UNITED TO LOVE
My God, I come to You in a spirit of confession and humility today. Speak to me now.
Read Ephesians 4:1–6
Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ
4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIs it difficult for you to feel unity with other believers?
At times of fake news and accelerating cycles of news, politicians’ inconsistencies barely raise an eyebrow. But, of course, consistency matters.
Verse 1. On the basis of everything so far, Paul explains the difference it makes. Whereas previously he was a ‘prisoner of Christ’ now he is a prisoner for Christ (3:1; 1). Paul’s suffering is no sign of a divine plan derailed. This is a crucial verse. We are to be worthy of our calling: we live a life for God because of what God has already done for us, not in order to earn that calling. That’s the difference between grace and works, between joyful confidence and crushing insecurity.
Verses 2,3. Love is central. How might things have gone differently for you the last week if you had managed to follow these commands? Why is Christian unity linked to the Holy Spirit here? How does this help us understand how to follow the commands?
Verses 4–6. Christian unity is no optional extra. Not only are we to be consistent with the Gospel calling we received, we are to be consistent with the nature of the One who calls. God is one, so His body, the church, should be one. But notice this unity – ‘one faith, one baptism’ – means that there is no unity without the boundaries of Gospel truths.
How can you show God’s love toward fellow believers this week? Can you visit someone who can’t make it to church? Can you call someone who is going through a rough patch?
Spirit of God, make me increasingly more into the person You have called me to be.
Book and Author Intros
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