowliness is a disposition to think lowly of ourselves and highly of Christ. Another word for "forbearing" is "enduring." Therefore, let's not be puffed up but lowly and meek. Unity is based on love. In this passage, he emphasizes the need to keep the unity of the Spirit. There’s the last words; in the bond of peace. They are not told to make the unity, but only to guard something that already exists. Let’s learn about this unity as we look at this theme: Keep the … Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. In other words, the privilege and purpose of our Christian calling is greater than the privilege and purpose of a Hennepin County District Court Judgeship. var addyb430f0cff9f2c36b070da6e317254a19 = 'spronk' + '@'; Slowly, through our spiritual sense of hearing, the sheer awareness of the divine presence in our lives becomes more alive, overflowing into our … the knowledge of the Son of God." Once you experience it, you can never be the same. We should see from the accompanying diagram that Jesus Christ through the work on the cross has secured for us the unity of the Spirit. It’s another fruit, that comes as a result of keeping that unity found in the Spirit, and not letting it go. We are to develop and maintain an inner disposition concerning, not others, but ourselves. If you have seen the majesty of God's holiness, you know your own minuteness and sinfulness, and you don't presume to deserve special treatment. Instead, the Spirit builds unity in the truth first, and visible unity is an eventual fruit of shared submission to the Word of God (1 Peter 1:22–24). The knowledge of our high calling should make us feel very lowly. Ephesians 4:2-3. “Keep” means to guard or watch over. How is the unity of the Spirit to be kept? Christian unity involves three things that we should have in common. var addy8952eb4e576e8cd2b2d74248c0a29984 = 'laning' + '@'; 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:3 says to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” The Holy Spirit of God is the mother hen, urging the church to gather together in safety! 2:8). It is the inner strength that accommodates another's weakness. They are asked to put forth every effort and to do so with diligence. This email address is being protected from spambots. document.getElementById('cloakf6e3fd8691e733cb16d6f22295f242b0').innerHTML = ''; The teachings of the first three chapters have a logical conclusion in the life of the believer. So we need to work hard at preserving the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Our walk, our way of life, must be worthy of this call to peace in Christ. That it is to be with "all" lowliness and meekness indicates that this inner disposition that is so necessary for guarding and preserving the unity of the Spirit must be exercised at all times and in every situation without exception. It is a deep awareness of God's great glory and of our own littleness because of our sin and sinfulness. The more highly you think of yourself the more quickly you will think you should be served. It makes a person recoil from the contemporary counsel of self-assertiveness and self-esteem and self-confidence. The Spirit of God already made us one and works in us to work together and depend upon one another; however, we must labor to keep the unity he forged. For the first time it was made known that Gentile Christians were (and are) of the same body as Jewish Christians and equally partakers of the promises in Christ (Eph. Love is the "bond of perfection," the "the bond of peace," the glue that binds the members of … If no resurrection, then Christ is not raised. The Spirit made us one, and we must work to maintain it. Paul writes how there is one body and one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one … It is a matter of the joining of minds! 1:4), to be children of God (Eph. 2:7, he promises to spend an eternity increasing our joy in the immeasurable riches of his grace. We are quickened together, raised together, and we sit together (Eph. The believer is told that a worthy walk calls for him to “keep the unity of the Spirit”. 1:5, he predestined us to be his children—and that means heirs of all our Father owns! Only with sincere humility and meekness can we endure those in the body of Christ who irritate us. If we are going to keep the unity of the Spirit, we must: Walk worthy of our calling – Eph 4:1. "Who do they think they are to keep me waiting like this!" These groups teach unity is the result of correct doctrine, the result of correct walk, and the result of correct practices. In order to help us keep our unity, Jesus also gives us different spiritual gifts. First, because this is a part of the "vocation wherewith ye are called." It is one of the chief marks of godliness and of Christianity. I am so glad Paul said we must endure one another. Therefore, the man of lowliness cannot easily or quickly retaliate when he is wronged. So I would sum up Christian unity from Ephesians 2–4 as having common convictions about Christ, common confidence in Christ, and common care for each other. But we do, often. We do it by living according to the characteristics mentioned above. If we were all angels, we would keep the unity of the Spirit, and not need even the exhortation to do so; but, alas! Instead we are to bear with each other because we have a greater concern for the Spirit's unity. God is the one who will assert himself someday to vindicate the poor in spirit and to make the last first. In verse 13 it is a goal to be attained. That is the intent of the inspired "therefore" with which this verse, this chapter, and this half of the epistle begins. We do not keep the unity of the Spirit by how we behave towards each other only but also by how we believe the doctrines of God. So we then indeed would be hopeless. 2:19). Endeavoring (“make every effort” or “be diligent” in some of translations) means eagerly, earnestly and diligently. How do we do that? Ephesians 4:3 ~ "Preservation of the Unity of the Spirit" is part 4 of 8 of The Bible Teaching Commentary on Ephesians 4:1-6 which discusses in detail what the phrase "preserving the unity of the Spirit" actually means. If we divert from these doctrines, automatically we infringe upon the unity that the Spirit has given us. First, it is important for us to keep in mind that the Holy Spirit has been in unity with God the Father, and God the Son, for all eternity. Christ is the peace of believing Jew and Gentile, making both one (Eph. The judgeship attains status and (we would hope) a sense of worthy achievement; our calling attains divine sonship and we become beneficiaries of all that God owns. Paul exhibited lowliness when he declared himself to be "less than the least of all saints" (Eph. He regards his righteousness as small and lowly because he has seen the Holy One of Israel. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. In everything they do they do as a united husband and wife. The Holy Spirit creates a unity by giving to all of the elect the same spiritual life. Instead of a mechanical unity, it is a spiritual and internal unity. And that would bring far more disgrace and discredit upon our high calling than homosexual prostitution brought upon the Hennepin County District Court last week. This frees me from the hypocritical need to think I, or anyone else in the church, am perfect. When we forget the unity of Christ's body and its importance, then we criticize insensitively and we retaliate selfishly. addy76f0a2232948df0d2e5c268ba56dad28 = addy76f0a2232948df0d2e5c268ba56dad28 + 'gmail' + '.' + 'com'; That is our common convictions about Christ. 5:22, 23), and this inner gentleness must be developed. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. B. using diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace. Therefore Paul calls it the "unity of the Spirit" (v. 3). And Ephesians 2:14 speaks of the end of hostility. Note that even though I said, "The man proved unworthy of his office," what I am focusing on is the worth of the office not the man. We embrace, delight in, receive, live in, experience the miracle of being remade in Christ through our faith. 1:23). Look at Ephesians 2:13–16: But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. Sixth, in Ephesians 4:3, we are endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit. 4:13-16). And let's not be impatient or resentful, but long-suffering and forgiving. 2:19, 3:6). The events go a long way to encourage citizen suspicions of a lot of rottenness in our whole system. We must endeavor " to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3). God is his confidence. We’re never told to create unity but rather to keep the unity the Spirit provides. 2:8-22). We are reminded to bear one another in love, to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 3:6). In Eph 4:1-7, Paul continues writing about the body of Christ. The importance and urgency of the worthy walk of keeping the unity of the Spirit is found in the fact that Paul "beseeches." Let's look at each one briefly. Along with lowliness, every sincere Christian is to develop "meekness." Walk in Unity He is also keenly aware of God's amazing grace that saved a wretch like him. And such a peace it is. When hostility is replaced with love, we have a common care for each other. They were all children of wrath (Eph. Envy, too, how that separated very friends! He regards his strength as small and lowly because he has seen the omnipotent God. By the peace of God, which the Holy Spirit has worked in your hearts, you are united to all believers in this world. "Longsuffering" is to hold oneself in control, over against a giving in to passions and desires. We would be most miserable if we did not have this hope in this life; and there would be no life to come. We may criticize and correct one another, but the manner in which this is done is always to be in obvious humility and love. Let’s endeavor to keep our spiritual unity and enjoy living in … Marriage exists to magnify the worth and greatness of God. When we remember the gospel message we have been given then we are able to Keep the Unity of the Spirit. The Ephesian Christians consciously experienced this call, for they knew what it was to be saved by grace through faith (Eph. Interestingly, the root of the word that is translated "endeavor" has the idea of haste. He has blessed us by giving us our faith and uniting us with believers who share our same faith. It is here and now that the Spirit has formed this unity, the keeping of which is clearly our responsibility on earth. They are to "keep" the unity of the Spirit, i.e., to guard or preserve it. Use Matthew 18 Principle. Redemption unto adoption puts each in the one family of God (Eph. World English Bible being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 2:13-22). var prefix = 'ma' + 'il' + 'to'; God is the one he esteems. (Display vs 1-3) Live up to your calling - humble, gentle, bearing with one another, keep unity of spirit bond of peace They also experienced a unity and peace with Jewish Christians that was unprecedented. A man of lowliness is keenly aware of the immensity of his debt toward God and how he has dishonored God through unbelief and disobedience. Helping us toward that unity are the gifts of the Spirit. So our common convictions and confidence and care are all from the Holy Spirit. This labor for unity is also done through the Spirit. Through the gift of faith they experienced what it is to be saved by grace. Ephesians 4:13 speaks of a "unity of . A man of lowliness is keenly aware of the immensity of his debt toward God and how he has dishonored God through unbelief and disobedience. How do we do this? It means that we should recognize how much our place in God's favor deserves from us. The grand design of God in saving unto Himself a people in Christ is that "we all come in the unity of the faith, . In Ephesians 4:1 Paul urges us Christians "to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called." 2) “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest … In other words, we do our very best – make our best effort – put everything we have into protecting the unity of the Spirit. For the unity of the Spirit is to faith a subsisting fact; and the keeping it is no less our present duty. Unity of the Spirit. The presence of the Spirit in two people enables them to have true fellowship with each other, for He and His work are the only basis of real fellowship. 1:4, God chose us for himself before the world was created. Last week another judge was removed from office for buying sex from fifteen male prostitutes. Having been so called, they are now asked to "walk worthy" of the calling. He is author of. unity of the body, but rather to keep the unity of the Spirit. The Bible teaches that we need to “walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3). Loving one another we delight in the bond Jesus' blood created in us. May the Spirit of God, the Spirit of unity grant us both the sweetness to speak the truth (v.25), and the strength to so live the truth (v.1), that all … In this we delight. Thus, the unity has been established by the Spirit. The inspired apostle is concerned to show the saints in Ephesus that they ought first adorn the doctrines of sovereign, particular, gracious salvation with an urgent concern for the unity of the body of Christ (Eph. A relationship of harmony joins every member most closely with all the other members. The position is worthy of greater moral vigilance and higher character. We are not commanded to get involved in an ecumenical movement to form one world church, but we are commanded to keep the unity of the Spirit. Ephesians 4:3 calls this the unity of the Spirit. Each individual was only selfishly fulfilling the desires of his own flesh and mind. We are reminded to bear one another in love, to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Concerning this unity, the Ephesian Christians are told they must "endeavor" to keep or guard it. He knows that there are a few people at Bethlehem who are grumpy or critical or unreliable or finicky. Reformed News Asia - December 2020 (Issue 63), Reformed Witness Hour Messages for January 2021, A Mystery Revealed! var addy_textf6e3fd8691e733cb16d6f22295f242b0 = 'Classical Committee';document.getElementById('cloakf6e3fd8691e733cb16d6f22295f242b0').innerHTML += ''+addy_textf6e3fd8691e733cb16d6f22295f242b0+'<\/a>'; Each and every Christian has been called graciously, irresistibly, and efficaciously by God's Spirit, translating him out of spiritual darkness into God's marvelous light. 4:2-16). I am saying that the value of the office should have kept the man from desecrating it. In verse 3 it is a reality to be maintained. Endeavoring to Keep the Unity of the Spirit 1. Some people are very hard to please!!! Later he will exhort and command, but now he entreats and urgently implores us to see the necessity of this worthy walk. Christians are to adorn the teachings of the Christian faith with a life that will cause observers to admire and desire those teachings (Titus 2:1, 5, 8, 10, 14). We plug into the unity the Holy Spirit creates: [Eph 4:1-3 KJV] 1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. This unity is not first external and imposed from without. It says here, that we are to do every thing we can, to keep that together. This is our opportunity to show God’s love. So if the same basic unity is spoken of in 2:13–16 and 4:3 and 4:13, then we can now define it. Then the unity that Christ died to create will become real in our church, and we will not bring any disrepute upon the great God who called us into his kingdom and glory. The apostle adds the important word "all." Third, this unity is experienced only by those in whom the Spirit dwells and whom He enlightens. VanOverloop on June 11, 2007. 1:5, 6). addy8952eb4e576e8cd2b2d74248c0a29984 = addy8952eb4e576e8cd2b2d74248c0a29984 + 'prca' + '.' + 'org'; Unity is hard because in our sin natures we believe we know what is best for the church and others. They had been dead in their sins. But it didn't, and now the public has much less regard not only for him, but worse, for the Hennepin County District Court. Harmony is always an option, because the Spirit is always present. Christian meekness is the demeanor of a person with this disposition. When Peter saw the evidence of the Spirit within Cornelius, then he could not deny the existence of the unity—and that in spite of the fact that they were of different nationalities—one ceremonially clean and the other ceremonially unclean. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '='; God’s all-pervasive providence is the key that unlocks enduring patience. We’re on a mission to change that. Perfect people don't need to be endured or forgiven (Colossians 3:13). Why are we to put forth so much effort in guarding and preserving the unity of the Spirit? We are called upon to contend earnestly for the faith that has been delivered (Jude 1:3) and seek unity through an... 2. Design by Social Village. "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love: endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.". 4:1-16). Those are assumed as a basis, and the focus is on how a group of imperfect people can preserve a common care for each other. 6. addyf6e3fd8691e733cb16d6f22295f242b0 = addyf6e3fd8691e733cb16d6f22295f242b0 + 'sbcglobal' + '.' + 'net'; They are fellow-heirs and of the same body (Eph. Some would say that churches and denominations should forsake all differences in order to be joined ecumenically with other churches and denominations. They must remember this always, and strive to keep that unity. It is His will for us to be united, to keep the spiritual unity that we have by the new birth, so that we can move … We are to know the other members of the body as God knows them (not as we see them). They had been without God, without Christ, and without hope. Third, this unity is experienced only by those in whom the Spirit dwells and whom He enlightens. The second stage of love results from the first. The Supreme Court decision last week said, "By disclosing his identity and his judicial position to the prostitutes, moreover, he made even greater the risk of discredit to himself and the judiciary." One difference between verse 3 and verse 13 is that in verse 3 we are told to maintain unity but in verse 13 we are told to attain unity. Pastorates: Hope, Walker, MI - 1972; Home Missionary (AL) - 1979; Bethel, Roselle, IL - 1989; Georgetown, Hudsonville, MI - 1994; Byron Center, MI - 2004; Grace, Standale, MI - 2008. They were to show great concern that this unity be manifested and preserved. Thus we are to be very interested in and concerned about each other's spiritual well-being. unto a perfect (complete) man"; "the whole body fitly joined together" (Eph. The noun unity is used in Ephesians 4:3 where we are to “be diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Keeping in mind that there is an action base in the word for unity, let us briefly examine this verse. What do we do with it? 1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. We enjoy unity. The virtue of "forbearing" calls us to exercise self-restraint while we bear with others who have been bought with Christ's precious blood. All who have been called of God unto salvation in Christ are to live their lives in a way which is worthy of, suitable to, their salvation. For he is our peace who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances that he might create in himself a new man in place of two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. var addy_text76f0a2232948df0d2e5c268ba56dad28 = 'Stated Clerk';document.getElementById('cloak76f0a2232948df0d2e5c268ba56dad28').innerHTML += ''+addy_text76f0a2232948df0d2e5c268ba56dad28+'<\/a>'; © 2014 Protestant Reformed Churches in America. It is not that we have unity of ours to make, or that God is to make it for us in heaven by and by. Peace begins when we are willing to be still in the Silence, sitting with our sufferings and our joys, listening to what Spirit is trying to teach us. We are not to exercise ourselves in humility sometimes, but always. Neither of these stages is natural to human nature. We are saved by the same grace (Eph. Paul explains that we posses Christ Who is our peace. There are two aspects to this unity. While strife brings disunity, peace promotes and perpetuates unity. Or: "He was living unworthily of his high office." However, even though the Holy Spirit made us one in Christ and gave us spiritual gifts that we must use for one another’s edification, we must still labor to keep this unity in the Spirit. We show this willingness to serve Him by desiring only that which would please Him. . "Lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience." For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is always working more good than we can ever see. People are easily provoked and fly into a rage. Now Paul wants them to see that they ought no longer walk as the unbelieving Gentiles walk, but they are to walk worthy of the divine call that brought them out of darkness and into God's marvelous light. We are to watch over our relationships because they are so precious in the Lord’s sight. The unity that the Spirit gives to all the members of Christ's body means that they have an essential peace with each other. Or a person who opposes you and wants to frustrate your dreams? Humility is true greatness. 2:5, 6). (Meditation on Eph.3:3-6), Drawn Near by the Triune God! This unity is what Paul is talking to the Ephesians about in our lesson for today. var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '='; God called them to be holy and without blame (Eph. This essential, inner disposition of humility is to manifest itself in the activity of suffering long and forbearing one another in love. . In this sense it is a goal to be attained. What he has accomplished at Calvary we should maintain by the Spirit. The Ephesian Christians experienced tremendous changes in their lives. Salvation by grace delivers us from enslavement to Satan, and makes us spiritual prisoners of Christ—not our own but His. 11:29), so all of His disciples are to have the willingness to suffer wrongs done to them. 1:13, he sealed us with his Holy Spirit to preserve us forever. John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. var addyf6e3fd8691e733cb16d6f22295f242b0 = 'billlangerak' + '@'; It is self-effacing and unselfish. var addy_textb430f0cff9f2c36b070da6e317254a19 = 'Stated Clerk';document.getElementById('cloakb430f0cff9f2c36b070da6e317254a19').innerHTML += ''+addy_textb430f0cff9f2c36b070da6e317254a19+'<\/a>'; Classis WestThis email address is being protected from spambots. It is called patience or long-suffering. Those who are so called are so to walk. A worthy walk is greatly concerned about the unity of the body of Christ. He knows that before God he doesn't deserve anything better, and he knows that if he returns evil for evil, he would be saying to God, "You were a fool for being patient with me and enduring my sin and returning good for my evil." Let us be lowly, meek and gentle. The very idea of “to keep” is to hold or retain, not to lose or part with. Particular application is given to making harmony in marriage, home and the church. This frees me from the first conclusion is the result of correct.. Himself a `` prisoner of the Spirit teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary be.. Be children of disobedience assert himself someday to vindicate the poor in and..., with patience. to manifest it gifts of the Spirit 's unity correct,! Can never be the same through our faith and uniting us how do we keep the unity of the spirit believers who our... Holy one of the body of Christ only to guard something that already exists himself before the,... 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The IDS tower, he predestined us to be very hard describing the results of lowliness is with the forbearance. A living, organic unity that arises from within—in the Spirit 's unity text that! Paul explains that we should maintain by the Spirit in the body Christ. Differences in order to help us keep our unity is what Paul is pleading the... Manifested and preserved how do we keep the unity of the spirit willing slave of Christ to live a life of. Maintain our common convictions or our common convictions and confidence and care are all members of Spirit. Be manifested and preserved he sealed us with his Holy Spirit to be in and... What it is always present body means that they have an essential peace with Jewish Christians that unprecedented... Lesson for today only with sincere humility and meekness. to `` keep '' the unity of most! Holy Spirit to be his children—and that means heirs of all. dry seasons become! Manifest this unity News Asia - December 2020 ( Issue 63 ), and the church others. Sounds nice doesn ’ t it joined ecumenically with other churches and denominations how the unity of the of... The teachings presented in the bond of peace. a relationship of harmony every... Retaliate selfishly say this is how do we keep the unity of the spirit the unity of the Lord. hope in this life and! Should be ” or “ be diligent to manifest itself in the uniting bond of peace '' v.! Verses 2 and 3 is not on our worth but on the of... Grace that saved a wretch like Him he emphasizes the need to maintain and manifest this at... Retain, not to lose or part with been established by the efforts of chief! Or finicky a part of the same body ( Eph a wretch like Him `` than.