May 24, 2018
READ: Ephesians 2:14–3:13
Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people (2:14).
Sometimes, going to church just seems irrelevant. After all, we listen to sermons via podcasts and can live- stream a church service . . . in our pajamas. Personally, I enjoy having access to so many Christian resources at the swipe of my finger on my iPhone. . . . I also meet in Christian community on Wednesday nights for small group Bible study. That’s good enough, right?” Those words, from a thoughtful post by Lindsay Blackburn, reflect the ambivalence many people feel about being part of a local church.
Paul wrote of the beauty of being “members of God’s family”, part of the “one new people”, “one body” and one “house” that Jesus made possible on the cross (Ephesians 2:15-16,20). And Jesus referred to the church as the ekklesía—meaning “a gathered group”. But He also prayed that we would “all be one” (John 17:21).
So what does it mean for the church to be one? We’re one in Christ—“united” as one people (Ephesians 2:14). We’re one holy people—meaning that we’re sanctified, set apart for Him and to Him (5:26). We’re built on one foundation “of the apostles and the prophets”—on the message of salvation found in Jesus (2:20, 3:5; Matthew 5:17; Revelation 21:14).
So what are we to do as one church in Christ? “Display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 3:10). That wisdom flows from His plan to “[reconcile] everything to himself . . . by means of Christ’s blood” (Colossians 1:20).
May we “not neglect our meeting together” but continue to serve and grow with other believers (Hebrews 10:25). The church, both local and universal, is the one community God has established to reveal His love.
365-day plan: Jeremiah 1:1-9
Read Romans 12:4-5 and consider what it means to be one within the body of Christ.
What keeps you from experiencing oneness within the church? Why is it so important to actively serve—use your gifting—within the body of Christ?