It seems that one of the greatest weapons of the enemy is to make us think that we are alone. When he can divide and conquer, his work is made easier. When he can cause a divide by offense or disagreement, or jealousies, his work of destroying the unity of Christian believers is made simple for him.
In this world of disposable everything, it’s easy to think of relationships as something to discard if they get too inconvenient or uncomfortable. Sometimes, it’s difficult to work through those differences of opinions, and convictions, and it’s easier to go our separate ways, without working things out to maintain a connectedness. But it’s important that we learn to reside together with a mature Christian love, the kind that keeps the good spirit of unity and peace. The scripture speaks of this.
Ephesians 4:3 (NIV), says “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
Maintaining unity is a sign of Christian maturity. When Paul writes this passage to the church at Ephesus, he urges them to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received,” (Eph. 4:1). Then the next verse tells them to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love,” (Eph. 4:2).
In verse 13 he says that we are to build up the body of Christ “until we all reach unity of the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
When those in the family of God, Christian brothers and sisters, and co-heirs with Christ, start to take offense with each other and find how many ways they are different, they forget the things that they have in common, and that is one God, one Christ and one Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 4:4-6 says “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
Paul writes in Ephesians 4:14-15 “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. (v.15) Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
When we remember that Christ is the head, we are able to find our proper place under the submission of the Lord Jesus. When we let God arise, our enemies will scatter. And our place in the family of God will be secure with Christ as the head.
The next verse says, “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work,” (Eph. 4:16).
In, this, we can recognize that we all need each other. And the enemy’s plan to separate and divide should not win out. We should mature in our relationship with God and with each other. We should love and forgive, just as Christ has loved and forgiven us.
The truth is that we keep each other on the right path, in the path of love, free from bitterness (v.31), and futile thinking (v. 17), and in the way of life that we have learned (v.22) from the ones who have shown us the ways of Christ, and be made new in the attitudes of our minds, (v.23).
Article Written by: Debbie Harper, Ph.D.