The church, the family of God, is created and sustained under the cross. This means several things.
Firstly, we are all sinners. Our sinfulness is so great that we were all dead in it.
Secondly, Christ saved us from our sins. None of us earned salvation. So there is no boast. Which also means there is no exclusion to the community.
Thirdly, Christian unity is an issue of atonement. Our belief in the cross is embodied in our unity.
Communities divide over issues they believe makes them more righteous, though they might cover it up in the language of God’s righteousness.
In Ephesus, there seems to a shift. Where before the Jews were proud and separated themselves from Gentiles, now the Gentiles are seeing themselves superior for not being tied down to the law. Paul reminds them that it was not their enlightenment that obtained salvation, and that in fact, they were “far” from God.
Because all are saved in the same way, there is no ground for separation and hostility.
The church is not constituted by its righteousness. It is constituted by the cross and the resulting forgiving of sinners. Church is for sinners. The ground of our unity is not our rightness or commonality, but our sinfulness recognized before the cross.
1-Did you ever see a church split? What was the reason? Did it honor God in anyways?
2-Did you ever see a church reconciliation? Did it honor God?
3-What are some issues that threaten to divide the church? How can we practice unity in that issue?
Prayer “I pray for the unity of all the churches, that we would recognize you as our savior.”