Reading for Friday, Nov 2: Eph 4
This is the great unity chapter of Ephesians. Paul calls individual Christians to live a life worthy of their calling (v1); the collective experience of these focused lives is the unity of the Spirit (v3): “There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all,” (v4-6).
In a culture marked by heated, red state / blue state partisanship, the church never forgets her identity as a unifying community.
However, this unity does not imply uniformity. “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it,” (v7). Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers…these are some of the offices God calls us to within the body of Christ. Each individual exercises his / her gift and, in so doing, the body of Christ is built up and unity of faith is achieved. Truth is spoken always in this community — but spoken in love (v15). Falsehoods are rejected (v25). Anger does not lead to sin (v26); Satan is not granted a foothold in our relationships (v27). Speech is encouraging, not unwholesome (v29). Bitterness and rage are replaced with compassion and grace (v31-32).
This is the kind of unity we’re called toward.