Biola Broadcaster - 1963-09

gracious tolerance that never desires revenge. Pride and self-seeking, with a revengeful spirit, show that one has never taken one’s rightful place before God. Are you long-tempered or short- tempered? Do you get in a heat easily or do you remain calm and serene under fire? Longsuffering is another step toward unity. “Forbearing one another in love.” This expression appears also in Col. 3:13 and signifies to bear with, to en­ dure —an extraordinary patience, with restraint of one’s feelings. One of the early lessons we learn as Christians is how to get along with one another. Mutual forbearance among us means that we pray one for the other in each other’s weaknesses and offenses, and while we are called upon to forbear it is to forbear in love. All of these virtues contribute toward keeping “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (4:3). Notice, what we are not asked to do here. We are not asked to make unity. God Himself has made unity already, both of the Spirit and of the body of Christ created by God. When we were bom again the Holy Spirit united us to that body, and nothing can ever sever us from it. Believing Jews and believing Gen­ tiles have been made a new unity by God, thus forming the body in its unity. This was explained in the first part of the epistle. Commenting on “the unity of the Spirit,” one has written, “But this spir­ itual unity is more difficult to keep than organizational unity. It is easy to exercise authority, to discipline, to rule, to excommunicate those who agree not with us, but it is difficult to preserve love, respect, faith, humility, mutual honor one of another, which is necessary in a spiritual unity. The latter becomes a matter of self-disci­ pline, in which most of us are lack­ ing. We are always willing to disci­ pline others, but very unwilling to dis­ cipline ourselves. For this reason the indwelling Spirit is the principle of unity among Christians, and this may be promoted or disturbed.” The basis of spiritual unity in the 26

Ephesians (continued) bold in Christ to enjoin (command) thee that which is convenient, yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee . . This humble servant of God chose to entreat them, to desire God’s -best for them, to pray for them. Paul besought them to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith they were called. One’s vocation is one’s calling. Paul is saying: “I entreat you to live your life worthy of the call you have received.” The saint’s calling is de­ scribed in Scripture as high (Phil. 3:14), holy (II Tim. 1:9), and heaven­ ly (Heb. 3:1). Recipients of God’s mercies, resulting in a miraculous change in heart, should deport them selves consistent with their high posi­ tion. Beware lest the term “walk” lose its meaning to you. I know that it is a familiar figure of speech, however, do not forget that it suggests a course of life; hence we have .here solemn exhortations to live in obedience to God’s Word lest the steps we take cre­ ate false impressions in men’s minds regarding the Christian life. “All lowliness” suggests the idea of perfect hum ility. Genuine humility be­ comes the Christian at all times under every circumstance. Lowliness might be despised by the world, but it is esteemed by God. Humility is the first step to unity. “Meekness” is next mentioned as a characteristic virtue of the believer’s walk. The incarnation and earthly life of our Lord echoed “lowliness and meekness.” He said; “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek, and lowly in heart” (Matt, 11: 29). And “he that sait-h he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (I John 2:6). Meekness in heart is that fruit of the 'Spirit that esteems the brethren higher than one’s self. In meekness, envy, malice, or an underestimate of another’s gifts and ability finds no place. Meekness is the next step to unity. “Longsuffering’’ follows. This is a 1. The Christian Walk Preserves Unity (4:1-6)

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