“eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” -Ephesians 4:3
Air conditioning in your vehicle is one of those things that makes driving around Maui enjoyable and you likely don’t think about it…until it’s gone. When you’re a/c breaks, the heat rises, and you begin sticking to your car, you quickly recall the joys of having a/c. Unity in the church can be kind of like that. The presence of it makes church life extremely pleasant and enjoyable, but if it breaks, it can make life in the church body miserable real fast.
I think about unity often at Kahului Baptist Church. Not because we don’t have it, but because there is a great degree of it right now, and I know how much of a gift it is. For that reason, I want us all to be proactive to maintain it and cultivate it, rather than reactive to repair it or regain it. So I hope you are challenged and encouraged by this multi-part blog series on unity. I will for sure not say everything there is to say, nor will this be an exegetical commentary on Ephesians 4, it is meant to be brief and observational on matters pertaining to unity in the life of Kahului Baptist Church.
In this post, we will consider 1 aspect of unity that is essential and foundational to this passage:
The Nature Of Our Unity.
First, we note the nature of this unity. Paul refers to it in this passage as, “the unity of the Spirit.” This work of unity is a divine, God-wrought, spiritual miracle. It isn’t ultimately unity around a common interest that can be generated and organized by human effort. No, this unity is a work of the God-head: Father, Son, & Holy Spirit. In unity, God pursues, forgives, redeems, restores, adopts, and lavishes rebellious sinners with an abundance of grace and draws them to Himself in love and mercy. You should read that sentence again, slowly (cf. Eph. 1:3-14, & 2:1-10).
Right now, historic meetings are taking place between North & South Korea. These 2 countries have been in a state of war for 65+ years. The hope is that through these meetings, we will see an official end to the war, and a cessation of hostilities that allows for unity on the Korean Peninsula.
If these historic talks between 2 hostile countries bring such hope (uncertain as it may be), how much more hope ought the finished work of Christ bring in our lives as we have genuine peace with God! The unity of the Spirit, made possible through Jesus Christ, results in an actual cessation of hostilities between God and us that ripples outward and radically impacts our relationships with others (Eph. 2:11-22).
We should often ruminate on this truth (for without it, we have no basis of unity with God or anyone else). Before we seek to apply it and flesh this out in detail, take a moment, survey your life and many challenges, struggles, and hardships, and praise God for His lavish work of love and grace in your soul to forgive you and bring you to Himself.
In the next post we will consider another aspect of this unity as it pertains to our understanding and practice. I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday and hope you join us after for a special member meeting.
In service to Christ,
Randy Pauley, Pastor