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Living Up to Our Calling: Pursuing Unity with Humility (Ephesians 4:1-6)

Ephesians 4:1–6 - 1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. 

 

What does today’s passage say?

Paul strongly urges fellow believers to live worthily in gentle, humble, patient ways, truly reflecting their esteemed status as God’s beloved children (vv. 1-2). He calls on them to promote unity’s spiritual bonds between members by demolishing personal offense’s barriers, considering others’ needs before their own, and pursuing peace (v. 3). He wants them to recognize the core oneness they all share: one body, Spirit, hope, Lord Jesus, faith, baptism, and God as compassionate Father despite different backgrounds (vv. 4-6).

 

How can I apply Ephesians 4:1-6 to my life?

In a world fractured by divisions and dissention, the church should shine as an example of grace-empowered unity that overcomes barriers.  As Christ’s representatives on earth, the way we interact with fellow believers speaks volumes about the veracity of the gospel we proclaim. That’s why Paul urges the Ephesians to walk in unity in a manner worthy of their calling as God’s dearly loved children, reflecting Jesus’ humility and patience rather than selfish pride in their conduct. In this, he reminds us that the Spirit knits believers together in one body, bonded by one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all despite their diversity. Oneness in Christ transcends worldly differences, binding our hearts together by divine love. In order to preserve this gospel unity, we must lay aside personal offenses and partisan opinions for the sake of peace, considering others’ needs before our own. Here are some basic principles from this passage we should apply to our lives:

1.    Walk in a Manner Worthy of Your Calling with Humility, Gentleness & Patience (vv. 1-2): As Christ's followers, Scripture urges we walk worthy of our high calling, reflecting Jesus’ nature through actively practicing humility, gentleness, and patience daily in every relationship and interaction. Rather than asserting selfish pride and demanding our own way, we must esteem others above ourselves, considering their needs and interests before our own. This involves speaking with care, not in harmful ways. It means responding graciously when wronged, not lashing out in resentment. When frustrated, we must restrain harsh reactions, instead demonstrating the Spirit’s patience and peace. Practicing humble, gentle, patient conduct requires we bridle our tongues when tempted to speak cutting words, lay aside irritability that leads to angry outbursts, and relinquish self-promoting behaviors that marginalize others. Cultivating inward humility of heart will shape how we conduct ourselves outwardly. As we grow in spiritual maturity, Christlike humility, gentleness and patience should increasingly characterize our demeanor at church, work, home and school as we represent Jesus through day-to-day conduct. Our calling as believers demands nothing less (Philippians 2:1-4, Ephesians 5:1-2, Colossians 3:12-13, James 1:19-20).


Food for Thought: Why does living humbly fulfill our high calling as believers? What specific attitudes or mindsets tempt you to respond impatiently or harshly toward others?


2.    Preserve Spiritual Unity Through Peace & Consideration for Fellow Believers (v. 3): As Christ's body united by the Spirit, we must make every effort to promote and maintain unity instead of allowing dissension to fracture relationships within the church. This requires each of us to demolish barriers erected by personal offenses, cultural differences, generational divides, or opposing viewpoints that hinder the peace and harmony Christ intends. Rather than writing others off due to disagreements or allowing divisive cliques to form, we must be peacemakers, showing thoughtful consideration for each member despite differences. This involves patiently listening to understand diverse perspectives, refusing to wrongly judge what we do not fully comprehend, and thinking the best of others rather than assuming the worst when opinions clash. As we set aside personal preferences for the body's greater good, the spiritual bonds between us will strengthen. Our witness to the watching world depends on resolutely guarding our unity (Romans 12:16-18, Romans 14:19, Romans 15:5-7, 1 Corinthians 1:10).


Food for Thought: Why is maintaining spiritual unity as believers essential for effective gospel witness? What attitudes or actions threaten that unity? How can we balance showing consideration and understanding for one another with standing firm in gospel truth?


3.    Recognize and Live in the Truth of One Body and One Spirit (vv. 4-6): Though comprising a diverse congregation with varied backgrounds, the Spirit binds believers in one body. This shared connection transcends worldly divisions of race, class, age, or gender. We must recognize and daily live in light of this spiritual unity that joins our hearts, heads, and hopes as one. This oneness centers on core gospel truths, not secondary doctrines—one Lord Jesus Christ whom we all trust in; one faith grounded in God’s grace; one baptism that visibly marks our new life; and one God and Father nourishing and sustaining each of His beloved children. As the Spirit deepens awareness of these common bonds, we will look beyond surface differences to underlying kinship as God’s family. This oneness will overflow in relationships enriched by grace, empathy and goodwill. Our world fractures easily along countless fault lines; we must model reconciliation that overcomes what otherwise divides (Romans 12:3-6, 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, Galatians 3:26-29).


Food for Thought: How does losing sight of our spiritual oneness weaken the church? Where have you seen gospel unity outweigh surface differences to heal division? How can we remind ourselves daily of the core faith realities binding us together with other believers?


As members of Christ’s body, we share a God-given unity that supersedes surface distinctions, binding our hearts together by the power of the Spirit. When we walk in humility rather than pride, showing patience and graciousness in every relationship, we reflect our heavenly calling and the transforming nature of God’s love. Making every effort to preserve unity by demolishing walls of offense and considering others’ needs as more important than our own is key to maintaining gospel peace. We have far more in common than whatever threatens to divide us if we focus on the one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all. May the church shine brightly as a beacon of reconciliation in our fractured world by living out the unity we share in Christ.


Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray that You would help me walk in a manner worthy of the calling You have given me as Your beloved child. Help me to practice humility, gentleness, and patience daily in my interactions at church, work, home, and school rather than asserting my own desires pridefully over others. Guide me in making every effort to promote unity and peace with fellow believers by showing thoughtful consideration when disagreements arise. Remind me always of the one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God binding our hearts together in Christ Jesus despite our diversity. May I live out this gospel unity You have given me for Your glory.

I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.

 

Ephesians 4:3 – “being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

 

 

With His Blessings,

Pastor Corby

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