Unity of the Spirit
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.Ephesians 4: 1-3 (ESV)
Is it possible for nations, races, groups, or individuals to ever achieve unity and peace with one another? The desire for peace has been sought by many throughout history but has never been achieved. Division and strife have always existed in every part of the world and in every period of history. The problem lies in the heart and that is the reason for sin entering the world. That problem is a focus on self.
In the apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, the focus is on the gospel. The message of the gospel is different from all religions. The gospel is God’s plan to restore the relationship that He desires, the very reason for our existence. That message is that God reaches out to his creation in love with a gift provided by his Son. God is the initiator. We are simply the responders to God’s actions.
In all other religions, true unity and peace are not possible because the focus is on what a person can do, not on what has been done for that person. The work of yourself can only lead to division and strife because it is rooted in self and expressed in pride. However, true unity and peace can be found through God’s way which eliminates any of your own efforts to try to gain his acceptance and love. There is nothing anyone can do to change God’s love. We can only accept or reject his love. There is only humility, unity, and peace found when a person truly understands what God has done for us. It is his work, his grace, and his gift, and not one thing of our own.
This week, if you have accepted God’s gift of salvation by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, focus on the fact that God’s love for you is immeasurable and will never diminish and that He desires your fellowship. This gift is for everyone. Have you taken God’s gift?