Our Calling: Unity

Paul Towne

READ : Ephesians 4:1-3
John 17:20-23

[Be] eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Eph. 4:3)

In the song Imagine, John Lennon hopes that one day, “The world will be as one.” Although Imagine and Ephesians 4:3 both refer to unity, are they really talking about the same thing?

There are two main ways secular people attempt to create unity. The first is to blur distinctions between people or beliefs to the point where everything is lumped into the same group. This is the impulse behind the claim that all religions are essentially the same. But contrary to this is the biblical claim that there is only one name by which people may be saved. The second is an attempt to create homogeneous communities in which everyone is the same—to create unity via uniformity. But neither of these attempts at unity fits with the metaphor of the church as the body of Christ with many distinct and differing parts.

In contrast, our text hints at the nature of true Christian unity by revealing that we must maintain unity instead of trying to create it. The unity that we are to maintain already exists in the inner life of the Trinity, in the perfect love between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Through Jesus Christ, we are given access to this unity that can only be found in God. True and lasting unity cannot be created by humans. It is given through union with Christ.

PRAYER

Help me to desire and maintain the unity that is found in you alone.