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  • Writer's pictureKaren O'Reilly

Practicing Unity In The Spirit

Welcome to Day 24. of our devotional study, Who Is The Holy Spirit And What Does He Do? online Bible study.  Today we discuss practicing unity in the Spirit. We will be studying, Ephesians 4:3-6, Ephesians 4:11-16, Acts 2:44-47, 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, Philippians 2:1-2, Colossians 3:14.

Unity in the Spirit is a vital part of our Christian faith, bringing us together under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This unity is more than just getting along; it’s a deep spiritual bond that mirrors God's oneness. The New Testament emphasizes that unity is essential for the church.

unity in the spirit

Practicing Unity In The Spirit

The Holy Spirit is crucial in creating and maintaining this unity among us. Although the church has many members, the Holy Spirit unites us into one body of believers, so that we can practice unity in the Spirit.

The Greek word "henotes" found in Ephesians 4:3 means oneness without division, reminding us to move in harmony with Christ as our head, guiding and empowering us through the Holy Spirit.

When we do this, the fruit of the Spirit will flourish within the church, as believers are continually filled with the Spirit. Let's be encouraged by this beautiful unity we share in Christ!

Unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace

Imagine a beautifully woven tapestry, each thread uniquely vibrant yet seamlessly intertwined to create a stunning masterpiece. This is how God envisions His church—many individuals coming together, united in purpose and love, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Read Ephesians 4:3-6

"eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."

Paul encourages us to "make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." This highlights that unity is something we need to actively work towards. It demands intentional actions, patience, and a dedication to fostering peace. Unity isn't accidental; it's something we build through our deliberate choices and behaviors.

Growing Together in Unity and Maturity

Read Ephesians 4:11-16

" And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love." Ephesians 4:11-16 ESV

In Ephesians 4:11-16, Paul paints a beautiful picture of the church as a unified body growing together in maturity. This passage highlights several key elements essential for achieving unity and maturity in the body of Christ.

1. Diverse Roles for a Unified Purpose: Paul begins by listing the various roles within the church: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. These roles are gifts from Christ Himself, given to equip His people for works of service. Each role has a unique function, yet they all work together toward a common goal—to build up the body of Christ.

2. Equipping for Service: These roles exist to equip believers for service. This means providing the teaching, training, and preparation needed for individuals to serve effectively within the church and beyond. As believers are equipped, they actively engage in the church’s mission, using their gifts and talents to help others and promote God's work.

3. Stability in Truth: Mature believers are not easily swayed by false teachings or deceitful schemes. Paul uses the metaphor of infants being tossed by waves to illustrate the instability that comes from immaturity. In contrast, mature believers are grounded in the truth, able to discern and resist falsehood. This stability is achieved through the continual growth in understanding and applying God's Word.

5. Speaking the Truth in Love: One of the hallmarks of maturity is the ability to speak the truth in love. This involves being honest and transparent while also being compassionate and caring. Speaking the truth in love helps build trust and fosters healthy relationships within the church. It enables believers to address issues constructively and support each other's growth.

6. Growth Through Love: Paul emphasizes that the whole body grows and builds itself up in love. Love is the driving force behind our growth and unity. When each part of the body does its work, supported and held together by love, the church becomes a vibrant, healthy organism. Love motivates us to serve, encourages us to support one another, and strengthens our bonds as a community.

The Fellowship of Believers

Read Acts 2:44-47

" And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved." Acts 2:44-47 ESV.

In Acts 2:44-47, we see the early Christian community marked by unity, generosity, and joy. Their example serves as an inspiring model for us today.

1. Togetherness and Sharing: The believers were deeply united, sharing their resources freely, even selling possessions to help those in need. This radical generosity ensured no one lacked basic necessities.

2. Daily Fellowship: They gathered daily in the temple courts and homes, strengthening their bonds and fostering a strong sense of community. Regular meetings encouraged mutual growth and the experience of God’s presence.

3. Breaking Bread Together: Sharing meals with glad and sincere hearts, they built relationships, celebrated their faith, and remembered Christ’s sacrifice. These joyful meals reinforced their unity and love for each other.

4. Praising God: Their lives were filled with gratitude and worship, continually praising God. This attitude of praise influenced their community interactions and outlook on life.

5. Favor with All People: Their genuine love, generosity, and joy attracted others, earning them favor with all people. Their positive witness drew people to the faith and contributed to the church’s growth.

6. Growth of the Community: The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Their vibrant, Spirit-filled community was a powerful testimony to the gospel, leading to continual growth in the number of believers.

I love how Acts 2:47 ends with, "The Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved."  By sharing their resources, meeting daily, and continually praising God, their genuine love and joyful spirit attracted others, resulting in daily growth and favor with all people. Seeking to follow their example, we should prioritize developing strong, loving relationships, engaging in generous acts of kindness, and consistently worshiping God as a community. By doing so, we can become a powerful testimony to those around us.

Unity in diversity

Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-13

" For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit."

Paul uses the metaphor of the body to illustrate the importance of unity among believers. Just as a body has many parts that form one cohesive unit, so do believers, regardless of their background, unite in Christ through the Spirit. Each part of the body has a unique function, contributing to the overall effectiveness of the whole.

All believers are baptized by one Spirit into one body, signifying our unity in Christ. This unity transcends cultural, social, and economic differences, creating a diverse yet harmonious community of faith. The Holy Spirit sustains and nourishes us, empowering us to live out our faith and fulfill our roles within the church.

For the body to function well, all its parts must work together in harmony. This means celebrating our differences while remaining united in purpose, supporting one another, collaborating, and striving towards common goals. When we work together as one body, we reflect the unity and diversity of Christ's body, showcasing the beauty of God's design.

Unity Through Humility And Love

Read Philippians 2:1-2

"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind." Philippians 2:1-2 ESV.

In Philippians 2:1-2, Paul calls us to unity grounded in Christ’s love and the Holy Spirit. He reminds us that the encouragement we receive from Christ, the love we share, and the fellowship of the Spirit are the foundations of our unity. By practicing tenderness and compassion, and being like-minded in our purpose and love for Christ, we can build a strong, united community that reflects His love to the world. Let’s embrace this call and work together in harmony, encouraging and supporting one another as we grow in faith.

To end our study on the topic of unity in the Spirit, I want to take a look at Colossians 3:14.

The Bond Of Love

Read Colossians 3:14

"And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony." Colossians 3:14 ESV.

In Colossians 3:14, Paul instructs us to "put on love," emphasizing that it is the most crucial virtue. While compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience are vital, love holds them all together, forming the foundation for all other virtues.

Imitating Christ means demonstrating His selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional love. As followers of Christ, we are called to reflect His love in our interactions. Love in action strengthens the unity and witness of the church. It ensures that our relationships and community life are healthy and whole, bringing everything to completion. Without love, our efforts fall short; with love, we create a community that truly reflects God's kingdom.

Summary Unity In the Spirit

Unity in the Spirit is at the heart of our Christian faith, drawing us together through the powerful work of the Holy Spirit. This incredible unity is rooted in our shared experience of Christ’s love, breaking down cultural, social, and economic barriers to form a vibrant and diverse community of believers. We achieve this unity through love, humility, and a commitment to peace and mutual support.

When we use our unique gifts of the Holy Spirit, build deep relationships, and live out Christ’s love every day, we create a joyful and thriving community. This harmonious unity reflects God’s glory and becomes a shining example that draws others to the faith. Let’s celebrate and pursue this unity with excitement and dedication!

Here are cross-references for further study:

John 17:21-23, Philippians 1:27, Galatians 3:28, 1 Corinthians 12:28-30, Romans 12:6-8, 1 Peter 4:10-11, 1 Corinthians 14:26, Hebrews 10:24-25, 1 John 3:17, Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:12-14, 1 John 4:11-12, 1 Corinthians 13:13, and Romans 13:8.

Prayer for unity

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the gift of unity through Your Spirit. Help us to put on love, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Teach us to bear with one another in love, striving for peace and harmony in all our relationships.

Guide us to live out Jesus' example, reflecting His love in our interactions. Empower us through Your Holy Spirit to live in a way that brings glory to Your name and draws others to Your love.

We pray for unity in our churches, families, and communities. Break down any walls of division and discord. Help us work together with one mind and purpose, spreading the message of Your love and grace.

May our unity be a powerful testimony to the world, showing that we are Your disciples.

In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Who Is The Holy Spirit And What Does He Do? Online Bible Study and Printable Journal

who is the holy spirit and what does he do printable

Dive even deep into this study with our printable journal. This journal is designed to guide you through personal reflections and insights, enhancing your experience as you engage with the Scriptures and listen to the Holy Spirit. Grab your journal HERE.

Here are some questions to consider as you study the person of the Holy Spirit:

  1. What is the most important truth I learned about the Holy Spirit?

  2. Did the Holy Spirit convict me of anything that I need to change in my life?

 Come back tomorrow as we study Presence Of Holy Spirit

Thank you for joining me on this journey. May the Holy Spirit continue to lead you into a deeper relationship with God and empower you to live out your faith boldly and effectively.

Resources used in today's study on, The Spirit OF The Lord:

You may be encouraged by these resources:

  • Scriptural Grace Resource Library (FREE) HERE. 

  • Devotional Bible Studies For Women And Quiet Time Resources Forever Access Bundle HERE 

  • Printable Devotions For Women's Groups HERE

  • Names of God resources HERE 

  • Topical Bible plans HERE  

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Karen xx.


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