June 1, 2019 by directorfsm
Unity and Diversity in the Body of Christ
Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to live worthy of the calling you have received, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making 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[a] at your calling—5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. – Ephesians 4:1-6 (CSB)
Note how Paul starts this by saying he is a “prisoner in the Lord”, not of the Lord but in the Lord. He is referring not to physical chains put on because of some misdeeds or debt, but a spiritual prisoner who has gladly given his life to the cause of the cross (see chap 1).
In all of Chapters one through three is Paul expounding upon God’s mercy and Grace. Then here in chapter four he says: therefore, in other words, because of everything I have previously explained we must come together as a body of believers.
If you look at the vast number of denominations within the “protestant” church in America today one would wonder how this could be possible. Then there is the ever present charlatans, the fakers and shakers, the fluff and stuff folks, snake charmers who are so far from biblical truth (2 Tim 4:3) you wonder how anyone could be so deceived.
Paul as always gives us the answer in pretty plain language; “live worthy of the calling you have received.” So what is this calling that I must live up to? I am going to interject Dr. John Gill’s commentary here:
That ye walk worthy of the calling wherewith ye are called;
by which is meant, not that private and peculiar state and condition of life, that the saints are called to, and in: but that calling, by the grace of God, which is common to them all; and is not a mere outward call by the ministry of the word, with which men may be called, and not be chosen, sanctified, and saved; but that which is internal, and is of special grace, and by the Spirit of God; by whom they are called out of darkness into light, out of bondage into liberty, out of the world, and from the company and conversation of the men of it, into the fellowship of Christ, and his people, to the participation of the grace of Christ here, and to his kingdom and glory hereafter; and which call is powerful, efficacious, yea, irresistible; and being once made is unchangeable, and without repentance, and is holy, high, and heavenly. Now to walk worthy of it, or suitable to it, is to walk as children of the light; to walk in the liberty wherewith Christ and his Spirit make them free; to walk by faith on Christ; and to walk in the ways of God, with Christ, the mark, in their view, and with the staff of promises in their hands; and to walk on constantly, to go forwards and hold out unto the end: for this walking, though it refers to a holy life and conversation, a series of good works, yet it does not suppose that these merit calling; rather the contrary, since these follow upon it; and that is used as an argument to excite unto them: but the phrase is expressive of a fitness, suitableness, and agreeableness of a walk and conversation to such rich grace, and so high an honour conferred on saints.
Our calling here is not some special gift, not a call to the ministry simply the call to redemption predetermined by God, before the foundation of the world by Grace alone through Faith alone for His glory alone.
I just completed my second “All the Way” Run for the Wall as a Platoon Chaplain on Southern Route with Mission M25. I am a Reformed Baptist and an advisor the the Reformed Baptist Network (RBNet) Missions Committee. Mission M25’s comes under the umbrella of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC). While we maybe different in some ways we are quite capable of Unity in the Body of Christ when we put the triune God and His Glory first. It should be our daily prayer that the “church” would live this way.