Ephesians 4:1-7 (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. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”
Costa Mitchell, National Director of the Association of Vineyard Churches in South Africa, wrote:
“I felt the Lord told me, 40 years ago, that the unity of the Body of Christ is not an optional extra, and that I should give it as much time (seeking and building relationship with all other Christian leaders in my town) as I give other aspects of ministry. I committed a day a week to this priority. The basis of unity is taken from Ephesians 4, where Paul starts with the unity of the Spirit (which we HAVE and should strive to maintain), and ends with the unity of the faith (doctrine) which we will one day attain. The link between them is the interdependence of gift ministries, doing together what they can do together. As go the leaders…”
This all begs the question of believers as to whether they are leaning into the grace it takes to live out unity. Paul ends the call to unity with “But Grace…” And then he continues by linking this grace for unity to the same grace for salvation:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 4:8-9
Grace saved us! And it takes away all of our bragging rights! It devastates our arrogance! No boasting because our works had no power in our salvation. May grace empower us to unity through the infilling of the Holy Spirit!!!
We are mandated here be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” How eager are you to invite the Spirit of grace and peace into your relationships? The Spirit comes with a bond of peace. He is the One who binds us together, not letting us just get away with disunity. His very presence demands a submission to His will and to one another. Invite the Holy Spirit to flood into your relationships with grace and peace today.
Pray this as well: “Holy Spirit, every time I feel a tug toward disunity let it ring in my heart and in my head…’But Grace…’ and let my actions be those of unity for the sake of your Kingdom.”
Come, Holy Spirit!!!