Title: Unity Through Submission
Ephesians 4:1-3 (ESV)
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
The writer of this passage is the Apostle Paul. If you don’t know Paul’s story, he actually persecuted the early church until he had a personal encounter with the resurrected Jesus. He then transformed his life and became a teacher of the faith. When he wrote this letter, he was in prison because of his faith and mission.
In this letter, Paul is encouraging the church to live in unity. A unified church is what Christ has indeed called us to be. One united front. How can we be unified as a church? Be humble. Put the needs of others, what is good for the body as a whole, above your own interests. Always look for opportunities to put your wants, your desires, your opinions on the back burner so you can lift others up. Walk in gentleness. Choose to be kind and tender-hearted toward everyone. Practice patience. Don’t be so quick to get offended, rather take a step back and give grace in areas you might not understand. Meet people where they are, reminding yourself that we are all at different stages and places in our walk. Above all things, love. And in our case as a church, love well. Love others the same way Christ has loved you.
Our culture and the world we live in is anything but united. Think about the incredible example we could be to the rest of the world by walking out this truth, by being a body of believers united together with one purpose: to know God and to make Him known to others.
- Why is unity among believers so important?
- Which of the areas listed above is a challenge for you? (patience, humility, gentleness, love)
- What are some practical steps you can take to become better in that area?
- Take some time to pray and ask God to help you in this area. Also ask Him to help you see areas where you can help the body be more unified. Then take steps to change your behavior in the areas He is wanting to change in you.