1. Unity is a ____________________________
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (v. 1-3)
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. James 4:1-2
Reflection: What am I doing to foster or preserve the unity of the Body?
2. Unity has its beginning __________________
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. (v. 4-7)
v. 8-10 remind us that the ________________ makes all this possible
Reflection: Do I need to ask for or offer forgiveness to another to heal a division or promote peace within the Body?
3. Unity is about ________________________
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (v. 11-13)
The progression towards spiritual maturity:
Works of service…build up the Body…promote unity…foster knowledge of Jesus [Son of God]…maturity is increased
Reflection: Do I lead as to promote unity in the Body?
4. Unity is only possible with _______________
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (v. 14-16)
Reflection: Am I growing in my faith? What are my “growth edges” and my plan to address them?
We are One in Christ –
let us live in a way that shows it to the world