Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6, ESV
We are called to a worthy walk.
The word “walk” = way of living.
Truth Point: We are called to a way of believing that transforms our way of living. Romans 8:29
Paul spent much time laying a foundation of truth, before exhorting us to action. Without revelation first, we would think that achieving our calling is accomplished in our own power, according to our own abilities.
However, Paul carefully laid the reality before us that all of the transformation we’re called to is nothing more than a response to God’s power at work within us. Ephesians 3:20
Truth Point: The “worthy walk” is based upon the power of God at work in us, enlivened by faith, which born from the revelation provided.
At the top of the list is UNITY.
Humility, Gentleness, Patience, Love, identify core ingredients of the recipe that make “unity” possible.
What is Christian UNITY?
NOT Uniformity… uniformity is a pressure that comes from the “outside” to conform everybody in the same mold.
Surrender To Common Purpose… perhaps the greatest illustration concerning “unity” is Paul’s “Human Body” illustration, found in 1 Corinthians 12.
He reminds us how our bodies are made of many parts that are very unique… not “uniform” at all, yet all of these parts come together in harmony for the common purpose of the ONE BODY.
1 Corinthians 12:27, Paul informs us that together we are The Body of Christ and the realities of the human body are the same in The Body of Christ.
Each one has a unique placement, function, purpose. As we operate in harmony together we see a healthy effective spiritual body, when we don’t, we find a diseased ineffective spiritual body
Catch This: …in the human body, the parts are hardwired to perform their function in harmony with the other parts. However, the body of Christ is not so hardwired. We are called to “unity,” but not forced to unity.
Since we’re not hardwired to selflessly work together for “The Body’s” good, we must learn to surrender to the working of The Holy Spirit which produce vital attitudes that foster UNITY.
4 “attitudes” a.k.a. Fruit of The Spirit, are found in VS2-3.
1. Humility = lowliness of mind. It’s the attitude Jesus displayed when called by The Father to take on flesh and be our Messiah. Philippians 2:4-8
2. Gentleness – or meekness as some translations render it, is not weakness, but a “mildness of spirit.” Also, known as self-control.
Consider Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Matthew 26:53.
3. Patience – the insistence of immediate satisfaction is no friend to “unity.” I’m learning that God is never in a hurry. He is longsuffering to ensure that we learn to wait on His timing.
· Abraham received the promise of an heir, but waited close to 25 years to see its fulfillment.
· Noah worked for 120 years building the Ark with no sign of a flood, but it eventually came.
· Moses spent 40 years in the desert before God used him to be the deliver for Israel from Egypt.
· Jesus: Over 5,000 years passed between God’s announcement that a Deliverer would come and the actual time of His birth. An additional 2,000 years have passed and we have yet to see full deliverance and establishment of His Kingdom.
Impatience breeds self-focus which is a destroyer of unity.
4. Love – the word here is agape, which is the love of God. Not an emotion as much as a self-giving, self-sacrificing choice to set one’s affection on another.
That’s why Paul writes …bearing with one another in love…. God’s love is not diminished when encroached upon by our faults and failures, it’s not dependent upon my performance.
His love bears with me. In this same way, Jesus has called us to love each other in the same manner in which He has loved us. John 13:34
Four manifestations of Holy Spirit Fruit are the building blocks for UNITY within The Body of Christ.
Humility – Gentleness – Patience – Love
Paul exhorts us to …maintain the unity of The Spirit….
Unity is the by-product of a Spirit filled life!
UNITY is a supernatural thing. It’s not natural to the human condition.
In Christ, not only is it possible, it is expected. God in Christ is providing His children with everything needed to live the Christ-life and as we give ourselves more and more to the Holy Spirit, His fruit manifest itself in us.
Humility Gentleness Patience Love
These foster supernatural UNITY which is the natural by-product of the Spirit Filled Life. It all begins with repentance and faith in Christ, the only proper response to The Gospel. Has your heart been opened to The Good News of Christ? Can we talk about that?
If your heart has been opened to The Gospel, I encourage you to continue responding by giving yourself continually to the Spirit’s work within you. You can do it!
Now to Him who is able to do, exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…. Ephesians 3:20