4:1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace”, other translations say “make some effort but be sure to be a turd to the people who disagree with you biblically” or “if their doctrine is slightly different call them a heretic” or “if anything isn’t spot on with what you think then they are preaching a false Gospel so slander them.”
Ok so some of those translations are a little off. 😛 My point is this: we are always so quick to discount the majority of New Testament Scripture that calls us to unity and patience with one another. Instead we lump people into these categories of heresy. We do it between churches, denominations, pretty much everything. We look at other congregations or denominations and talk negatively about them like they aren’t even saved…
Here’s the clear cut distinction:
You cannot be unified with someone who says there’s another way to God (not the same Spirit); you can be unified with: other believers who have a different perspective on healing, tongues, prosperity, etc. These things aren’t foundational to the Gospel…
Which is worse: being divisive over someone’s poor Biblical understanding or someone’s poor Biblical understanding? One camp is working within their misinterpretation of Scripture and the other just doesn’t understand it. To be blunt: if you are being divisive over something outside of the basic Gospel then you’re not being “protective over Scripture” you’re being, arguably, just as heretical as those who have a poor understanding of Scripture.
If churches made EVERY EFFORT to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace we may end up seeing a collective force attack the enemy. Instead we actively fight one another and wonder why we cannot seem to conquer the enemy. 🤷♂️ Awkward.
I know this is similar to devotions we have done in the past… but it popped up as we are going through Ephesians, so that’s not on me lol.
The new part is the first verse: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Being impatient and divisive against people (for seemingly any reason) is an indication that you are not living a life worth of the calling you have received. This chapter will talk about gentile thinking, it’s darkness, forgiveness, walking in love, and encouraging one another. Teach each other in love, yes. Beat down others who disagree… no.
Many theologians have become educated and allowed their growing knowledge to surpass their listening to the Spirit. They stop listening to Him on a case by case scenario because they think they know enough. Christ had 12 disciples who were constantly speaking heresy due to their misrepresentation or misunderstanding of Scripture. They were constantly being aggressive or arrogant with what they thought they knew. Jesus had to gently (and sometimes quite firmly) correct them. Why do you think you’re magically better than them? What if your understanding of God and Scripture is still pretty elementary?
Spend 1-2 minutes thanking God that He doesn’t cut off your head for being heretical (we all have something). Then spend 2-3 minutes asking God to take away your prideful thinking that you’re always right and that everyone who disagrees with you is wrong. Pray for a humble heart that allows believers to find fellowship in you based on Christ not perfect doctrine.
Do you have friends who don’t “agree” with you? Or do you find it impossible to relate with them? Try to find someone you don’t completely agree with and practice being loving and humble! 😀