Keep the Unity of the Spirit, Eph 4:1-7

In Eph 4:1-7, Paul continues writing about the body of Christ.  In this passage, he emphasizes the need to keep the unity of the Spirit.  If we are going to keep the unity of the Spirit, we must:

Walk worthy of our calling – Eph 4:1.  Paul wrote, “that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.”  To walk worthy is to walk in a way that you are deserving of your calling.  This vocation is not your occupation or the work you have been called to do for Christ.  This vocation is the calling with which (“wherewith”) you were called, not the calling to which you were called.  God’s calling is:

  • An honorable calling, Rom 1:6.  We are the called of Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 1:9 says, “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”  
  • A holy calling, 2 Tim 1:9.  1 Cor 1:2 says that we are “called to be saints.” 
  • A high calling, Phil 3:14.  1 Thes 2:12 says, “That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.” 
  • A hopeful calling, Eph 4:4.   “Ye are called in one hope of your calling.”  Eph 1:18 says, “that ye may know what is the hope of his calling.”

God has called us with his calling.  We must walk worthy of his calling.  Christians bring reproach to the name of Christ when they walk “as other Gentiles walk,” Eph 4:17.

Love one another – Eph 4:2.  Paul shows us four things about how to walk worthy of our calling.  They are all characteristics of charity, the bond of perfectness [Col 3:14].  We are to love one another:

  • With all lowliness – 1 Cor 13:4 charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.  Vaunt is to boast; to make a vain display of one’s own worth.
  • With meekness – 1 Cor 13:5 – charity seeketh not her own.
  • With long-suffering – 1 Cor 13:4 charity suffereth long.
  • With forbearing – 1 Cor 13:7 charity beareth all things… endureth all things.

Live peaceably with each other – Eph 4:3.  Paul said that keeping the unity of the Spirit is something that you and I must endeavor to do.  We have to work at it; we must try to effect it.  In other words, it’s not automatic just because we are saved.  Paul said, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men,” [Rom 12:18].  So, we must endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  We must settle our differences when something comes between us. We must sort out the root of the problem and deal with it so that we can live peaceably with each other.

Believe the same doctrine Eph 4:4-6.  It’s impossible to be of one accord or to keep the unity of the Spirit if we don’t believe the same doctrine.  We are approached regularly by well-meaning Christians who say that all the churches need to get together and work together for the common good of all Christians and those who don’t know Jesus Christ.  However, you would have to forsake the doctrine of the Bible to get everybody together, because we don’t all believe the same thing.  There is only:

  • One body – the body of Christ.  This not the local church.  This is not some universal body to which everyone who has been baptized belongs.  This is the literal and spiritual body of Christ into which believers in Jesus Christ are baptized by the Holy Spirit [Gal 3:26-28].
  • One Spirit – the Holy Spirit, who baptizes us into the body of Christ [1 Cor 12:13].
  • One hope of your calling – Eph 1:18.  It’s God’s calling and the outcome of his calling is not realized on earth now, but in heaven later.
  • One Lord – the Lord Jesus Christ, Phil 2:9-11
  • One faith – one word of God, Rom 10:17.  His words are preserved in a book.  The body is very divided over the words of God.  There is, also, only one gospel, Gal 1:8.
  • One baptism – Spirit baptism is the only one that will put you in the body, Rom 6:3-6.
  • One God – and Father of all, Is 43:10-12.  He is above all, through all, and in you all.

Have the same care one for another – Eph 4:7.  After writing about all the things that are “one,” Paul writes, “BUT unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”  There is one body BUT, according to 1 Cor 12:27, we are members in particular.  According to 1 Cor 12:14, the body is not one member, but many.  1 Cor 12:18 says that “God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.”  1 Cor 12:25 says, “there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.”  We must have grace with our differences.  No two of us are alike.

Conclusion: The body of Christ is just that.  It’s his body.  We are put in it by his Spirit.  And, thus, God becomes our God.  Therefore, we are to be one.  What the world and other Christians have seen in the conduct of Christians toward each other is far different than what Paul wrote here.  Therefore, we must endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace for the sake of the Lord’s body.  We must work to not let anything come between us.