On Monday, I shared part one of this article, where we discussed God’s desire for the church to live in unity. If you missed it, please take a moment to read it here.
Let’s Choose to Make Every Effort to Live in Unity
The words of Ephesians 4:3 are inescapable. It says, “Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
We cannot live out Ephesians 4:3 apart from God’s grace that we have received freely. Nor can we live out Ephesians 4:3 until we cultivate and live out the truth of Ephesians 4:2, which says, “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.”
For example, humility leads to gentleness; gentleness leads to patience; patience leads to bearing one another in love, and all four of these together lead us to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
“Making every effort” is a dynamic and compelling phrase. This phrase calls us to be eager and conscientious in everything we do. This phrase also gives us a sense that we are in a crisis and calls us to take initiative, and to do it now. We are to work endlessly toward unity and oneness, guarding over it when we have it. This is a call to action!
Jerry Bridges writes in his book The Pursuit of Holiness, “The clause ‘make every effort’ addresses itself to our wills, it is something we must decide to do.”
While the human will determines the needed action, we must understand there is no true unity apart from the Holy Spirit. Unity is supernatural. Unity only happens with God.
Christian unity is a state of oneness, living in harmony and in one accord. Unity is only possible by the gospel because Jesus died for all people.
As we make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace, it is the peace of Christ that gives us His love. You see, the peace and love of Jesus are the adhesives of God’s people. They surround us and keep us together.
Are We Making Every Effort?
Are we making every effort to live in unity and oneness in the church? Do we create suspicion and division rather than unity and oneness?
Are we making every effort to live in unity and oneness with other churches that believe the basics of the faith like we do? Or are we marked with a spiritual arrogance like we have a corner on all God’s truth?
Are we making every effort to live in unity and oneness with every member in our immediate family and even with our extended relatives? Or do we check our Christianity at the door and think we can live whatever way we desire when we are at home with our family?
Are we making every effort to live in unity and oneness with people in the workplace? Or do we create division and suspicion with an attitude of criticism that is certainly not from Jesus Christ?
Are we making every effort to live in unity and oneness with our friends? Do we initiate conversations and experiences and truly live life together, or simply respond when invited to do something?
Are we making every effort to live in unity and oneness with all generations? Or do we act like our generation is always the best? Do we inspire other generations by wanting to know how we can walk together as one at this time in history?
Are we making every effort to live in unity and oneness with all ethnicities? Or do we portray an arrogant spirit by not engaging with other ethnicities?