As we go through Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church, we must keep in mind that the Holy Spirit is beginning to emphasize our corporate walk. He’s showing us how to function together as the body of Christ on earth. This thought continues.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
In order to grasp this, we must first define the term, unity. We must understand that there’s a big difference between unity and agreement. Most Christians use these two terms interchangeably. Actually, they’re two very different truths.
The Word of God is clear that agreement is when we think and believe the same way.
“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.”
In this verse, the Greek word that’s translated, agree, is sumphoneo. It’s where we get our English word symphony. It literally means to sound together. You agree on the facts, so you speak the same thing.
This means that if I believe Jesus is Healer, and you believe Jesus is Healer, we’ll sound the same when we speak. In that case, we’re in agreement. That makes it a function of our soul.
Unity is a whole different thing. Look at the above verse from Ephesians again.
In the same way that agreement is a function of our soul, unity is a function of our spirits. What we need to realize is that we’ve already been made one in Christ. It’s now our job to keep or guard the unity of the spirit.
In the Greek, the phrase, make every effort, means to use prompt and earnest effort. This tells me that it requires work on our part. There’s something we need to do. In order to keep this unity, it will require the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us.
It’s all about allowing the Lord to connect me to those around me in the body of Christ. Only then can we fulfill our calling together. Listen to Paul’s exhortation to the Philippian church.
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel…
Philippians 1:27 NIV
Whenever I read this verse, I have to change the tone of my voice. This should be read like a general encouraging his troops on the eve of battle. Their goal is to have complete victory over their enemy.
It’s the same for the church of Jesus Christ. Everyday should be considered life on a battleground. As a matter of fact, Paul will get into that further on in this letter to the Ephesians.
Too many believers don’t understand this fact. They think that they can float through life caring only for themselves. That’s a recipe for defeat.
The Lord, Himself, as well as the apostles make it clear that we’re in a spiritual battle. If that’s the case, then it’s impossible to win this victory all by ourselves.
Paul’s commands are perfectly clear. We are to stand firm in one spirit. That’s the only way that we can be contending as one man for the Gospel. In order to do that, we need to line up our spirits with the Holy Spirit.
I believe that this means we need to be praying in the spirit. It’s this prayer in the spirit that unifies us for the spiritual war that we face each day. This is the unifying factor in the church.
Question: How often are you involved in corporate prayer in the spirit?
© 2023 Nick Zaccardi