One Who Are Many

Again Paul expounds on the cosmic reality of Jesus.  He is a person who fills the whole universe.  Despite the universe’s diversity Jesus fills it and he is one.  My friend Fred pointed out that Jesus fills the universe through the Holy Spirit.  There is the mystery that he is a man and yet he is in all things in all places, as are both other members of the Trinity.  Jesus is one.

This unity should be reflected in the united perspective of the church.  It does not mean that we will all like the same things and do things the same way.  God’s universe is both united and diverse – that is how universe gets its name.  However, in a country like the United States with its fierce diversity and individualism, unity can be lacking.  It came to the forefront in 2001 but ten years later has largely slipped into the background.

How could we have a much more united perspective in church life, public life, and domestic life?

Ephesians 4:1-16

1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

 7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it[a]says:

   “When he ascended on high,
   he took many captives
   and gave gifts to his people.”[b]

 9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Questions

  1. What qualities does Paul look for in an individual that would preserve unity?
  2. How does the reality of Christ promote unity?
  3. How would the Ephesians be expected to mature?
  4. Why do so many people in the Christian faith mature slowly?
  5. How would a mature Christian bring more unity in your church, home, and workplace?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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