Keeping The Unity Of The Spirit
In Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesian churches, he admonishes them sternly to “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” - Ephesian 4:3.
Apostle Paul understood the part that unity of the Spirit plays in the outworking of the Holy Spirit amongst the saints. He was also aware of the teaching, instructions and earnest prayer of Our Lord Jesus Christ as he encouraged His disciples to love one another and remained in unity as He is one with the Father.
Unity in the Spirit is more than just attending church services together or attendance at corporate love feast but also includes, praying together, exploring the word of God as a body of believers and much more. Just as we have physical activities which encourage unity and aids in helping us to maintain connections with one another, we are expected to do the same with spiritual activities that facilitate and aid keeping the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. If the truth as to be told we tend to encourage more of the physical activities to maintain connectivity with one another within the church.
Whilst we recognise that unity of the spirit is a big part of the work of the Holy Spirit amongst us and He leads the body of Christ as one body regardless of colour, culture or class and we earnestly desire to see the fullness of His manifestation amongst us. I am somewhat concerned that the issue of races often hinders the higher agenda of keeping the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Which leads me to question whether this is achievable without each camp intentionally working to maintain the unity of the spirit above all else.
I realise that what tends to happen is that we keep the unity of our race or culture of origin rather than work towards keeping the unity of the spirit, knowing it takes a lot more effort to maintain the unity of the spirit as it crosses many boundaries. Therefore, when push comes to shove, different races cower together regardless of their faith, instead of the other way round. We first recognise ourselves based on our race, colour & culture rather than on our faith. When in truth we are first spirit beings before we are physical beings!
How odd that we are first drawn to people who look like us, rather than people who carry the same faith & spirit as us? I learnt that in spite of our faith, we still see through the lenses of race & colour and hence my question on our ability to achieve unity of the spirit across cultures, races and people as the Lord intended when we intentionally and purposely cleave to our race despite the truth that we are a new creation in Christ and that our new status sits above culture, race and status!
Therefore, Apostle Paul’s words to the Ephesian churches over 2000 years ago, remains a global challenge in the Body of Christ. Instead of embracing the challenge in that passage of Scripture, we tend to avoid it like a plague, whilst earnestly desiring the outpouring of the spirit found amongst the new believers on the Day of Pentecost, forgetting that they kept as well as guard the unity of the spirit amongst them before and after the Day of Pentecost.
Therefore, as we mark the remembrance of the Day of Pentecost whilst continuing to pitch our tents with our difference races, I ask that you consider the negative impact of not making every effort to keep the unity of the spirit across cultural and racial divides. Remember that as a new creation in Christ you are called to much more. So next time you consider pitching your tent beside that of your race, culture or colour; understand that the Lord requires you to keep the unity of the spirit above that of just your race or culture!