with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting[a] one another in love, 3 diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us. (HCSB)
I seem to be on a walking (Christian Lifestyle) kick the past few days. I never know what verse will stand out as I read my bible and devotions. Today’s was in response to the Today in Church History Post earlier.
First the Apostle Paul is once again speaking on living out our lives in a manner worthy of Christ who called us. He points out four must have character traits that each of the Ephesian Church members (and we) need to accomplish this they are:
- Live your life with all humility, Christ called others to live with the humility of a child (Matthew 18:4) and not exalt (brag about themselves (Matthew 23:12).
gentleness, I must admit this is a hard one for me. My sending Pastor Steve says I am a hard man. Maybe it was the 21 years in military uniform, the troubles I experience after retirement and before conversion. I have no excuses just a desire to improve daily. Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23)
- Martin Luther’s comments on this are a help: Gentleness in conduct and life. True followers of the Gospel must not be sharp and bitter, but gentle, mild,courteous, and soft-spoken, which should encourage others to seek their company.Gentleness can overlook other people’s faults and cover them up. Gentleness is always glad to give in to others. Gentleness can get along with forward and difficult persons, according to the old pagan saying: “You must know the manners of your friends, but you must not hate them.” Such a gentle person was our Savior Jesus Christ, as the Gospel portrays Him. Of Peter it is recorded that he wept whenever he remembered the sweet gentleness of Christ in His daily contact with people. Gentleness is an excellent virtue and very useful in every walk of life.
with patience another fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) the Christian life is not some easy cheesy, snap your fingers and get it done magically way of living. It requires the person to be in it for the long haul and that requires patience.
accepting[a] one another in love, Other versions have this as showing forbearance or tolerating each other in love. It is no small wonder Paul puts emphasis on love here, one only need recall 1 Corinthians 13 where the “greatest of [God’s gifts] is love to understand Paul’s conviction on “love among the brethren.”
keeping the unity…with the peace that binds us, With all the different denominations out there how can there possibly be peace among us all?
First off I am going to shock you be saying there can not be because some of those denominations are not biblical. They do not hold to the inerrant Word of God, they add and subtract form it at their own pleasure for their own (worldly) good. Therefore we should have no fellowship with these folks. Pray for them yes, speak out against their false teachings yes, harm then no.
- As for those who do not butcher the Word of God we can have peace with them for a very simple reason, the Holy Spirit; Romans 5:1 (ESV) “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” We (every true Born again sanctified regenerated believer) have peace with God through Christ. If as the Word of God says God (the HS) indwells us having peace with fellow believers should be second nature.
- John Calvin wrote on this: There is one body.  He proceeds to show more fully in how complete a manner Christians ought to be united. The union ought to be such that we shall form one body and one soul. These words denote the whole man. We ought to be united, not in part only, but in body and soul. He supports this by a powerful argument, as ye have been called in one hope of your calling. We are called to one inheritance and one life; and hence it follows, that we cannot obtain eternal life without living in mutual harmony in this world. One Divine invitation being addressed to all, they ought to be united in the same profession of faith, and to render every kind of assistance to each other. Oh, were this thought deeply impressed upon our minds, that we are subject to a law which no more permits the children of God to differ among themselves than the kingdom of heaven to be divided, how earnestly should we cultivate brotherly kindness! How should we dread every kind of animosity, if we duly reflected that all who separate us from brethren, estrange us from the kingdom of God! And yet, strangely enough, while we forget the duties which brethren owe to each other, we go on boasting that we are the sons of God. Let us learn from Paul, that none are at all fit for that inheritance who are not one body and one spirit.
Unity of the Spirit should not be a wish but a daily walk.