Unity in Action
The small group of Christians huddled together in a home to pray and worship and encourage one another. Their town, which was about the size of Tyler, had been ripped apart by natural disaster and political strife. There was no place for Christians in the community. Maybe the only thing stronger than the city’s turmoil was its spiritual darkness. There wasn’t much to be proud of in a city that was so devastated, but its citizens were proud of its paganism – the city was famous for it.
This little minority of Christians went mostly unnoticed. If someone did notice them, the Christians seemed bizarre. They were hopelessly out of step with the rest of the community in ways that made them irritating and even appear subversive. Life was difficult for these Christians in ways we can hardly imagine.
It was to this group that Paul wrote the book of Ephesians. He had a strategy for them. He wanted to teach them how to thrive in their culture and impact it for Christ. His strategy was simple: live in unity with one another.
Paul does not tell them to try harder to get along. He spends the first half of Ephesians establishing what God has done for them. God has given His people new life – individually and as a church. In that little group of Ephesians, God created a whole new entity that united its members and transformed their lives.
Not until the second half of Ephesians does Paul focus on what they must do. God’s work should change how the Ephesians relate to one another. They must make every effort to keep the unity God created.
Paul’s words to the Ephesians guide us today. We wrestle with how to thrive in and impact a culture that increasingly turns its back on God and treats Christians as bizarre. Paul’s answer: live in unity. Our Fall series, Ephesians: Unity in Action, takes us into how we do that.