Believer, I hope you are an active member of a worship community. Being part of a community of other followers of Christ is one of the ways that your redemption and transformation exhibits itself. It provides you opportunities to learn more and on a deeper level. You manifest God’s love in a plain way, others see it, and they are amazed by what makes you different.
Of course some fellowships are not the tight knit group they are meant to be. We are human and we too often let our nature express itself rather than glorify God by the letting His Spirit reveal Himself in our words, emotions, and actions. Perhaps that is the reason unity in Christ is so often addressed in The Word.
We are urged to be unified with one another. We are implored to love one another and be one with each other. The accord we live and display is a picture and a testimony to outsiders of The Kingdom of God. Our unison with each other is a mirror of our oneness with God the Father, Son, and Spirit. Our unity is also a depiction of God’s relationship to Himself. He is Father, Son, and Spirit, all three in unanimity and perfect wholeness as one. He maintains three very distinct selves and yet He is one. You cannot separate Him from Himself. No one can separate Him from you. So no one can separate you from the Fellowship of Believers.
Walking and actively demonstrating the Spirit within us is vital to togetherness and cohesion with our Brothers and Sisters. Verses 1-3 read,
“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.”
Although the fruit of the Spirit is a natural manifestation of our salvation, we consciously exhibit it. Paul urges us. He insists and he pleads that we walk in this way. Walking is active. We have a choice to walk in a worthy manner or in a worldly manner.
He commends us to walk is with all humility. Humility is not looking at our own needs but putting the needs and desires of others before our own.
Gentleness is mild-mannered, quiet, and soft. We are not supposed to be harsh. Honesty and harshness are not the same thing. Gentleness requires kindness, compassion, and tenderness.
Patience asks us to persist calmly, to endure, to wait, and stay. Patience keeps us looking forward to the result but as if it has already happened. The patient man waits and tolerates the present because he knows the outcome will be.
That patience keeps us bearing one another in love. Not merely tolerating or putting up with each other but bearing one another. That is accepting, supporting, and going through everything good or bad together.
We do all these things in love. We don’t pretend to care about each other, we don’t act as if we stomach each other. We love each other. Love is an active choice. You can help who you love. Love is the fruit of the Spirit. Love is the way in which all the characteristics of Christ are expressed to us and through us. Love is our expression of the bond we have. It is our articulation of the Spirit within us. He is Love.
When I walk into the building where my church meets, I am flooded with love. People greet me, ask me how I am and listen earnestly to the answer. People hug me and are genuinely happy to see me and I am similarly happy to see them. I look forward to the times when I will see my church family. And likewise, I enjoy meeting Brothers and Sisters elsewhere. We recognize our family connection and we celebrate that connection. Verses 4-6 read,
“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all”
We are part of one body, the body of Christ, His bride, His temple we are not only members in it, but inextricable from it. We share the same Spirit. We have the same promise and hope of eternity. That hope gives us a common purpose to bring others into The Kingdom of God, to become part of this body with us and give them the same awesome hope we have.
There are not many roads to the same destination. There is one road. There is only one way and that is the Lord. He is The One True God King of Kings Jesus Christ. There are not many different beliefs. There is one faith. The truth doesn’t change for the hearer. The Gospel remains the gospel and the hearer accepts it or does not. There is one baptism, one forgiveness and cleansing not many. We have one God. There are not gods of love, gods of wisdom, and gods of creation. There is one God, He is the God of Love, the God of Wisdom, and Creator of all. He is our Father.
He is the LORD. He is sovereign over everyone and everything regardless of our recognition of the fact. He is through all. God can and does use whomever He chooses. He used a donkey to speak to Balaam in Numbers 22. He used a tree to teach Jonah. He used Babylon to discipline Judah and Israel. He is in all. Not only is God in His followers in the form of His Spirit, but by the very fact that He created us after His own image, every person carries a part of God within them, sort of like DNA. It is what makes us need Him and seek Him. It is what some people call that God-shaped whole.
Remember Paul’s insistent and burning request. Walk in unity of peace and love with one another. The Message says, “Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.” God is the very exact picture of perfect unity. Then we also should be saturated with His unity. Choose to be in oneness with the Fellowship. Love one another.
John 13:35 reads,
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Your love displayed through harmony is how God is glorified and how we achieve the call to make Him known to the world.