Hardin County Church of Christ

Preserving the Unity of the Spirit

Preserving the Unity of the Spirit

Ephesians 4

          As we look out into this world of ours, we can see that religion is divided over beliefs with varying gods and deities. Within the varying beliefs around the world there is also a division amongst their own faiths and practices. Some 236 faiths of Christianity that are divided up into some 36,000 varying practices of those faiths. Ever wonder why there are so many beliefs to follow? Are we supposed to have all of these varying beliefs? How are we to chose which of these beliefs are correct?

          Looking to the Bible for the answers to this question we can observe the following answers from God's own word. Mankind has gone their own way since creation. Upon Adam's creation God put Adam into the garden of Eden and said unto him, "From any trees of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die." (Genesis 2:15-16) Eve is using her own free will, allowed herself to be deceived by the serpent who added one little word to the command of God, "Not." Eve, making a choice, chose to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thus disobeying God. Man's disobedience is recorded throughout the Bible, and thus man has separated himself from the presence of God. (Isaiah 59:1-2)

          So why so many divisions in religion and faiths? Because of man's freewill, choice, has decided to follow his own thoughts and precepts rather than God's. Jesus stated a quote from Isaiah 29:13, "This people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men." (Matthew 15:8-9) The choices of mankind have led so many astray due a lack of true knowledge of the one and only God of Heaven. (Hosea 4:6)

          In order for us today to preserve the unity of the Spirit we must go to God's word, the Bible, and see what God says on the matter. [Eph 4:1-6 NASB] 1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 [There is] one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. This series of verses indicate the 7 ones, or the oneness of the Kingdom of God, the church. Jesus said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." (John 8:32) True faith can only come through God's word. (Romans 10:17; 12:2; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17) In Ephesians 4:11 we see the varying roles and positions of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.  Their responsibilities are laid out verses 12-16. [Eph 4:12-16 NASB] 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all [aspects] into Him who is the head, [even] Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

          Man in his own wisdom has driven a wedge between God's people who should all be of the same mind and practice. The only way for us to preserve the unity of the Spirit is that we must put aside our emotions, desires, and feelings and look to God's own word and let the Bible speak for God. There is only one Kingdom of God, the church, [Eph 1:22-23 NASB] 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Mike Parks
February 17, 2021