...eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3)
Paul speaks of the importance of keeping the unity of the Spirit, that bond, thattie, that union of peace. If God intends to unite all things that sin hasfractured, and if he intends to do this in Christ, then we live out a keyaspect in the calling God places on us spiritually when we are joined to Christin the Holy Spirit. When we place our faith, our trust in Jesus, the HolySpirit comes to live in our heart. That same Spirit lives in each believer.That Spirit calls us continually to a union in Christ, to perfect love, to anexistence in harmony, in peace, without wars, without battles. That is how wecan live in a way worthy of our calling.
Here is the central issue in manyfamilies that leads to the destruction of the family. Husband and wife do notguard the unity and the bond of peace that God wants them to keep in theirmarriage. They allow work or hobbies to separate them. They allow their heartsto turn away and do nothing to refocus their attention on their spouse. Or theycreate a combat zone in the home, always prodding and picking and pushingbuttons, shattering the peace that should govern home life. God’s Spirit wantsto bring peace and unity to our lives, and nowhere is this more important inour human relationships than in our marriages. But it goes beyond this to ourfamilies, the ways in which we behave to each other in the home, parents tochildren, siblings to one another.
This is God’s will and calling and gift tohis church. How seriously do we strive to take hold of the unity and the bondof peace that God calls us to and empowers us to live by his Spirit? I cannothelp but marvel at how easily churches sacrifice the unity and peace that the Spiritcalls them to. Pride, opinion, preference, any excuse is good enough to silencethe Spirit’s voice and shatter our unity. The choice of color for the carpet, or specifics about this or that ministry program, debates about obscure biblical issues. How superficial so often is ourcommitment to one another, how easily we walk away, how little it takes toseparate us from our fellow believers to move on to new fellow believers thatwe expect will be nicer, or more to our linking, or better, or more “spiritual”(oh, the irony!). Marcos Vidal laments how far we’ve strayed in his song “Cristianos.”He compares the Christians of the first century with Christians today. “Beforethey died hugging each other in the arena of the Roman circus; today they argueabout whether or not we should raise our hands when we pray.”
I will be preaching on Ephesians 4:1-6 in our service this coming Sunday, October 23, 2011. Worship begins at 10:45 am. Come and join us, 3201 W 15th St. Plano, TX 75075. Video and audio of the sermon is posted during the week at our website: www.pcbcplano.org
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