Unity Begins With You

Series: Guest Speaker

July 26, 2020
Noah Leighton

Episode Notes

If you have a bible this morning you can turn to Ephesians chapter 4, that’s where we’ll be hanging out this morning.

I’m so thankful that I get the opportunity to share God’s word with all of you whenever Pastor Brad goes on vacation.

So, let’s not waste anytime — let’s get into it.

Ephesians 4:1-6 — the Bible says.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.



Have you ever misplaced something important, and in the process of looking for it almost lost your salvation?

In other words, has the frustration of losing something caused you to act out in anger, grit your teeth, or maybe use some King James type language?

And why is it that whenever you are looking for something, you always end up finding something else that you were previously looking for but decided to give up on? 

You may be the kind of person like I am, who misplaces everything. I lose my keys, my headphones, my tv remote, etc.

Any of you like that? Like, you call someone on your cell phone to ask them if they’ve seen your cell phone.

Or maybe you are the person who doesn’t lose things, but you are so helpful in helping people like me locate our missing items by asking deep philosophical questions like “Well, where was the last place you had it?”

Out of everything that I misplace on a daily basis, my wallet seems to be the one that I enjoy losing the most. I have had to replace my driver's license 4 times since I starting driving because I misplace my wallet so much.

I can remember one specific time that I misplaced my wallet, which was about the third time, I was furious.

And those of you who are like me know that instead of retracing your steps, maybe trying to think back to placing it somewhere, you automatically start accusing everyone in your household for losing your stuff.

I go into extreme detective interrogation mode.

Like, I sit my sister down and ask, “At approximately 10:22AM when my wallet was last seen on that table, where were you?”

She’s like, “Umm. I was at a friends house.”

I go, “So, what you’re telling me is if I get the judge to serve a subpoena on your cell phone, and then trace the pings off the towers, it’’ll show me your telling the truth is that correct?”

My sisters like, “I want to talk to my lawyer”

So, I spent the next few hours mad at whoever it was that could have lost my wallet.

And that night I remembered that I attended a funeral that day, and had to wear a blazer to it.

So, I went and got the blazer, and looked inside the inside pocket, and low and behold, all those lying thief's that I call my family turned out to be innocent after all.

Why is it that whenever our world seems to be out of order, morality forsaken, and truth tragically lost, the first place we stick the blame is to “those people” “them” “that group”

“if these people would just do this.” “If he would just say this” “If she would just not say that”

Could it be maybe, that when we throw stones at people who don’t look, act, or think like us, we are forgetting that we are sinners as well? 

One psychologist put it this way when he said, “Judging others is easy because it distracts us from the responsibility of judging ourselves.” 

With so much division, so much strife, and chaos, I believe The Lord is telling us this morning that: creating a culture of unity, starts with ourselves.

My prayer is that as we unpack the text this morning, we would use the words of Paul to the church in Ephesus not as a magnifying glass to see the faults of others, but as a mirror to hold up with which we evaluate ourselves.

In the text I believe we see 3 realties of Unity.

1.      The CALL of unity — V1

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.

We see in this verse that Paul first gives the church in Ephesus a perspective.

It’s important to know why Paul says the word “therefore”

What Paul is doing is using that word to connect the two parts of this letter to the Ephesians.

The first 3 chapters of Ephesians deal with The Gospel Story, while the last 3 deal with The Churches Story.

Paul shifts from doctrine to duty, from principle to practice if you will.

Now, at this time, the City of Ephesus was known as the “Metropolis of Asia” or the “Mother-City”

The population was believed to be somewhere around 250,000 people and growing rapidly.

Not only was the population in Ephesus vast in number, but so were all the different sub-cultures, people groups, and belief systems of that day.

And since there was diversity in the city, that meant there was diversity in the church.

You had believers who had recently come out of idol worship, especially those who worshiped the goddess Artemis.

In fact, Acts 19 we see that Paul was converting so many people to faith in Jesus from the group who worshiped Artemis, that the people who were making a profit off of idol worship, were furious. 

Look at Acts 19:24-26,

24 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen. 25 These he gathered together, with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. 26 And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. 

Not only were there church members with a background of idol worship, there were also church members with a background in sorcery and magic.

Look at Acts 19:18-20,

many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 And the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.

On top of all of these believers with diverse backgrounds, you had those from Judaism in the mix as well.

Knowing this, Paul decides to start his letter by articulating the beauty of the gospel.

The person of Jesus Christ.

We see this in places like Ephesians 1:7 where he says,

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.

And in Ephesians 2:8 which says,

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”

So, you got people with a background in idol worship, magic, legalism all in the mix reading this from Paul.

There were probably the intellects, the athletes, the rich, the poor, the hipsters, the wall-flowers, the cool kids, the loners, and any other kind of person you could think of.

And Paul decides to FIRST show them the beauty of Christ and how he has saved them from their sin, and THEN says, THEREFORE, BY KNOWING ALL OF THAT you should live in a way worthy of your calling.

Church, what if before trying to change how someone thinks or behaves by our own power, we first show them the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and let God be the one who changes them from the inside out.

You’ve heard that the late Dr. Billy Graham once said,

“It’s the Holy Spirit's job to convict, God's job to judge, and my job to love.”

Paul gives the Ephesians that perspective, but he also gives them a plea when he urges them to live a life worthy of their call.

We know that by looking at this in the greek that Paul is not giving a suggestion. He’s not saying, “Hey, it’d be nice if you’d walk a worthy walk of unity”

No! He is pleading with them, he is begging them!

He begs them to live a life worthy of their calling.

The root of the word “worthy” here in the original language gives the idea of balancing the scales. — what is on one side of

the scale should be equal in weight to what is on the other side. 

Example: A person worthy of his pay was one whose day’s work corresponded to his day’s wages.

Therefore, what Paul is saying is that one who walks worthy of his calling in Christ is one who’s practices of love, peace, and integrity, match their  position as a child of God and heir with Christ.

Not only do we see the reality of the call to unity, but secondly we see what that looks like with:

2. The CHARACTERISTICS of unity.

2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 

Paul gives some Christ-like Characteristics here.

The first Paul mentions is HUMILITY.

Now, humility is often confused with weakness.

But humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.

The Romans & The Greeks with all of their vocabulary didn’t even have a word for humility. Why? — Because it was something that they didn’t practice.

Humility was not something that they thought was noble. They didn’t want to think of themselves less, they wanted to only think about themselves.

That’s why when Jesus stepped on the scene claiming to be God it didn’t make sense to them that he was such a humble servant.

 look at Philippians 2:5-8 when Paul says to the church in Philippi,

3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Paul also mentions the Christ like characteristic of GENTLENESS.

We see that this is who Jesus is in Matthew 11 when Jesus says,

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

He also mentions the Christ like characteristic of PATIENCE

The Greek term here for patience literally means “a long time before one gets angry.”

This is often translated as “long-suffering” and describes the matter in which God puts up with sinful humanity.

Look at 2 Peter 3:9, when it says,

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

One of my favorite things that Pastor Brad says when anyone is discussing predicting the time that Jesus is going to come back, he always mentions that the scriptures say that not even the Son, but only the Father know the day and hour that will be.

And he says, “If Jesus Christ doesn’t even know when he’s coming back, what makes us think we can figure it out?”

And to use that same logic and to twist it a bit and make it my own I’ll say this:

If Jesus Christ in all his glory and holiness can be humble, gentle, and patient, what makes us think we shouldn’t?

See, these characteristics are the overflow of understanding who Christ is, and who we are in Him and His church.

And when we understand this and posses these characteristics, only then will we be able to do what Paul says when he says we should,

“bear with one another in love”

This is the idea of being able to withstand any kind of conflict you may have with someone, because since you know Jesus you are humble, gentle, and patient.


The idea is this: We shouldn’t let one disagreement or conflict keep us from having meaningful relationships with people, because when we do so, we miss out on so much.

So much meaningful dialogue, so much edifying time together, and such wonderful friendships.

Not only does Paul show us the CALL of unity, the CHARACTERISTICS of unity, but lastly we see:

3. The CAUSE of unity. 

4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

In these 3 verses we see some Trinitarian theology played out.




Now, I want us to go through these verses again, but this time I want everyone to help me count how many times the word “one” is said.

And just so I’m not insecure about having to count with my fingers, you go ahead and do that to.. 

4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 

How many times you got? 7…

7 is the number of spiritual perfection or completion.

Think about it:

•      God’s created everything and rested on the 7th day.

•      Naaman is commanded to bathe in the Jordan seven times to be cleansed of leprosy.

•      Jesus says He is the "I AM" seven times in Matthew, and told His followers to forgive those who wrong you seventy times seven times

•      Maybe the best-known use of seven is when Joshua and the people marched around Jericho for seven days, circled it seven times on the seventh day, then had seven priests blow seven trumpets before the walls came down.

So you have Paul using Trinitarian & Numerological imagery, and in doing so, he is trying to show the Ephesians that just as the Trinity is singular (God) and plural (Father, Son, Spirit) and just as there is one body of Christ, the church (singular) there has to be numerous amounts of members to make it complete. (plural)

The beauty of the trinity is that it can be three persons, all the while remaining one. 

And the beauty of the church is this: lean in real close.

God unifies the church, by diversifying it.

The beauty of the church is that is goes against any norm of how any group is brought about.

The Church does not require you come from a certain family.

It doesn’t require that you come from a certain social background. 

It doesn’t require that you are able to pay a certain fee to get it.

The beauty of the church is that it is inclusive, yet exclusive all at the same time.

The beauty of the church is that no matter if you are rich, poor, short, tall, white, black, or brown, we all can come together and celebrate the fact of Jesus Christ and Him Crucifed for our sins, resurrected from the dead for our salvation, and leading us every day in our sanctification — AMEN?!

I know that we have some division in our day, but let us always remember that while countries have been overtaken, Kingdom’s have been defeated, leaders and ideologies have been hushed, NOTHING has ever been able to stop the church or silence the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

And according to Jesus in Matthew 16 when he says,

“I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.”

Nothing ever never will.

Church, Unity starts with You!

There will always be things that try to divide us, because no church is perfect.

I heard one Pastor say, “No, the church isn’t perfect. But nevertheless, it sure is beautiful. “

And when it comes to living in Unity with one another, may we always first see what we can do ourselves to help the cause.

May we always join with David when he says,

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!

24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

May we always use the scriptures not as a magnifying glass to judge others, but as a mirror for us to evaluate ourselves.

And may we join with the hymnist when he penned the words,

Search me, O God! my actions try,

And let my life appear

As seen by Thine all searching eye—

To mine my ways make clear.

Search all my sense and know my heart,

Who only canst make known,

And let the deep, the hidden part,

To me be fully shown.

To me be fully shown.

Content Copyright Belongs to Pleasant View First Baptist Church