“Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are 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.” Ephesians 4:3-6
Keeping things takes some effort, and keeping (preserving) the most important and valued things takes great effort. An endeavor is not merely a passing, occasional pursuit, but a deliberately focused work. We endeavor to do something by the exertion of energy, striving for the best, so we can achieve the realization of what we are pursuing. We work, we strive, we make progress, we face setbacks, we get up and keep going, never giving up until we achieve our goal. The journey is as important as the destination.
Keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace is such an endeavor. It takes effort; work, deliberately focused on strengthening our relationships in love. Only in the most loving relationships is there the possibility of keeping peace, because love, true love constrains us from the things that bring about divisions and strife between loved ones. Offences are overlooked and not kept, forgiveness is granted quickly so as not to fester into bitterness. Unity does not come naturally, especially where matters of spiritual theology and faith are concerned. We must work at it.
Our first pursuit of unity is to agree that we are all under the authority of One Spirit and that Spirit is not at odds with Himself. So we should not be at odds with one another. If we say we are led by the Holy Spirit in the pursuit of any endeavor as members of the Body of Christ, but we differ on what and how we should pursue it, then at least one of us could be wrong. Our work in such case is to endeavor to find unity with the Spirit and to do so in an attitude of love, not judging the other person’s motive or intent, not thinking ourselves to be superior to others and seeking only to know and do what is pleasing to God.
We are called to be one with each other and one with Christ serving Him in One hope of eternal life. Our Lord is One. Israel was called to worship with these words.
Sham Yisrael! Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Eḥad! Hear O Israel! The Lord our God, The Lord is One.
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are One. They are Three separate and independent and they are One inseparable, interdependent and united in thought, in power, in glory and in love. They are One. Now we, through the blood of Jesus Christ have been brought into that unity through faith in His work of salvation, His life, His death, His burial and His Resurrection. As the Body of Christ each one of us serves a purpose that is both unique and necessary for the good of the whole body. We need one another. We are indeed stronger together. In the unity of the Spirit we are an unstoppable force that no power of hell can prevail against. [Matthew 16:16-19]
We have One Lord. We walk by One Faith. We are partakers of One Baptism. We have One God and Father over us Who is also above all and through all and in all of us. We are united by this faith. Jesus Christ is Lord.
We are submitted under God’s power. His work in the world is done through us and He is in all of us. Therefore, we are living to love one another as Christ has loved us. We are living to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We are growing in our love of God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength by the power of the Holy Spirit working in us.
We will walk in unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ, not divided or diminished by barriers of fear, suspicion, theological superiority, denominational judgments and age-old distrust and false witness, but we will embrace one another as one family under the banner of The One and only True God because this is the will of God in us.