3. Live (i.e., do the work God designed for us to do, not be idle or spectators of life), be completely humble and gentle, be patient, make every effort to keep the unity of the spirt through the bond of peace (Christ is peace)
4. the unity of the spirt through the bond of peace
b. Eph 2:14 says, “He (Christ) himself is our peace.” So unity with the spirit through peace is being in Christ and the Spirit in us – united. We keep unity with others through the work of the spirit, not by anything we craft or do: We should pray to live life each day as God designed with the work He designed in advance for us to do through the power of the Sprit in us in communion with the saints (fellow believers) in His church.
c. According to Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Shakespearean Criticism, 1930), Organic Unity “is innate; it shapes as it develops itself from within and the fullness of its development is one and the same with the perfection of its outward form. ” Organic unity is the unifying thread that makes all the parts come together, from the inside out, joined in one form so that everything is unified. In the bible this is reflected in 1 Chor 1:12: “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.”
Organizational Conformity is outward in. It is a set of norms and rules, goals and missions that are shared and observed but each part of the organization does not change within. In scripture Christ observed organization conformity in Matt 22:21a: “Give to caesar what is caesar’s.” Also in Heb 13:17a “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account.”
d. To remember that the design of the church is to live in communion with man and God. We should learn and teach, support, pray and work in unity with the spirit not being divisive or burdensome but loving and true.
- one body: One church, not many churches, one as the bride of Christ to serve as he commands
- one spirit: A single entity (God) indwelling within all believers. Not different spirits in us, but one spirit in all.
- one hope: The thing all believers long for is the same, to be reunited forever with our savior in God’s kingdom
- one Lord: We all serve the same Lord and master, not different Kings with different rules and privileges
- one faith: We believe in the same thing – Christ has died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again.
- one baptism: We have all been washed completely clean of our sins through grace – no difference, all pure/white
- one God: The alpha and omega – there is only one God and Father of all. He is consistent and true.
I thought this was an exciting segment to dive deep into and I loved the questions today. First and foremost, we are called to “live life.” I think we forget that sometimes and let life live us. We go through the motions of another day. We plop down in front of the TV to be fed stuff (that is the polite word) largely developed by others who do not share similar standards for not causing another to stumble. Even at church we show up to be entertained or to “get something out of it”. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing against being fed, rested, inspired or even entertained, but those are inputs that should enable us to live. They are filling stations, not the final destination.
I attended one of the BSF seminars this past week and the Assistant Teaching Leader really highlighted how the seminars are designed to fit into the structure of BSF. Our groups and daily lessons are designed to feed and equip us, to grow, to share fellowship, to pray for each other, to learn and study. The seminars are designed to help prepare us to do something with all of that and take it out into the world. I thought that was great perspective and it was a really good seminar to help lead a small group in a bible study.