May 8 | Ephesians 4:1-13
Keep -- One -- All
by Pr. Dave Mann
As can be seen in Ephesians 4:1 (as a prisoner for the Lord), this is one of the four epistles that Paul wrote from prison – Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. When he was arrested, Paul may have thought, “Never let go to waste an unexpected clearing of your calendar. Get some important work done!” These four letters represent some of Paul’s best writing. In the first three chapters of Ephesians, Paul laid out masterfully the work of grace that God has done for us through the cross. In the final three chapters, Paul addresses our response made possible because of God's action in Christ.
I want to draw attention to three keywords in the opening paragraph of chapter 4 – "keep, one, all."
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit. Paul does not exhort us to seek unity, to strive toward unity, or to long for unity. He assumes that there is unity in the Spirit and thus he exhorts us to keep it. The unity of the Spirit is a gift of God because when we are justified in Christ, we have the same Holy Spirit given to every believer. The unity exists by the action of grace through the cross of Christ. If that unity is not evident to us believers, then we are clouding the truth with our actions, words, or thoughts. It is there, just covered up and obscured.
The word one is used seven times in the next sentence, to underscore the truth of the unity of the Spirit. T