Life Together – Part 4
Ties That Bind – Ephesians 4:4-6
Crosspoint – Dave Spooner – October 3rd, 2021
- The truth is that division comes naturally, and unity comes supernaturally. Even though we are a vast and diverse people, Christians have more in common in the Trinity than we have that is dissimilar. If you are discouraged about all the division in our world, I want you to focus on what you have in common with other Christians, and this will give you hope that we can continue together in what we share in common together. What binds us together is greater than what pulls us apart. This will give you encouragement in our divided world so that you will have hope and the strength to move forward in your faith through life with joy.
- If you remember, the church was God’s idea. It is built on Jesus, it is built by Jesus, and it is built for Jesus to display the grace of God, the wisdom of God, and the glory of God. We do this by “walking in a manner worthy of our calling,” which means by the grace, wisdom, and glory of God we live in humility, gentleness, patience, longsuffering, being eager to maintain unity in the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:1-3). God helps us to be a people who live this way. And in doing so, this will be a place that fulfills God’s desire, and it will be a place where both His people and His presence dwell. It will be healing for your heart and our community, and it will be a safe place, a strong place, a powerful place, a life-changing, culture-impacting, world-expanding, eternal rewarding place—a place where you want and delight to be.
- And this has to be done through the supernatural working of God in our continually fractured world. The truth is that God provides for us in Himself everything we need to bind us together. Thus, throughout all times and places in the world, Christians have an inseparable bond built upon and centered in the person of God Himself. This means the source of our connectedness is not dependent on us, and it is supplied from the everlasting and eternal source of all that is good and right and true and perfect – a source that will never be exhausted or extinguished or exterminated.
We unite in the Spirit
Eph 4:4 ESV
There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call
- We are united in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit regenerates us and joins us as the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). The Holy Spirit is the deposit that guarantees our inheritance and secures our hope (Eph. 1:14).
- There is just One Body – There are not multiple bodies of Christ. There is one body in different locations. Each local congregation is a part of the greater body of Christ. We may have different names on our doors, but we have the same Spirit that binds us into the body. We are not competing with other churches, and we are together for the gospel in various parts of the world.
- When you become a Christian, you become a part of the church, which is the body of Christ. And for the body to be whole and healthy, we must be connected to each other for our mutual benefit . . . and availability and functionality to Christ who is our head.
- When we function as the body of Christ, we are working together and in connection to all the work that God is doing through His body throughout the world. This means that you have a community that stretches throughout the world and encompasses all times and places. You are not alone. You have been given a community (community – is what is common to our unity) – so be encouraged by this.
- We are united in the One Spirit – the same Holy Spirit that worked in creation, the same Holy Spirit that was active in the Old Testament, the same Holy Spirit that fell on the disciples in the upper room, the same Holy Spirit that has been given to us. We share in one Spirit. And this Spirit changes all of us, it equips all of us, it teaches all of us, it empowers all of us, and it is in all of us. Be encouraged that greater is He who is in you than he that is in the world.
- We are united in our One Hope – after you die, the only hope you have to live again is Christ, who will raise you again by the Holy Spirit. All believers everywhere and through all time share in the hope of our calling, which is the resurrection of eternal life. We are united in this one hope. To signify this one hope, if at all possible, bodies are buried facing east in anticipation of when the new day will dawn.
- We all share the same calling, and we are on our way to the same destiny. Through the Spirit, we have this bond. The Holy Spirit Himself holds us together, as one body, with one Spirit in one hope. We unite in the Spirit.
We unite in the Son
Eph 4:5 ESV
one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
- There is only one Lord, who is Christ. We are united in Him, and through Him, and by Him and for Him. He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our Lord. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of all lords. We are subject to Him, and we are citizens and family, and benefactors of His. We serve and are surrounded by the same Lord.
- There is only one faith, and to believe the gospel is to enter into the unity it creates. Christianity is a shared faith. No separate or merely individual faith exists, nor is there different salvation. There are common elements of Christianity that all Christian believers hold. We are saved through faith by Grace and believe in the only begotten Son for the salvation of our souls. Some of these things that we hold in common are placed in creeds and confessions, like the apostle’s creed or the Westminster confession and the like.
- There is only one baptism, regardless of where you were baptized, or how you were baptized, or who baptized you. There is only one baptism, and we are baptized into Christ (Gal. 3:27-29, Rom 6:3-4). In our Lord, we have a calling and purpose, and identity. We unite in the Son.
We unite in the Father
Eph 4:6 ESV
one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
- There is one God and Father of all – there are many things that are called “god” and worshiped in our world . . . they are not all the same nor do they describe the same God from various angles. There is only one true God, and He is God as revealed in the Bible and seen through the Son (see Heb 1:1-4).
- There is One God (Deut. 6:4), and He is the Father of all. The creator, the source, and the one we are found in and connected through. He uses the family language on purpose, like in each of our families, we as siblings are connected by our parents, and we will always have that in common. He connects us, and He is over all – that is, He is greater and higher and over all things. He is the one that is seen through us all, and He is the one that is in us all. There is only one God, and because we are his children, we have eternity because He is eternal. This means we are to respect, and love, and cherish all of His people because He is over us all, He moves through us all, and He is in us all.
Conclusion and Communion
- We are unified through the Trinity. This is what holds us together, and this is what the world needs to see.
Eph 2:18-22 ESV
For through Christ we have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
- What binds us together is greater than what pulls us apart. Emphasize what we have in common: One Body – One Spirit – One Hope – One Lord – One Faith – One Baptism – One God who is overall, and through all, and in all. In the Trinity, you have community, in the Trinity, you have In the Trinity, you have eternity. Praise God for what He has given.
- The apostle’s creed and communion
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.