Stand by Me

There are many bodies, multiple Spirits, several hopes, numerous Lords, several faiths, manifold baptisms, and a few Fathers who have limited sovereignty. 

Would you sign that confession of faith?

Ephesians pic 1I was troubled in just the typing of that sentence.  I would never write it out as a proclamation of my belief.  Many of you may feel the same way.

And yet.

We participate in…

bickering,

and fussing,

and nit picking,

and rivalry,

and jealousy,

and conflicts,

and in drawing the line and daring someone to cross,

and in thinking the worst of someone else’s motives but expecting understanding for ours,

and in wanting mercy for ourselves but judgment for our neighbor.

And all that is done in the context of the church, to the church, in the sight and hearing of the lost world.

Stop and think through this with me, please. Paul begged us to balance our belief with our behavior.  Then he wrote about the attitudes of a balanced life.  Now he enumerates the components that are necessary for the unity that he asks us to diligently work to preserve. He lists what is essential.

“There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”  Ephesians 4: 4-6

It is very interesting to me that Paul intertwines the unity of the church with the unity of the Godhead.  He names each member of the Trinity and intersperses that with the fundamentals of the church. One. One. One. One. One. One.  So it seems that to split the church into factions is to split the Trinity into pieces. That would be to multiply God into gods.

Would we sign the heretical confession of faith from that comprises the first line of this post?

No??

Then we must humble our hearts, balance our beliefs with our behavior, and strive with every ounce of effort to “keep the unity in the bond of peace”, or we may be signing heresy…not with our pen…but with our testimony.

Part 13 of “Echoes of Encouragement from Ephesians.” See Also: Attitude not Aptitude

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About ccragamuffin

Christina C. is a woman energized by encouraging others. She never wants to forget that she is a ragamuffin...a broken earthen vessel, heavy laden, bedraggled, and weary until grace changed her life. She now holds a treasure in a cracked earthen vessel. Anything bright or beautiful is the treasure shining through the cracks.
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5 Responses to Stand by Me

  1. Pingback: Are There Tags Still Hanging On Your Gift? | Resting in His Grace

  2. That is a great word. So many of us refuse to accept that the One true God has allowed His one church to operate in many streams . Someone recently told me that God did this because He could not trust any one gathering of believers with all the wisdom of His body.
    I am not talking about excepting all religions as equals here or all gods as one god. But I am saying that within the bounds of Christian orthodoxy there is more wiggle room than many of us think.

    • ccragamuffin says:

      “…that the One true God has allowed His one church”…that is the crux of the matter isn’t it? There is only ONE God and there is only ONE church. It is always singular in the word…one church, one body, one baptism, one bride. Thank you for reminding us that the oneness is withing the bounds of orthodoxy. Shane Clairborne winsomely wrote that he is training himself to think of the church like Christ did…singularly. He said that Christ is coming back for His bride, not His harem!!! That thought made an impact in my brain as well as my funny bone. Blessings.

  3. mtsweat says:

    “When the night has come And the land is dark And the moon is the only light we’ll see No I won’t be …”

    Provocative thoughts, that our heart’s actions would testify to our undeniable confession trumping our not so convincing verbal one. Thought-generating post… and a little painful, but in a very good way.

    “No I won’t be afraid
    Oh, I won’t be afraid
    Just as long as you stand, stand by me.”

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