For more than thirty years, Ingleside has been a remarkably united church. Across those three decades, we have learned some important truths about our unity – some of which I am recounting in this series of articles.
In part 1 of this series, I offered three answers to the question of why we should talk about this topic now. Last week, we focused on the fact that the Bible says that our unity is both a gift and a goal. This week let’s look at seven ways the Bible says that we are one.
Do you remember what the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus? He said:
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; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:3-6, NIV84)
In seven different ways, this passage of Scripture affirms our spiritual unity. We are “one” because of what God has done for us in Christ and because of who we are in Christ.
(1) One body – “so in Christ we who are many form one body” (Rom. 12:5), Jesus is the “head” of the body (Eph. 1:10, 1:22, 4:15, 5:23), and together we are the “members” of His body.
(2) One Spirit – when we are saved, the Holy Spirit “seals” us individually (Eph. 1:13), is “a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance” (Eph. 1:14), and together with other believers we “are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” (Eph. 2:22).
(3) One hope – by faith, we have hope of eternal life and are waiting for “the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
(4) One Lord – every genuine believer confesses that “Jesus is Lord” (Rom. 10:9) and strives to please him (2 Cor. 5:9).
(5) One faith – all who genuinely follow Christ receive, believe, and “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3).
(6) One baptism – “we were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Rom. 6:4).
(7) One God and Father – in Christ we “received the Spirit of sonship” and “by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’” (Rom. 8:16).
There are many dimensions to our unity at Ingleside. But, none is more significant or foundational than the seven-fold spiritual unity in Christ that makes us one.
So, make it a habit to affirm and to celebrate the spiritual unity we have in Christ!
It’s a great joy and privilege to be . . .
Your Pastor and Friend,