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Keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace..
Eph. 4:3
 

other translations
being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  (WEB)

Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  (WBS)

in the uniting bond of peace, the unity given by the Spirit.  (WEY)

being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of the peace;   (YLT)

 

"The unity of the Spirit" signifies that secret bond of divine union which knits together all the living members of Christís mystical body, not only to Him as their risen Head, but to each other also by virtue of the same indwelling Spirit.

It is, therefore, not a mere unity of opinion, of church membership, of outward profession, or any mere external bond; for all these may subsist in the highest degree, and yet there be no spiritual union. The word translated "unity" means literally "oneness," and therefore implies that oneness of the faith, hope, and love which pervades every member of the mystical body. It is, therefore, called "the oneness of the Spirit," that is, that oneness of heart and soul, love and affection, of which the Holy Ghost is the sole and immediate author. This oneness of Spirit is, so to speak, kept together and maintained in its place by "the bond of peace," which is oneness of spirit; but when "the bond of peace" is twined round it, it is not only preserved from outward assaults, but, like the blood within the artery, or like the marrow within the spine, is free to move and act. As, therefore, this, "oneness of spirit" can only be maintained in living exercise as surrounded by "the bond of peace," the Apostle bids us to endeavour "to keep" it within this bond. It is in itself a thing so tender, and yet so essential to the comfort of the church, that we should never, so to speak, take that bond off which preserves it uninjured.

By "peace," therefore, we may understand not only peace of conscience, peace with God through the atoning blood of the Lamb, but peace also with the brethren. In other words, a quiet, peaceable, affectionate, and loving spirit manifested to the people of God, and especially to those with whom we are brought into church fellowship, is indispensable to the lively maintenance of spiritual union. It is true that spiritual union, once felt, can never be utterly lost; but it may be sadly weakened. Next then to our own soulís peace and establishment in the truths of the gospel, next to our own union with Christ, as sensibly realized and spiritually maintained, should we seek to keep up oneness of Spirit with the saints of God; and so far as we aim at this by showing a quiet, peaceable, and affectionate spirit, do we fulfill the apostolic injunction, and "endeavour," for we cannot always or often succeed, "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."  J.C. Philpot

THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT- WHAT IS IT?
By Charles Welch


First, let it be marked, that the Holy Spirit has differentiated between the unity which we are to KEEP, and the unity which we are to SEEK.

Eph. 4. 3. " Endeavouring to KEEP the unity of the spirit in the bonds of the peace.

Eph. 1. 13, " TILL WE ALL COME unto the unity of the faith."

This order is Divine ; but man has thought fit to attempt to revise God's order, and says, " When you agree with me as to ' fundamentals' (as if all truth were not fundamental) we can then have ' fellowship ' and keep the unity of the spirit." This is practically the position of the majority of believers who have had any concern about this subject. The others, alas! seem to care nothing about " the unity of the spirit " at all, and -o to the other extreme, making a wholesale jumble of creed and practice,  "agreeing to differ," and raising above their rubbish-heap of traditions and mangled Scriptures the words "All one in Christ," etc.

What is  "the unity of the spirit " ? Has the Lord told us?

It is evident we shall not be able to keep a unity unless we know what it is; but shall probably become a prey to some stronger will of one who will give us his opinion as a standard. God has not left us without teaching on this important matter, for verses 4-6 are GOD'S OWN DEFINITION of what the unity of the spirit is.

The passage reads like this : " Endeavouring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of the peace (then add. mentally, " which unity consists of the following "), One Body, One Spirit, etc."

These seven constituents of true Scriptural unity are arranged in perfect and beautiful order. The fact of there being seven tells us that we have here spiritual perfection, and the balance of each part fully explains the Lord's mind as to this wonderful unity.

They are arranged as follows --

A | ONE Body,
   B | ONE Spirit,
      C | ONE Hope,
         D | ONE LORD,
      C | ONE Faith,
   B | ONE Baptism,
A | ONE God and Father.

It will be seen that the great centre is Christ as LORD --that is, Christ, not as the " Man of Galilee," nor as the
Nazarene," nor by any of the blasphemous titles whereby " Socialists " and would-be world -improvers, " universal brotherhood," advocates and " peace and safety " preachers dishonour Him. - No, not Christ as the " Son of man," or even  "Jesus" ; but Christ in Resurrection GLORY ; not Christ after the flesh-Christ Head of the NEW CREATION-'THIS ONE is the centre, the pivot, around whose glorious, PERSON the other elements of true unity are grouped.

Round this central Lord we find the other six placed in perfect correspondence.

Corresponding with the One Body or Family we have the One God and Father (A and A).

Corresponding with the One Spirit we have the One Baptism (B and B).

Corresponding with the One Hope. we have the One Faith (C arid C).

Christ is the centre of true unity, and, apart from HIM, faith and nape are without foundation, and the body itself is dead. Just as in the temple : " Every whit of it uttereth glory " ; so here, every part of this seven-fold unity speaks of RESURRECTION.
 

 

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