The Church As It’s Supposed To Be: Bear With One Another
We are continuing in our series highlighting the One Anothers
“Bearing With One Another” Ephesians 4:1-7
1 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. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
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.
Questions For Study
- What usually happens in the churches you have attended when one person severely disagrees with another person?
- If the Church isn’t about preference, then what is it about and why?
- What is my role in all of this?
- What does this mean for the church?
- What can you and Anchor do to improve in this area?