Unity

Walk With Him in Unity

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called. Ephesians 4:1

 

            If there was anyone in Scripture, other than Jesus Himself, who knew what it meant to walk in a manner worthy of his calling, it was Paul. I imagine he would have some stories to tell. He saw the absolute worst side of humanity, but was given insight into a world few have ever seen. The way he writes about Jesus is remarkable. What can we learn from a man who experienced troubles comparable to the sufferings of Job? Well, Paul shows us that his current state of imprisonment is for the glory of God and the advancement of the Gospel. He knew the cost to follow.

 

            Paul’s focus was to show us what it means to walk and ultimately how to walk worthy. I can’t walk haphazardly and expect that God will be pleased with my steps. To walk in a manner worthy of our calling (no matter what that calling is), is more about

whom we walk with rather than where we walk. Where Paul went was far less important that who was with him. It may sound familiar and cheesy, but our purpose and the highest pleasure in life is to walk with Christ

. To walk worthy with the King is no small or arbitrary task. It is the journey and calling to which we are all called. If you find yourself in a place of disunity with yourself, with your parents, or with other people, a good question to ask is: Have I been walking with Him? If not, today is a great day to start.

 

The Point: Walk Worthy With Him.

 

Unity

 

Walk … with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. – Ephesians 4:1-2

 

Understanding that we are to walk is vitally important to our relationship with Jesus. Asking the question “How?”, is a good place to start. Paul urges the people of the Ephesian church, and us today, to walk. And his urge is for us to walk in a few ways: in humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with one another in love, eagerly maintaining unity and peace. From a human perspective, this does not sound like the average person. Can you blame people living today for not wanting to live this way? All the movies, music, and advertisements scream to everyone: “Be proud! Gentleness is for whimps! Patience is for the weak! Fight! Do what makes you happy, despite how it affects others!”

 

Something we must never forget, no matter how much we find ourselves ingrained with the culture of our world, Christ did not come to give us glory. We are to imitate Christ’s humility because He is glorified in our humble submission. He is gentle and patient with us and we are to reciprocate. He bears with us and shows us love, He unifies His church, He Himself is our peace, and the list goes on and on. Why? Because, Christ came to seek and save the lost. He did not come to allow us to wallow in the filth we have made in sin, like pigs in a sty.

The Point: Walk.


 

One Body

 

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, – Ephesians 4:4–5

 

If the body is the church, then how are we to be one body with so many different parts? Some would think that working together is a waste of time and that we should all hunker down in our own churches, lock the doors and wait on Jesus to come get us. What a waste. If there has ever been a desire in the heart of Satan himself, it is to create disunity and division in God’s people. We must not forget “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” (Matthew 12:25) And if we are the house, then we are the ones built upon the rock, and notice the rock is singular. If the rock (being Jesus) is singular, the church is also singular.

 

There have been many local churches that have been forced to close their doors because of vain arguments about the color of carpet, the way a new building should look, or how the old space should be used. Satan is very good at his job. There are many avenues not only into the church to create disunity, but also in our hearts. How many times have you been led to dislike a person by the words of someone else? Have you ever had a sin creep into your life and begin to take over? How has your relationship with God been damaged by the sin that has made its way in? There are many ways to be divided, both as a body, and as a singular believer. God called us to be united believers as His body to reach the world.

 

The Point: We are one. Unite.


 

 

One King

 

One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. – Ephesians 4:6

 

The singularity of God, even within the Trinity is remarkable. He is One. The Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” God is Himself singular and at the same time three distinct persons. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are the singular God having three ways in which He manifests His singularity.

 

In the same way that we are to be imitators of Christ and the example He sets for us, His oneness is to be imitated. We are to be imitators of God’s unity, which we see demonstrated within Himself. There are a few ways in which we are to be united.

 

  1. Unity with Him. – It goes without saying that our unity with Jesus must be the central point of our existence if we ever desire true happiness, joy, peace, contentment, and lasting satisfaction.
  2. Unity with ourselves. – Some may deny this point but we must have unity in ourselves. Many play the church game and there is conflict between their actions and their words. Here, there is a need for consistency and unity.
  3. Unity with the Body. – One of the many beautiful things about the cross is that it made our family bigger. We are in this together. He did not create us to be alone, nor to walk through life alone. The church is our family; unite and lean on each other. It is what God intended for us to do.

 

The Point: He is One. We are one.


 

Lead & Be Led

 

And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ. – Ephesians 4:11-12

 

If there has ever been a difficult occupation it is the office of pastor or ministry staff. Let’s face it, ministry is hard; both for those on staff, and those who do ministry in any area of life. God decided that we need shepherding not only from Him directly, but also through other people. There should be a desire in each believer to be shepherded by someone. Ultimately, Christ is our ultimate shepherd, but He also gave certain people to us, to be leaders. Why else would Paul have told the early Christians to follow him if they needed an example? What an amazing thing for a leader to have the confidence in Christ and their relationship with Him to say, “Follow me, as I follow Christ.” We need leaders like this, and we need followers like this.

 

Something I learned as a young Christian is that leaders must lead and follow. This is both simple and spectacularly profound. Leaders must also be willing to admit when they are wrong. The best leaders in history are those who lead by example. Paul understood this. Leading by example was the premise of Jesus’ ministry on earth! If you presume to be a leader and you have no one following your lead, try following for a change. If there is one unifying thing among Christians besides the love and blood of Christ, it’s the fact that we are all very fallen creatures in need of a redeemer, in need of shepherding, in need of a leader.

 

The Point: Leaders follow & followers support.


 

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

 

So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. – Ephesians 4:14

 

            It is the dream of every young boy to grow to be a man. He wants the responsibility, the authority, the car, the house, the beard, the wife, etc. It is the dream of every young girl to be a woman. She wants to be a wife, a mother, a caretaker, a nurturer, etc. Why do boys play with toys representing grown men with trucks and guns? They desire to be more mature than they currently are. Why do girls play with baby dolls and feed them with fake milk and change diapers on a plastic doll? Because built into all of us is a desire to be more mature that we currently are. It’s the same reason some look forward to retirement, to financial security, to marriage, etc. We always desire to take the next step.

 

            Why should our relationship with God be any different? Built into us is a need for deeper maturity, for more understanding, for a deeper relationship with the One who gave us life. Paul sees the need for maturity and shows us in verse 11 of chapter 4 that those who are mature and have attained unity, knowledge of the Son to mature personhood, and to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, will no longer be like spiritual children tossed around by everything that simply sounds plausible. There are many good arguments, but only One God, One Lord, One Baptism, One Savior, One Mission, One Savior, One Christ, One Gospel.

 

The Point: Don’t believe everything you hear.

 


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