Christian Unity Maintained, Pt 3
Scripture: Ephesians 4:1-6.
Stream or download The unsearchable riches of Christ, Pt44
III. THE MEANS BY WHICH THIS UNITY IS MAINTAINED
1. Remember our calling. Rom 8:29. We have been called by the gospel, Eph 1:4, 2:1-7; 1 Peter 2:9, and we must walk worthily. The word means “in accordance with.” Phil 1:27- “in close co-ordination with.” Titus 2:10 – “adorn” the doctrine by holy living. What rags some Christian place upon the doctrines they profess!
2. The exercise of four graces is required. The purpose of God is to unite His people in Christ, 1:10. How contrary to God’s purpose is that which disunites them! We need lowliness, meekness, longsuffering, forbearance in love.
Lowliness — A low self-view, Acts 20:19; Phil 2:3; Col 3:12.
Meekness — Born of lowliness, it is the spirit in which receive whatever providence sends to us, Titus 3:2.
Longsuffering — Self-restraint. What God has shown toward us, I Tim 1:16, 1 Peter 3:20, 2 Peter 3:15.
Forbearance — ’To hold under. 1 Cor 4:12, 2 Thess 1:4 – ‘endure’. This is the second great commandment stated in a different form, Matt 22:39.
3. This appeal is all the more powerful for it was addressed from prison. Paul was bearing the opposition of men and devils and carrying on with God’s work as a Christian should. “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,” Ephes 4:1. He beseeches. It is an earnest call from the sufferer’s prison cell. It reminds us the cost of the unity we enjoy. First that of Christ on the cross and then of those who have endured the deil’s and man’s hatred in order to bring us the gospel.
As this age gets darker, we will have cause to to consider more the example of the servants of God of old, James 5:8-11.