I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called…
Eternal life begins not with the return of Christ to take His church home, but with the moment of justification in the life of a believer. Your eternal destiny has been sealed by the presence of the Holy Spirit now living inside of you. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22, 32). This fruit becomes evident, not with the development of the Christian, or with the return of Jesus, but immediately. Accompanying these characteristics that are now ruling your life, the Apostle Paul outlines a clear responsibility for the unity of believers until the day of our Lord’s return.
I was never a fighter. I was too chicken to punch the next-door neighbor or the bully on the playground. Every once in a while, however, I did find myself exchanging some pretty strong words with other kids. There was a time while I was in middle school that I didn’t get along with another member of my youth group. Without going into details, this tension made it very difficult to enjoy church and it affected my walk with the Lord. In a moment of weakness, the tension finally ended with a scuffle followed by a good lecture from one of the youth leaders. I had allowed the Spirit of God to become a distant voice in my life; without the Holy Spirit ruling your life, unity will be all but impossible with those around you.
How do you fair with the people God has placed in your life right now? Our Heavenly Father has commanded us to “be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). Do you find this a difficult command to keep close to your heart? The keys to unlocking a life of unity are found in Ephesians 4:2. It says, “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, show forbearance to one another.” How is your unity with other believers? There should be no source of conflict coming from your life now that you are a Christian. This isn’t a suggestion or an option; it is a command from our God and a direct result of the Holy Spirit living inside of us. To keep a spirit of unity close to your heart, there must be a consciousness effort to live with humility, gentleness, patience, and forbearance of one another. How will you chose to live today. The Bible puts no qualifications on the other believer. It is up to you whether you will obey the commands of our Father or selfishly hinder the Spirit of God from directing you down the path of righteousness.