Ephesians has proven to be a rich study. Paul paints a picture of a healthy church. He describes life in Christ as a beautiful joining of a redeemed people. In this week’s text, we are summoned to consider the ramifications of division in the church.
At First Baptist Muncie, we have struggled with this issue. We understand the implications of church division. It nearly destroyed our church several years ago. Yet, unification is not easy. Personal preferences, age differences and generational values often create barriers for us.
In Ephesians 2, Paul outlines Jesus’ work as unifying work.
(Ephesians 2:14 NIV) For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.
Jesus came to establish peace, to break down dividing walls. His work on the Cross merged disparate groups into one body (Jews and Gentiles). While Paul was primarily concerned with deep divisions in these groups, his words are also relevant to us. Paul describes our joining together into one household, one building. I love these images. They remind us of the necessity of working together. Families (households) that work against one another have a hard time functioning. Buildings with competing materials are bound to crumble. It just doesn’t work. Households and buildings must hold together to remain strong. This is how Paul describes the church.
(Ephesians 2:21–22 NIV) In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
One God . . . One Spirit . . . One Family . . . One Building joined together as a dwelling for God’s Spirit. We are all on the same team; our interests cannot compete if we want to survive. This may be easier said than done; yet we must take this admonition seriously. Join us on Sunday as we explore the significance of this text.