I’m currently talking about Ephesians, chapter 2. We’ve been looking at the peace that we have with each other in Christ. It’s the basis of our unity of the Spirit.
Paul explains why this peace was so important to Christ.
His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
Ephesians 2:15-17 NIV
Some people think that all Christ did on the cross was to take away our sin. Although that was a big part of it, Jesus did a whole lot more. This verse tells us another important aspect of the cross.
God’s purpose was to reconcile all of mankind to Himself. In order to do that, He had to do away with our hostility toward one another. He took all of that hatred with Him to the cross.
This is something that all believers need to come to grips with. All human hatred was put to death on the cross. Because of that, we are now all a part of one new body – the body of Christ on the earth.
When this verse was written, the biggest challenge was between Jew and Gentile. The Jewish people were called out by God as the conduit for the bloodline of the Messiah. Jesus Christ was born as a son of Abraham.
In Himself, Jesus had both sides of the covenant. He was both God and man. He was the perfect mediator to reconcile all of humanity to God. By doing this, He brings all people together under His Lordship.
He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Ephesians 2:17-18 NIV
This is the unity of the Spirit. Unity means oneness. We are all one in Christ Jesus. But that brings up some important points.
At one time I was attending some meetings in Texas. I got to meet with pastors from all over the USA. I remember one in particular.
She was a black pastor from the deep south. We had a good talk. I told her about my church, which looked like the United Nations on Sunday mornings. I asked what the different ethnic groups were in her church.
She gave me a strange look. Then she explained to me that where she comes from it doesn’t work like that. Sunday morning is the most segregated day of the week. Whites go to the white church, blacks go to the black church; and the same is true for Hispanics, Asians, Brazilians, etc.
Please hear me. I do understand that sometimes language and culture play a part in why certain groups will meet together. I’m fine with that.
However, there’s no excuse for allowing racial bias and prejudice to play a part in how we worship. As a matter of fact, I question whether you can truly be called a Christian if you’re prejudice against another group.
Listen to how the apostle John put it.
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.
1 John 2:9 NIV
John is clear that you’re not walking with Christ if you’re harboring hatred. That’s because Christ put that hatred to death on the cross. So, if you still hold on to it, you haven’t let the cross do its work.
John says it even clearer later on in his letter.
If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
1 John 4:20 NIV
We need to allow the Holy Spirit to work this unity in us. We must see ourselves as one with all who submit to Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.
Question: How does the unity of the Spirit affect your daily life?
© 2023 Nick Zaccardi