United in Christ

Ephesians 4:1-6

Having laid the foundation of how God is bringing together all things in Christ and reconciling us vertically to God and horizontally to one another, Paul now moves on to application and urges the Ephesian believers to walk in a manner worthy of their calling.

This application will continue through three chapters of the letter, and it is striking how corporate the application is. Walking worthy of the calling means living out the reconciliation with one another that we have received and treating each other with love, humility and kindness. Living as a Christian in an individualistic fashion just doesn’t compute in Paul’s framework.

The application begins with our attitude. We are to be humble and gentle and to bear with one another in love. Humility means being willing to lay down our own ego and preference in service of the other. Christian relationships should not be harsh, but should be marked with patient kindness, even when those relationships become challenging.

The principle is eagerness to maintain the unity of the Spirit. In recent times, Christians have become much more willing to divide over secondary theoretical issues (or even personal preferences) than has historically been the case, and we must return to this Biblical call of being eager for unity. We are called to love and serve the body that Christ is building, rather than trying to chisel away at it until it matches out own preferences.

The reason for this is that there is only one version of the faith that we share. There are not two bodies or two Spirits, not two Lords, two faiths, two baptisms or two Gods. Because we share the same salvation we are one body and should treat each other accordingly.

Some Key Points:

  • We should treat each other with humility, gentleness and patience.
  • Unity in the church is something we should eagerly strive for.
  • We share one faith with all our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Potential Applications:

  • Humble and Gentle Relationships – In our interpersonal relationships in the church, there is a practical application to humble ourselves and to gently bear with one another in patience.
  • Eagerness For Unity – There is a real challenge here for how we view other Christians we might disagree with. Sometimes we can posture ourselves for division, but here we are challenged to be eager to maintain unity. Unity rather than schism should always be our aim. .
  • Worship the One God – There is only one God and one salvation. Praise him that he has made himself known to us and that we have come to participate in such a great salvation.