A Note from Our Pastor:
“Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”Ephesians 4:3
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
Unity. I must admit in all openness, as I approach this verse, it is a difficult topic. The concept of unity is discussed throughout the scriptures and has been a favorite of spiritual leaders throughout history. It has been manipulated and used to manipulate. Unity is a convenient rallying cry, but is worthy of much more in-depth consideration.
When considering this topic, the question which must be asked is, “unified on or around what?” Unity in and of itself is not worthwhile or good. We can be unified in sin. Thus, the foundation of any unity is important.
It is estimated in the world today that nearly 2 billion people profess to be followers of Christ. However, those 2 billion people are divided among at least 45,000 different denominations, not counting all the churches which identify as non-denominational. With varying views on doctrine, practice, and worship — where is the unity? Even among our smaller denomination, the Primitive Baptists, there have been splits over time based on many things including worship and outreach. Unity is a high calling, the Apostle points to the importance of it, but what does it really look like in our spiritual lives?
An old proverb says, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” in other words pointing to the idea that a semblance of unity can be reached when one has a common enemy. This proverb has proven true in nations time and time again. When the country is fighting an external, common enemy, there is a sense of unity and national pride. This form of unity is often faltering, as are most things based on external causes. In similar fashion, believers in Christ in history and in present times have often based their unity on being against certain external enemies. The unity they cling to is founded on the things they stand against. Just like with a nation, when the enemy becomes less clear the unity falters. In fact, when it does, when introspection is needed, what was once unity turns into splintering.
All of that said, it begs the question, what is the Apostle instructing us to do? How do we endeavor to keep the unity?
That is a question to big for this forum, but the answer begins with the preceding verse. Our unity should be founded in lowliness, meekness, longsuffering, and forbearance. Our unity should be founded in the great commandment to first love God with all our might and second to love our neighbor. The task is not easy, but a unity founded and based on love is the model which God set forth. It is the basis of our unity with him and it should be the basis of our unity with one another.
Our Prayers are with you daily,