After my post last week, I have been thinking about unity in the Body of Christ and in the world. Purity comes to mind and the snowy weather this week reminds me that Jesus’ blood washes even the vilest sinner whiter than snow. Ephesians chapter 4 is the spot I’ve been reading all week and I want to share it with you.
Ephesians 4:1 I, (Apostle Paul) therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace… walk worthy… with all lowliness, gentleness, longsuffering… bear with each other in love. So, this is how we walk worthy of the calling of Christ on our lives. This bearing with each other is what brings unity, all wrapped up in the love of God.
Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
One body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism… one God who is Father of us all… He is above all, through all, in all. Unity! Bought with the price of God’s Son Jesus.
4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says:
“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”
Spiritual gifts? They are not given according to our efforts, but a free measure of grace gifted to each of us. Jesus led captivity captive, allowing us to become free from what captures us besides His grace. Think about Christ’s gift: all loves excelling, all hell defeated, the full measure of the Godhead residing inside the Believer!
4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
So, Jesus gives mankind these gifts and callings to equip us to minister, to edify the body of Christ. The Unity of the Faith and Knowledge of the Son of God. We are to become perfect as He is perfect, attaining… by grace… the fullness of Christ.
4:14 … that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
As we expect our own children to do, we must grow up in the Lord so we will be carried by the wind of the Spirit of God instead of the wind of doctrine and trickery of men… trickery… cunning craftiness… deceitful plotting…. Father, forgive us for being led astray, not walking in Your Spirit and submitting to these things that bring fear and division. Amen.
4:15… but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
How then shall we walk? Speaking the truth in love. This will cause us to grow up in Christ. We are His Body, joined… knit together… How? By what each joint supplies. Every part of His Body, every member of His Church, must work in unity. The synergy of a congregation as each member recognizes the gifts within and walks in them, each doing its part, causes the growth of the Body of Christ. Each of us in position to edify the others in love.
Ukraine is in the news this week. Instead of repeating the dire predictions of Russia pounding Ukraine’s Warriors, blow the Shofar! Today the Spirit prompted me to remember Gideon’s army, David’s battle with Goliath, all the “ites” that were defeated by Israel when they sent Judah first, putting the worshippers, musicians, and singers before the army. It’s high time to war in the Spirit and see a great miracle in Ukraine as big as when God parted the waters of the Red Sea. The Egyptian chariot wheels that got stuck in the mud as the waters came back together after God’s people passed through on dry land can still be seen at the bottom of that Sea today!
The Glory of the Lord shines around us! Let’s go forth
in unity and victory!