The fire of the Holy Spirit has a unifying effect. That’s why Paul called it, “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). And Paul said we are to endeavor to keep it.
Endeavor. The word means – to make effort, to give diligence, to labor, strive, or study. Keeping the unity of the Spirit is going to take some work. That’s true because the Church is made up of different people from different backgrounds with different experiences and preferences. It’s also true because there is a diabolical enemy who is bent on hindering the work of God by destroying unity. So we must endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit.
Keep. It’s significant that Paul said keep, not create. The unity of the Spirit cannot be created by people. It can only be created by the Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, it already exists in those who have accepted Jesus and have the Holy Spirit living within them. You can’t keep something that isn’t already there. So the assignment is to protect the unity that is produced by the Holy Spirit. And in verses that precede the text, Paul gave some ideas how that can be accomplished:
1. By walking worthy of the calling with which you were called (4:1)
2. By demonstrating humility and gentleness (4:2a)
3. With patience bearing with one another in love (4:2b)
The unity of the Spirit is kept when Christians live and act like Christians. It’s kept when we do the Fruit of the Spirit, not the Works of the Flesh (see Galatians 5:19-23).
The bond of peace. A bond is something that fastens, binds, or holds together. The unity of the Spirit produces the bond of peace that holds churches together. Let’s strive together to keep the unity of the Spirit. It’s a blessed thing (Psalm 133). And let’s stand together against anything that would diminish or destroy it.
Pastor Todd Weston