We Are One
Tuesday - April 13th
Scripture to Read Today: Ephesians 4:1-6
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3
Forty years ago today, Pastor Max Tucker baptized me in the baptismal tank of my home church, Twin Branch Bible Church, in Mishawaka, Indiana. As a fourteen-year-old, I had put my faith in Christ as my Savior several years earlier when I was a young boy. The day of my baptism was the culmination of my previous few months' journey to embrace my faith as a teenager.
The simple faith of a child is all that is required for saving faith, but as children grow in Christ into their teen years, they choose to take on their faith as emerging adults. For me, my baptism on April 13, 1981, was my day to share with family, friends, and our Twin Branch Bible Church family that I was a follower of Jesus Christ. Biblically, physical baptism allows us to shout to the world that we know Jesus. We are baptized in the local church setting to identify with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The physical baptism of a follower of Christ comes after the spiritual baptism we experience at the moment we trust Christ. For me, that had been several years before April 13, 1981. Physical baptism plunges us into the waters that represent the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Spiritual baptism plunges us into God's eternal family. We join others who have accepted Christ and have been immersed into that same family.
Ephesians chapter four tells us that we share together in one body, one Spirit, one hope, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all (verses 4-6). Notice the "one baptism." That baptism is our spiritual baptism. Each of these descriptions points to our unity - including our one baptism. The physical baptism in the waters of a creek, river, lake, ocean, pool, or tank illustrates this same oneness. No matter our age, socio-economic background, ethnicity, race, education, gender, or any other identity distinction, we are all one in Christ.
Our oneness in the Lord is critical. We are collectively the light of Christ to the world. Our distinction and uniqueness as the followers of Christ should point others to Christ. As we each live and love like Jesus, we together shine brightly of His life and His love. Our unity is vital to the witness of Christ in our world today.
Because our oneness and unity are critical for Christ to be seen in the world, the Apostle Paul instructs us to pursue unity together even when it is hard. "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3). Do you have any broken relationships with others in the family of God that need repair? Seek ways to repair and rebuild those bonds. Those you approach to repair and restore severed relationships may reject your best efforts. Your responsibility is to "make every effort" to secure peace and unity.
Our unity in the Lord demonstrates the grace of Christ to others. We must fight to maintain our unity in the Spirit!