22.4 Romans – Unity and Maturity

In today’s lesson we venture outside of Romans into another of Paul’s letters to the Ephesians.  He picks up the theme in this letter about the body of Christ, but focuses on how to maintain unity.  This is along the lines of the difference between a body and a healthy, toned body.  In the overall function of the body we look for balance and unity.

I thought it was very interesting how Paul prescribes to accomplish this unity: Start with Yourself!

  1. Me: live a life worthy of the calling you have received
  2. Me: be completely humble and gentle
  3. Me: be patient
  4. Me: bear with one another in love
  5. Me: make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit

Did you notice that nothing in his prescription of unity and maturity was about fixing other people or getting them to change?  This isn’t in contrast to supporting others and encouraging them and holding them accountable to the commitments they have made, but the focus of unity always starts with me.

How quickly we are, particularly in our interactions with other believers, to start with them instead of me.  The pastor needs to do this or say this.  The elders should have…  The music leader needs to… The teacher was not… They said… She did… He didn’t…  Them, them, they, they, others.

My Answers:

9.
Believers. Christ and each other – united through the calling each has received

10.
Live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace

11.
Contributing financially and in service, mostly in teaching and volunteering. When called saying, “here I am”. I erode unity when I don’t reach out to others but focus on my own needs and thoughts after worship. By not being bold and reaching out.

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