Therefore, as a prisoner for the Lord, I encourage you to live as people worthy of the call you received from God. 2 Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience. Accept each other with love, 3 and make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together. 4 You are one body and one spirit, just as God also called you in one hope. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 and one God and Father of all, who is over all, through all, and in all.
7 God has given his grace to each one of us measured out by the gift that is given by Christ.
There’s a line from the 2002 movie Spider-Man, wherePeter Parker, (aka Spider-Man,) is having a serious conversation about the responsibilities of adulthood with his Uncle Ben, who says to him, “With great power comes great responsibility.” This is what I think Paul is trying to say to the church at Ephesus in these verses. As followers of Jesus, who have received the power of the Spirit, we have the great responsibility to live and love one another as God loves us. Only the Spirit can transform us in this way as we grow in faith.
As children of God we are given the gift of the Spirit through Jesus Christ and given gifts of the Spirit that enable us to share God’s love with others. We are called by God, not because we are worthy, but because we are loved and forgiven. The power of the Spirit does not serve our will, the Spirit works God’s will within us.
Paul is having the ‘adult responsibilities’ conversation with us. Are we living as people worthy of the call we received? He’s saying if we are going to live into our calling as followers of Jesus, then we need to continue to grow in faith and “conduct ourselves with “humility, gentleness, patience and accept each other with love.” This growth is brought about by the work of the Spirit. Ultimately, we are responsible for our actions, and they are our witness to the world.
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
The Spirit also works within the church to bring about unity of the Spirit, and we are to “make an effort to preserve the peace that ties [us] together.” This is Spirit given unity, not human uniformity which demands conformity. Unity is the dynamic work of the Spirit, making us all one in Christ. As children of God we are “one body united in one spirit.” What unites us is greater than what divides us. Unity is so important that Jesus prayed before he was arrested and asked God to give it to us, saying, “I pray they will be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.” (John 17:21) John Wesley, founder of Methodism also understood unity, saying, “Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion?” Unity is the gift of the Spirit, God’s loving grace, to which we are called to share God’s love with the world. Are you living a life worthy of your calling? Are you seeking unity in the Spirit or uniformity of opinion?
Prayer: Loving God, make us one in your Spirit. Help us to listen to your Spirit, to seek to do your will, to be humble, patient to accept and to love each other. Amen.
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