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Ephesians 4:3

The Bond of Peace

3 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

If we are to walk worthy of our vocation (v.1), we must do so by making a concerted effort to maintain peace among ourselves. The Ephesian church was made up of both Gentiles and Jews. These were people with drastically different cultures and religious backgrounds. The Jews had been taught that Gentiles were unclean and that fellowship with them would make a person spiritually unclean.

Paul was instructing the church to make a diligent effort to keep the unity that the Holy Spirit brings between all believers. "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." (James 3:16-18)

Perhaps there is nothing that is more important to the church than the unity of the Spirit. Paul made a similar plea to the Corinthian church, which had many problems and divisions at the time. "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." (1 Corinthians 1:9-10)

The gospel cannot be received with confidence by non-believers unless there is unity among those who are presenting it. The church must speak with one voice and one purpose. It will not have any credibility with the rest of the world if it is fighting among itself, competing with itself, and presenting differing versions of the gospel.

Unity is so important that Jesus devoted much of His final hours on earth praying for it. "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." (John 17:20-23)

Peace is the bond that holds the church together. It is the strength of the church. Just as threads bonded or woven together form a strong rope, individual Christians bonded together in peace become a powerful force that will transform the world in which they live.

The second verse of this chapter told us how to maintain the unity of the Spirit. We must be humble, patient, slow to anger, tolerant and in love with one another. This takes work. It is not always easy to tolerate the differences that exist among the members of the church, but with the love of God being projected through each member it becomes possible.

"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another." (Romans 14:19) Here is a great way to begin in your church. Edify another person. Be an encourager. Help others to feel good about their calling and to walk worthy of it. Demonstrate the love that Christ had for you and, as much as it is possible, live in peace with all men.

Before The Throne:

Pray for the unity of the church. Ask God to maintain a Spirit of peace in the body of Christ. Ask Him to help us be of one mind, speaking the same thing, the simple gospel of Christ. Ask God to help you encourage other Christians and to give you the patience to tolerate their differences. Thank Him for allowing you to be a member of His church.

For Further Study:

** Joh 13:34; 17:21-23; Rom 14:17-19; 1Co 1:10; 12:12-13; 2Co 13:11; Col 3:13-15; 1Th 5:13; Heb 12:14; Jam 3:17-18;


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