A couple of weeks ago we looked at the triangle of unity when it comes to community. We can describe this as “being on the same page” with each other. Have you ever been a part of a conversation where you are on different pages with another person? It is both frustrating and debilitating in getting anything accomplished.
Do we know who we are in Jesus Christ?
What Paul has in mind here is that we live up to the Good News. That our behavior is a reflection of who we are. We are to be humble and gentle. We have done nothing here on our own. We don’t point to us, we point to him. We do away with pride, not because pride has been injurded (i.e. humiliation) but that pride does not below (i.e. humility.)
We are to bear with on another in love. Be patient with each other, because people need to grasp what God has for them. Sometimes once we take hold ourselves, we want to push others to know it as well.
And we are to make every effort to keep unity of Spirit. This is unity in the foundation (person of Jesus, Biblical passages, and God’s principles.) This is forming a strong bond, a oneness, to all who are in that unity. Unity is not about winning battles, but connecting and moving together to resolution in the peace of Christ.
Unity Concept #1. We are not going to take it for granted. When we are complacent, or weak, in our confirmation and affirmation of unity, we can start to see it erode over time.
We do not know what is going to come down the road. What blessings and hardships we will see. But no matter what, we are to live our lives worthy of the Gospel. We won’t be confused or wishy-washy. But if we stand firm in truth, we will be able to stand in unity.
Unity Concept #2. We are going to stand in the right places by conducting ourselves in way worthy of the Gospel. We won’t be perfect, and we will make mistakes, but we will recover by God’s grace.
Jesus, in his perfect unity with the Father, wants us to be in unity so that the world will know that God sent Jesus. And Jesus passes glory to us, so that we can share in that perfect unity. And through our unity will we shine the glory of God to a world that will recognize Him in us.
4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (ESV)
27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, (ESV)
21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (ESV)