Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace - There can be no doubt that the Church at Ephesus was composed partly of converted Jews, as well as Gentiles. Now, from the different manner in which they had been brought up, there might be frequent causes of altercation. Indeed, the Jews, though converted, might be envious that the Gentiles were admitted to the same glorious privileges with themselves, without being initiated into them by bearing the yoke and burden of the Mosaic law. The apostle guards them against this, and shows them that they should intensely labor (for so the word σπουδαζειν implies) to promote and preserve peace and unity. By the unity of the Spirit we are to understand, not only a spiritual unity, but also a unity of sentiments, desires, and affections, such as is worthy of and springs from the Spirit of God. By the bond of peace we are to understand a peace or union, where the interests of all parties are concentrated, cemented, and sealed; the Spirit of God being the seal upon this knot.
The unity of the Spirit - A united spirit, or oneness of spirit. This does not refer to the fact that there is one Holy Spirit; but it refers to unity of affection, of confidence, of love. It means that Christians should be united in temper and affection, and not be split up into factions and parties. It may be implied here, as is undoubtedly true, that such a unity would be produced only by the Holy Spirit; and that, as there was but one Spirit which had acted on their hearts to renew them, they ought to evince the same feelings and views. There was occasion among the Ephesians for this exhortation; for they were composed of Jews and Gentiles, and there might be danger of divisions and strifes, as there had been in other churches. There is “always” occasion for such an exhortation; for:
(1) “unity” of feeling is eminently desirable to honor the gospel (see the notes on John 17:21); and,
(2) there is always danger of discord where people are brought together in one society. There are so many different tastes and habits; there is such a variety of intellect and feeling; the modes of education have been so various, and the temperament may be so different, that there is constant danger of division. Hence, the subject is so often dwelt on in the Scriptures (see the notes on 1 Corinthians 2ff), and hence, there is so much need of caution and of care in the churches.
In the bond of peace - This was to be by the cultivation of that peaceful temper which binds all together. The American Indians usually spoke of peace as a “chain of friendship” which was to be kept bright, The meaning here is, that they should be bound or united together in the sentiments and affections of peace. It is not mere “external” unity; it is not a mere unity of creed; it is not a mere unity in the forms of public worship; it is such as the Holy Spirit produces in the hearts of Christians, when it fills them all with the same love, and joy, and peace in believing. The following verses contain the reasons for this.
I ... beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3. AG 211.1Read in context »
“‘I therefore ... beseech you,’ brethren, ‘that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’” The General Conference Bulletin, 1913. LS 426.1
Concerning her activities in public labor and at home, Mrs. White wrote in 1913: LS 426.2Read in context »
I have been deeply impressed by scenes that have recently passed before me in the night season. There seemed to be a great movement—a work of revival—going forward in many places. Our people were moving into line, responding to God's call. My brethren, the Lord is speaking to us. Shall we not heed His voice? Shall we not trim our lamps, and act like men who look for their Lord to come? The time is one that calls for light bearing, for action. 2SM 402.1
“I therefore ... beseech you,” brethren, “that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3).—The General Conference Bulletin, May 19, 1913, p. 33, 34. 2SM 402.2Read in context »
I therefore...beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3. TDG 369.1Read in context »