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Spiritual Warfare – Part 5

Subtitle: Unity of the Spirit

The word unity may not come to mind when thinking about the topic of spiritual warfare. But one thing to consider is that Paul said “Finally, my brethren…” in Ephesians 6. If we are to fully understand what comes after “finally” we must first know what came before it – chapters 1-5. I highly encourage you to make the book of Ephesians your close friend. Get to know it from front to back. Remember, the epistles from Paul were meant to be understood as a whole, not just in part.

For the purpose of this article we are only going to look at chapter 4. The chapter starts off with Paul pleading with the church to walk in humility, gentleness and bearing with one another.

“…endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (v.3) To endeavor means to work hard at something. It takes deliberate action and attention. The key is that the unity is in the bond of peace. The peace is brought by the Holy Spirit.

Paul goes on to say:

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (vv.4-6)

There is such an emphasis today regarding what church each of us attends. The common questions are “What denomination are you?” And “Do you believe in this or that doctrine?” No, there is one Spirit, one faith, one baptism and so on. The enemy seeks to divide us into neat little camps. He knows are effectiveness is greatly diminished when we remain divided. That is why Paul admonished us to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit.

A bit farther along in the chapter Paul continues this thought on unity.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” (vv.11-12)

And what is the purpose of those five-fold ministries?

till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (v.13)

Therefore, when the five-fold ministries operate in the church it brings us to the “unity of the faith.” Let me tell you that there is nothing more on this earth that brings fear to the enemy and delight to God than God’s children in unity.

In verse 14 Paul goes on to show us that without that unity and the operation of those ministries the church will be deceived by wrong doctrines. You see, when we operate in unity and our callings it provides a buffer of truth around us. See it:

that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.” (v.14)

Now, in 2021, with COVID, it has become increasingly difficult to be unified with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We hear the messages daily to stay home, stay six feet away, don’t hug and so on. Yes, we must be respectful of those with lesser faith but we also must “endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit.” It will take work and maybe even more work than ever. But is it worth it? I will leave you with how unity pleases the heart of God.

Psalm 133 (The Pasion Translation)

A song to bring you higher, by King David

How truly wonderful and delightful

to see brothers and sisters living together in sweet unity!

It’s as precious as the sacred scented oil

flowing from the head of the high priest Aaron,

dripping down upon his beard and running all the way down

to the hem of his priestly robes.[a]

This heavenly harmony can be compared to the dew

dripping down from the skies upon Mount Hermon,

refreshing the mountain slopes of Israel.

For from this realm of sweet harmony

God will release his eternal blessing, the promise of life forever!

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