United We Stand

United We Stand

Introduction

: One of the greatest challenges faced in the US in 2020 was that of unity. Unity amidst diversity! Is that possible? It must be our goal / intention / purpose and pursuit! 

‘When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.’ – Winston CHurchill 

‘Unity to be real must stnd the severest strain without breaking.’ – Mahatma Gandhi

Jay Weatherill (Australian Politican who was the 45th Premier of South Australia 2011-19) – ‘You don’t get unity by ignoring the questions that have to be faced.’ 

Unity or the lack of it deeply effects every aspect of our existence. 

http://encyclopedia.uia.org/en/problem/134068

OTHER NAMES:

Lack of world unity

Lack of brotherhood

BROADER PROBLEMS:

Indifference

Interdependence

Antiquated world socio-economic order

NARROWER PROBLEMS:

Social divisions

Lack of international cooperation

Unacknowledged global interdependence

Unformed pattern of cooperative action

Lack of intersocietal resource channels

Inadequate national empathy for external hardship

RELATED PROBLEMS:

Ideological conflict

Fragmentation of religious belief

Non-viability of small states and territories

Habitual overemphasis on national self-determination

Non-globalized citizenship

AGGRAVATES:

Insecurity

Alienation

Exploitation

World anarchy

Continentalism

Social inequality

Unchallenging world vision

Socially unaccountable global governance

Self-image unrelated to the external world

Over-specialized study of global ecosystem

Unilateral interpretations of multilateral principles

Overemphasis on self-sufficiency with respect to interdependence

Transition: What I want to focus on obviously is the spiritual side; the church side, the believer side/responsibility as Paul admonishes in Ephesians 4

I want to look at the admonition, the accessories, the assignment and the assessment.

First, let’s consider the admonishment.

I.

Admonition

verse 1

a. Walk worthy of the vocation / calling 

Walk according to calling / vocation –


klessis


, is the free invitation they have had from God to receive the privileges of the gospel. The vocation has to do with all the doctrines, precepts, privilege’s, duties, etc.

b. Into which you have been called

Calling = trade or occupation in life, that at which he works, by which he gets his bread; one’s livelihood.

Application: So we are to live our lives, our permanent existence (in this case a Christian one) by decision after accepting the invitation.

Application: We’ve accepted the invitation to the black and welcome and choose to bear the tuxedo!

Transition/Question: Spring boarding off the tuxedo analgy, what are the accessories?

II.

Accessories

verse 2

• Lowliness = subjection or humility of mind

• Meekness = opposite to anger and irritability.

• Long suffering = never permitting a trial or provocation to get the end of your patience.

• Forbearing one another – sustaining, bearing up with: infirmities, ignorance, etc…

Application: Without the accessories the tuxedo is merely window dressing!

Transition/Question: I will continue with the invitation to the ball, tuxedo and acceries analogy. What is the goal once we get to the ball? What is our assignment? 

III.

Assignment

verse 3

a. (Keep) Unity of the Spirit –  

[Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.] There can be no doubt that the church at Ephesus was composed partly of converted Jews, as well as Gentiles. Now, from the different manner in which they had been brought up, there might be frequent causes of altercation. Indeed, the Jews, though converted, might be envious that the Gentiles were admitted to the same glorious privileges with themselves, without being initiated into them by bearing the yoke and burden of the Mosaic law. 

The apostle guards them against this, and shows them that they should intensely labour (for so the word spoudazein, implies) to promote and preserve peace and unity. By the unity of the Spirit we are to understand, not only a spiritual unity, but also a unity of sentiments, desires, and affections, such as is worthy of and springs from the Spirit of God. By the bond of peace we are to understand a peace or union, where the interests of all parties are concentrated, cemented, and sealed; the Spirit of God being the seal upon this knot. 

(from Adam Clarke’s Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

b. Bond of peace

The apostle guards them against this, and shows them that they should intensely labour (for so the word spoudazein, implies) to promote and preserve peace and unity. By the unity of the Spirit we are to understand, not only a spiritual unity, but also a unity of sentiments, desires, and affections, such as is worthy of and springs from the Spirit of God. By the bond of peace we are to understand a peace or union, where the interests of all parties are concentrated, cemented, and sealed; the Spirit of God being the seal upon this knot. 

(from Adam Clarke’s Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Transition: The last two sections of my message have to do with alignment and assessment. The 

IV.

Alignment

– verses 4-5



‘Alignment of the Body’ 

Question: Who is it that we are to come into alignment with? The body of Christ. The One Body! Not broken, divided, fragmented individual pieces.

We fight for unity because we are a part of one another! Remember, ‘united we stand, divided we fall!’

There is but ONE:

• Body

• Spirit

• Hope

• Lord

• Faith

• Baptism

• God

Transition: I conclude with the how we might know if we are being successful. That comes by assessment.

V. 

Assessment 

vr. 6

‘Are we one?’ ‘Is there but one?’ 

1. One who is above all.

2. Through all.

3. In you all.

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