Our Spiritual Responsibility in Christ: Called to walk in Unity (Eph. 4:1-16)
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Over the last three days, we have reflected on discovering our spiritual possessions and spiritual position in Christ. We note that discovering our spiritual position in Christ endows us with some enormous spiritual responsibilities as believers. In today's devotion, we reflect on our spiritual responsibility to walk in unity as Paul teaches in Ephesians 4: 1-16. The following are some key lessons from this passage:
One, that as believers, we are to preserve our Christian unity. The unity that Paul speaks of here is not one that we are to create. No, it is a unity that already exists among believers because there is one body into which we were all baptized by the same spirit (Ephesians 4:3-5). This unity is strengthened by the fact that we were sealed, possessed and indwelt (cf. Ephesians 1:18) by the same spirit. In order to realize this unity, Paul urges us to wear an attitude of humility, gentleness, patience, and bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2). This teaching reminds us that one of the greatest demonstrations of our maturity as children of God is the ability to love other people even if we disagree with them because love does not judge or condemn but covers a multitude of sin (cf. 1 Peter 4:8). Therefore as a believer, what is your attitude towards other people? Do you dismiss others because they disagree with your views? Some family members, work colleagues, friends or a member of your church might have hurt you but a true demonstration of the gospel demands that you do not hold grudges but rather seek forgiveness and reconciliation so that the bond of Christian unity may be preserved as a testimony that we are brothers and sisters. This bolsters our evangelistic ministry and doubtless contributes to church growth wherever we are.
Two, Paul reminds us here that we must endeavour to cultivate unity in our Christian relationships despite our differences. He delves into the teaching on spiritual gifts demonstrating that believers are gifted differently by the same Spirit (4:11). The intention of these gifts is twofold: firstly is the equipping of saints for works of ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ (4:12) then secondly, so that we all come to the unity of the faith. What we see here is a deep cry for unity in our faith that is cognizant of the fact that we are different. Diversity exists among us mostly because we see things from different perspectives and this is inherently human. But the greatest call for us is to discover the extent to which we can tolerate differing opinion from our brothers and sisters. In the spirit of Gafcon's fidelity to scripture and orthodox expression of the Christian faith, we must guard against mishandling of scripture that undermines the foundation and expression of our faith. Whereas as believers we are challenged in this passage to seek to live in unity regardless of our diversity, we must call out and rebuke any heretical teaching that are bent on eroding our moral spiritual foundations as believers without necessarily having to fight each other.
Minister: Rev. Evans Omollo - Assistant Provost at All Saints' Cathedral, Nairobi.
Prayer: Lord, we ask that you help us to discover our responsibility of living in unity as believers. Help us not to allow political correctness to intimidate us into silence or compromise but to be bold in declaring our faith as your witnesses. Amen.
Pray with us today's prayer request:
Anglican Aid (Sydney) has been providing food and seedlings to Toliara Diocese in southern Madagascar. The response of local people to the gospel has been huge. There have been 13 church plants this year. One Thousand families have asked for a Bible. Another thousand are illiterate and Anglican Aid are sending solar powered audio players with the audio Bible and other resources in the local language. Pray that the many converts can be well discipled.
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