“Can’t we just get along?” It seems as though even we, in the church struggle to do this. So our solution seems to be finding churches we like, and with people that are like us, instead ofmjoining our brothers and sisters In Christ, and be willing to serve one another. We are living in a time when this aspect of the gospel needs to be seen by a world that wants unity, but instead has a mass amount of division and hate. Paul speaks to us today, as he exhorts us to “Walk Worthy.”
What does it mean to “Walk worthy of the calling to which you have been called?” Paul has laid out 3 chapters outlining what God has done for us. The next 3 chapters of Ephesians describes how we ought to live, and he starts his route to holiness with unity. Last week we saw Paul exhorting the believers to “Bear one another’s burden’s” this week commands believers to be “bearing with one another.” The word Paul used in Galatians was the word βαστάζετε (Bastezete), which is an Imperative commanding believers to “Take up, Carry” those that have fallen in sin. It was stressing the congregation’s place in discipleship and one another’s spiritual growth, but the word Paul uses in Ephesians 4:2 is the Greek word ἀνεχόμενοι (Anechamenoi) meaning to “Tolerate, Put up with” or better, “Listen to willingly.” Here Paul is exhorting us as believers to accept those that may not have the same views on politics, school education, entertainment, etc. that you do. Again, we have this clear path for groups that aren’t preferential to one another to get along, and learn to live in harmony. This is where the republican, NASCAR loving, blue jeans wearing farm hand can be in the same bible study with a, Starbucks sipping, Symphony loving Democrat, and get along because of their common bond in Jesus. This is what gives the gospel power; when a Jew and Gentile can be in the same room, loving one another as brothers and sisters, because of the love the Father, Son and Spirit showed them.
The passage connects this behavior to “walking worthy” and to maintaining the “Unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” We are in this together, and according to Ephesians 2:15, God has created one new humanity, wiping out our rights and preferences in order to preserve the peace and bless the other person. Homogenous churches may “Work,” but they don’t appear biblical. God’s plan from the ages was to restore humans to one another breaking the curse of Babel (See Genesis 12:1-3; Ephesians 3:1-10; Revelation 5:9; 7:9). Unity in diversity is what God created in the first place. This is seen in His image as He created males and females distinctly different (Genesis 1:26-27) yet they were always meant to be one (Genesis 2:24). His Church is also within His image of unity and diversity (See 1 Corinthians 12:20). This is reflective of His own being that is manifested in three distinct persons, yet one being. God created diversity as a creative, but He created that diversity to operate as one, for His glory. That’s exactly what the Church is called to do, but the Church, in order to become “Successful” and huge decided the plan to reach like people helps grow the Church larger and “More effectively.” That’s true, it’s just not God’s plan for His Church.