Dear Church Family, Friends and Folks:
On the first Sunday of this new year I preached on Ephesians 4:1-3. The topic was Biblical unity and how we are to “endeavor” to do our very best “to keep” it. The apostle Paul states that “the Spirit” is the author and producer of “unity” and “peace.” He is the one who creates it. By the same Spirit’s help, we are “to keep the unity.” The way that this is done is seen in this passage. We must experience the “therefore” of a strong theological foundation that is rooted in the sovereign acts of God the Father, the redemptive work of God the Son and the sealing work of God the Holy Spirit. The adherence to sound doctrine is essential for true Biblical unity. Paul was described as the “prisoner of the Lord” or “in the Lord.” Paul was totally committed to Christ and His mission. He was willing to suffer for Christ. He was all in! Biblical unity requires dedicated, surrendered believers being led by credible, sacrificial examples of servanthood. Paul was such a leader. The worthy walk that begets unity is described by Paul and includes the qualities of humility, self-control, endurance, forbearance being experienced in the atmosphere of love. Pride, the lack of control over one’s emotions, impatience, self-seeking and an intolerant spirit are killers of unity in the home and in the church. Paul encourages believers in the body to put up with one another “in love.” This at times can be hard work, but Paul urges us to be zealous in our efforts “to keep the unity.” Biblical unity is only as strong as the weakest “bond” or link in the church.
We are exhorted to “walk worthy” of the holy calling of God. When we walk in such a manner there will be “the bond of peace.” I am thankful to pastor a church where the constituency values biblical unity and is committed to such peace. We are indebted to the Holy Spirit who has been so good to Tri-City Baptist Church in producing the unity that we have enjoyed these many years. May we continue in 2014 to benefit by the Holy Spirit’s work.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)
Heartily in Christ,
Pastor William J. Senn, III