Keep the Unity

Text: Ephesians 4:1-6


I.         The wedding day comes and a couple joins together in a covenant due to their love for each other.

            A.        The two become one flesh. They are united and now see everything from the same point of view.

                        1.         Some of you are smiling out there. No? It isn’t always perfect blissful harmony?

                        2.         Yet, a lot of couple imagine it would be that way.

                        3.         Clearly it doesn’t take much effort. Look at all the successful couples here. It must be easy! And if isn’t easy for the newlyweds, then something must be wrong!

            B.        You and I know that unity comes from applied effort. It isn’t always easy. Practice at resolving problems just makes the years of hard work look easy.

            C.        It is no different in the church.That is why Paul commanded that we endeavor to keep the unity - Ephesians 4:1-3

II.        “Endeavoring”

            A.        This is the Greek word spoudazo [spoo-dad’-zo]. It is translated as “diligent” or “every effort” in II Timothy 2:15

                        1.         The most common meaning is “to hurry, to do quickly”

                                    a.         The idea is that there is an urgency to the situation so that something needs to be done right now.

                                    b.         In fact, the English word “speed” is derived from this Greek word.

                        2.         This is not rush job, a secondary meaning is “to work hard, to do your best”

                        3.         It is a speed and effort brought about by eagerness, a devotion, and a willingness to work -- the third definition

            B.        There is to be speed, effort, and eagerness given to keeping the unity

                        1.         God’s kingdom is worth it - Matthew 13:44-46

III.       Seven “ones”

            A.        There are seven things – the perfect number – of singularities supporting the idea that we ourselves are one.

            B.        One body

                        1.         There is only one organization set forward by the Lord - Matthew 16:18

                        2.         It is the church - Colossians 1:18

                        3.         It was God’s will to gather all into one - Ephesians 1:9-10

                        4.         Jews and Greeks, all are reconcile to God in that one body - Ephesians 2:16

                        5.         Individually we are different, but we form a single body - Romans 12:4-5

                        6.         Yet, what do people do?

                                    a.         No effort is made to stay united. When disagreements come, fine, we’ll go to the church across town

                                    b.         I Corinthians 1:10 - There is to be the same attitude toward each other and the same way of coming to decisions.

            C.        One Spirit

                        1.         It is from the Spirit that we get our Scriptures - John 16:13

                                    a.         It is the complete truth, whole, without any parts missing - II Timothy 3:16

                                    b.         God’s Word is truth - John 17:17

                        2.         It cannot be altered and remain the truth - Galatians 1:6-10

                        3.         “That’s your interpretation” has no place - II Peter 1:19-21

                        4.         Our knowledge to enter the one body comes from the one Spirit - I Corinthians 12:13

            D.        One hope of our calling

                        1.         There is one desire for us entering the one body – the hope of a resurrection - Acts 24:14-15

                                    a.         We were born to a living hope - I Peter 1:3-5

                        2.         Our salvation is in this single hope - Romans 8:24

                        3.         That hope should drive our effort - Hebrews 6:10-19

                        4.         It anchors us. It keeps us steady despite the storms of life. Because God keeps His promise.

            E.        One Lord

                        1.         There is only one source of authority - Matthew 28:18

                        2.         We don’t go looking for justification in ourselves or anyone else - I Corinthians 1:12-13

                        3.         Yet there are people who ignore what Jesus said, while claiming he is their Lord - Luke 6:46

                        4.         The only way to gain what we hope is through the will of Christ - Matthew 7:21

                        5.         No other way - John 14:6

            F.        One faith

                        1.         Jesus gave us only one system of doctrine to believe and follow - Jude 3

                        2.         It is made known by the church - Ephesians 3:10-12

                        3.         We grow together in that teaching - Ephesians 4:11-16

            G.        One baptism

                        1.         There is only one way to enter into the covenant with Christ - Colossians 2:11-13

                        2.         We become disciples through baptism - Matthew 28:19-20

                        3.         Through baptism we accept the authority of Christ over us and become heirs of the promise - Galatians 3:26-29

            H.        One God and Father

                        1.         For us there is only one over all - I Corinthians 8:6

                        2.         We each work differently, but one God who works through us while over us - I Corinthians 12:6

                        3.         Through the authority of Christ, we thank the Father - Colossians 3:17

                        4.         God’s love gives us hope - I John 3:1-3

IV.      Seven ones intricately intertwined giving us every reason to keep the unity in a bond of peace - James 3:17

            A.        Love is the bond of perfection - Colossians 3:13-15

            B.        Without peace, we won’t see God - Hebrews 12:14

V.        Are you keeping the unity with speed, effort, and eagerness?

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