Zealous for Unity
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" (Psalms 133:1). The foundation of peace and unity is worshiping God in "SPIRIT (proper attitude, emp LS) and in truth" (John 4:24). The apostle Paul gives us in Ephesians 4:1-3 the proper attitudes that EACH ONE OF US MUST have in order "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace".
Paul begins with "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, BESEECH (emp LS) you" (Ephesians 4:1). That is, "appeal to, urge, exhort, or encourage" (J.H. Thayer). To "walk worthy of the vocation" is simply to say our manner of life that we live. Then in Ephesians 4:2, Paul, by the Holy Spirit, gives us the "spirit" or proper attitude that makes for peace and unity.
1. LOWLINESS. "Having a humble opinion of one's self; a deep sense of one's (moral) littleness; modesty, humility; lowliness of mind" (J.H. Thayer). The idea here is the opposite of pride, arrogance, conceit. Paul wrote, "to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly" (Romans 12:3). Paul again writes, "but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves" (Philippians 2:3). My friend, if only this attitude were among us all!
2. MEEKNESS. David Lipscomb said, "that unresisting, uncomplaining disposition of mind which enables us to bear without irritation or resentment the faults and injuries of others". Meekness is gentleness, courtesy, the opposite of self-interests. Could we not all use a dose of that?
3. LONGSUFFERING. Literally, long-tempered. Patiently dealing with those who are uninformed and thus make it unpleasant for others. It's bearing troubles and ills and being patient toward others. It does not suggest compromise in any sense. The prime example was Jesus Christ (I Peter 2:21-23). O, to be like Jesus!
4. FORBEARING ONE ANOTHER. That is, "endure, bear with, put up with" one another because we all want to go to heaven! Please turn and read Colossians 3:12-14. Does God ask too much of us? "Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar" (Romans 3:4).
5. LOVE. Love must be the basis of all that we say and do for there to ever be peace and unity. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35).
Is all this really that important? Notice what Paul says next. "Endeavouring to keep" or "being diligent to preserve" (NAS Bible) "the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3). Endeavouring means, "be zealous or eager, take pains, make every effort" (Arndt and Gingrich). Is this our attitude regarding the division that exists between us? Are we really "zealous or eager" to "keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace"?
Paul is writing here to Jew and Gentile who were enemies. Paul said they must be united in love. The Spirit that promotes unity among men comes from God the Father. Unity is gained and maintained by doing the Will of God. If we are in Christ, we cannot help but be one with all who are “in Christ”. Christ came to remove all divisions and make of the many families and nations on earth ONE BODY, FAMILY in Christ. What's your attitude about us being divided?