Unity and Mission

Ephesians 4:4-6

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

“You may say I’m a dreamer,
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”

This iconic stanza was written by social poet and Beatles superstar John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono. Written during a turbulent time in our country’s history, Lennon later went on to say that his inspiration for the song was a Christian prayer book that was given to him and his wife. These 22 lines summed up what Lennon and many contemporaries of his believed: one world, one people.

In Ephesians 4:4-6, Paul lists a perfect seven unities that we have because we are in Christ: one body, in one Spirit, called to one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father. As Paul mentions earlier, the basis for maintaining this unity of the Spirit (v. 3) is the understanding of these seven unities. We didn’t create it, and we don’t define it, but we simply rejoice in it.

While this unity must be maintained in the church, we cannot forget Paul’s external implications. Remember, the context Paul is referring to harkens back to what he says in chapter 2, being made one in Christ, having the walls of hostility being broken down so that two shall become one. The “those who were far off” that we brought near were the Gentiles, who were far of geographically, culturally, and spiritually.

The uniqueness of this unity in Christ, this oneness that is to be the foundation for our unity, doesn’t just mean that your small group needs to like each other. This unity is the foundation for unity in the church but mission outside the church.

Look at what Paul said in Romans 10:12-15:
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.  For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

God’s plan ultimately is to call a people to Himself that will reflect His glory in this earth. He chose us to be the “Change-Agents” that He would use to call people to Himself. He who is one Lord, one Spirit, one God and Father, has empowered us to reach His chosen ones to the one faith, one hope, one baptism, called to be members of one body. The world, as John Lennon is an example, views unity as ideal. Our goal is to have our unity in Christ be on displayed to a lost and depraved world, so that God’s glory is reflected through us, so that people will be drawn to Jesus Christ.