Toward the east end of grounds at The Way International Headquarters stands a bright red outbuilding that was part of the family farm of our ministry’s Founding President, Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille. Today this building is affectionately known as Ye Olde Snaque Shoppe. Hanging on the front of it is a wooden farm implement from earlier days known as a doubletree. A doubletree was used to hitch a two-horse team to a plow or a wagon. The harness of each horse was connected to the doubletree located behind the animals. Then the plow or wagon was attached to the doubletree. This united the two horses so that they worked together to pull the load.
Written on the doubletree at our ministry’s Headquarters are the words, “The Way International—We pull together.” It is a humble reminder of the resolve to work together in like-minded unity that it took to build the ministry we enjoy today. We want to remember and build upon this heritage so that God’s Word continues to live and flourish for generations to come.
As a doubletree united the two horses so they could pull together to plow or pull a wagon, the new birth spiritually unites born-again believers so we can move together in one accord on God’s Word. Our job is to keep that unity in daily living. When we “pull together” in unity, we reap perceptible profit to our lives.
Ephesians 4 gives great insight into the basis of our spiritual unity and into our role in safeguarding this unity.
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit [spiritual unity] in the bond of peace.
The Lamsa Bible translates “unity” in this verse as “harmony.” Think of the sound of instruments in an orchestra blending harmoniously to perform a grand symphony. And when individuals sing together in beautiful harmony—like the Singing Ladies of The Way—their separate voices come together, blending as one. That is what unity is—oneness. When we are in harmony on God’s Word and each doing our part, we move as one.
Note that Ephesians 4:3 does not say we are to make the unity of the spirit. It says we are to keep it. The making of this spiritual unity was by God in giving us all the gift of holy spirit. Artificial, man-made attempts at unity can never take the place of the spiritual unity that we have by the new birth. God is our Father—we are His children. This is the unity God designed.
I Corinthians 12:13:
For by one Spirit [God] are we all baptized [the new birth] into one body [the Body of Christ], whether we be Jews [Judeans] or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit [the gift of holy spirit].
We are all partakers of the gift of holy spirit from the same Source. That gift is the basis of our spiritual unity. We are one in the spirit because there is only one spirit. It is something God has made available since Pentecost and we received when we were born again. Ephesians 4 continues with more truth about our spiritual unity.
There is one body, and one Spirit [the gift of holy spirit], even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
One Lord [Jesus Christ], one faith [that of Jesus Christ], one [spiritual] baptism [with God in Christ in you],
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
As born-again believers, we are all part of the one Body of Christ. We all have received the gift of holy spirit. We all have the same hope of the return of Jesus Christ. We all have made Jesus Christ our lord. We all have the faith of Jesus Christ. We all have received the same spiritual baptism with God in Christ in us. There is one God Whom we worship, and He is the Father of us all. How could there be any greater unity than this which God accomplished for us in Christ!
Our responsibility is to keep the spiritual unity that God has made, and that takes diligent effort. We are to be “endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit” (Ephesians 4:3). The word “endeavouring” emphasizes the earnest attempt believers are to exert in order to stay spiritually unified in daily living. With all our zeal, effort, and ability, we faithfully safeguard that unity.
“Keep” in Ephesians 4:3 means to protect or guard like a great treasure. God places a very high value on our spiritual unity. It was bought with a great price—the life of His Son, Jesus Christ. It is well worth the efforts we make in seeing that it lives day by day in the household of God. What temporal issue could be more important than the price that was paid for our unity?
Since God’s Word instructs us to keep the spiritual unity He made, it must also show us how to do that. The immediate context of Ephesians 4:3 is a good place to see some ways to carry this out.
With all lowliness [humility of mind] and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.
This verse reveals several vital keys to keeping the spiritual unity. One important ingredient is walking with humility of mind. Humility includes remembering what God has done for us. We balance the knowledge of our present strength and ability with the remembrance of what we were before God rescued us. We acknowledge Him as the Source of all that we have and all that we are….
This is an excerpt from the July/August 2008 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2008 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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