Paul charges the Ephesian church to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (4:3). Unity is one of those things that you need to fight to keep. Division is easy. We can drift into division. We can let small differences become big differences. Unity takes effort. Unity is what we are called too.
However, this unity, isn’t unity for unity sake. It is unity in Christ. It’s coming together with the same faith (4:13). It’s maturing in that knowledge of the faith as looked at yesterday. It’s working together. It’s “speaking the truth in love” (4:15, 25).
SIDE NOTE: To have this kind of unity. We have to be willing to tell one another the truth and we have to not be quick to let our feelings get hurt. I’m afraid that our culture, even in the church, is drifting so that we are more afraid of hurting feelings than we are of warning someone away from serious error. We must speak the truth in love.
Paul lays out in chapters five and six how this unity is to work. We are all to submit to one another (5:21). This pertains to marriage (5:22-33), children and parents (6:1-4), and workers and their bosses (6:5-9). These are all places where it can be difficult to maintain unity of Spirit. In the flesh, we like to grumble about our boss, children love to rebel against their parents and marital strife abounds. Yet, if we are submitted to Christ, we will submit to one another to that God is glorified.
To strive for unity is spiritual warfare. Paul charges us to put on the whole armor of God Satan love to bring division and if we aren’t wearing our armor, we will fall for his attack every time (6:10-20).
SIDE NOTE: We like to think the battle is out there, but notice how much of this submission to one another is to take place in our everyday lives and especially at home. The questions I asked myself today from Ephesians 5 in the fight for unity are these: Do I love my wife like Christ loved the church? Am I raising my children in the fear and admonition of the Lord? Am I treating those above me or below me at work with respect and honor as people made in the image of God?
FATHER, Thank you for calling us to unity. We rejoice in our salvation and ask to continue to grow in the knowledge of our faith. We are grateful that you have given us all gifts and called us to be part of one body, unified but not uniform. We thank you for our spouses, families, and jobs. We pray that we would honor you in every aspect of our lives. We ask for grace to grow submitting to one another in a holy fear of you. Thank you for the grace to lead as a husband, a father, and a pastor. IN JESUS NAME, AMEN.
What did you take away from today’s reading? What are your thoughts or questions? Feel free to comment below and enter the discussion.