NIV EPH 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all…13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
No one would dispute our world is desperately in need of peace and unity, right? Maybe the problem is we’re not taking Scripture at it’s word. Let’s try that! It’s so much easier said than done, though, because peace and unity requires being…
– Humble: a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.
– Gentle: showing a mild, kind, or tender temperament or character.
– Patient: tolerate delays, problems, suffering without being annoyed or anxious.
– Bearing: a determination of position
Those qualities are a difficult reminder of their specific purpose; to point us to the need of a position to attach them to – “bearing with one another in love.”
Of course, I believe those things are a necessary part of peace and unity. Of course, I want those qualities and the love to go with them. Unfortunately there’s another “of course.” Of course, peace and unity wouldn’t be nearly as hard if everyone would just agree with me.
More than ever before I realize that humility, gentleness, and patience are clearly elusive parts of love that sometimes slow my journey of faith. If that is truth, then the original meanings of peace and unity are worth exploring.
– Eirēnēs, translated peace means joining what’s been separated to make one again
– Henotēta, translated unity means oneness and/or in unison
My conclusion is this: The “unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” is like a two-way street all of us have to travel. Peace and unity are not dependent on which side of the road you’re on. “Humble, gentle, patient and bearing” are the necessary speed bumps of faith that slow us down so we pay attention to these absolute truths: “There is one body and one Spirit…one hope…one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all.” That one-ness can rejoin what has been separated and get us over all the speed bumps “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
Read Ephesians 4 as a word-for-word translation
Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Whose peace are we called to? Re-read the verses above, then take a deep breath and give thanks to God that the “peace of Christ” is the gold standard we’re expected to live by, not our own.
We are confronted with novel circumstances in our world right now that impact our lives enough to alert us to remember, that is truth. And this is reality: all our riches, and peace, dwell “among” [in the company of] “the message of Christ” that lives in our hearts. Our hearts are where the groundswell of gratitude reveals our understanding of the vast truth of what His peace really means to us.
“In the company” of your hearts and daily lives “the message of Christ” is completed by the simple recognition of this absolutely timeless truth that makes peace possible:
❤️Christ holds your heart in His own❤️
I John 2
√ Re·new·al: the replacing or repair of something that is worn out, run-down, or broken
– 5…if anyone obeys his word, love for God[God’s love] is truly made complete in them.
– 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.
– 27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.
We live in an age where truth is more like a list of options and opinions rather than an absolute. Options are good but they’re not necessarily absolutes we can count on to help us fulfill our potential and opinions aren’t necessarily based on fact or knowledge. John is asking us to consider there is an absolute standard of truth that has been verified over and over again around the world for generations and in countless lives; “Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”
You may have seen this saying somewhere. “IT’S OK IF YOU DISAGREE WITH ME. I CAN’T FORCE YOU TO BE RIGHT.” I can’t…but here is an absolute truth in your personal relationship to “Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” that’s bigger, and far easier for you to verify than what I, or anyone else can say or write.
“The anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.”
IF you will personally study and test that one thing in your own life I guarantee it will became a reality that changes and challenges your options and opinions. THEN that little footnote in verse 5 [God’s love] will become a blessing of truth that verifies his love is “truly made complete” in you. It’s more than an option or an opinion, it’s absolute truth.
II Corinthians 5: 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.
Put to the test…that’s how I feel right now after a week of news about mail bombs, race motivated shootings, upcoming elections and a border “wall” of young military. This is a test and the answers seem to be multiple choice : nationalist or globalist, right wing or left wing, guns or no guns, justice or evil, hate or love, any means to an end or no end in sight. This test is not asking the right questions at all and the answers are not really multiple choice. My prayers are compelled by my fear of flunking the test because the choices offered are so opposite of this Scripture. Lord, I beg you give us new questions* with choices based on your absolute truth and real answers compelled by your Word and Christ’s love.
- Did God really say . . . ?” Genesis 3:1
- Where are you?” Genesis 3:9
- Am I my brother’s keeper” Genesis 4:9
- Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25
- Are you still maintaining your integrity? Job 2:9
- How can a young person stay on the path of purity?” Psalm 119:9
- Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Matthew 18:21
- What shall I do then with Jesus?” Matthew 27:22
- Who do you say I am?” Matthew 16:15
- What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Mark 8:36
- Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 18:18
- If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
*Question source: gotquestions
No matter how hard the test is, the real answer to every question has to be “for Christ’s love compels us…Lord help us all. Lord help me!