“…be eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
— Ephesians 4:3
In Philippians, Paul tells us that we are to stand fast in one mind and one spirit, striving together for the faith of the Gospel. The word striving together in Greek is the word from which we get athletics, and in fact it would be a team sport, probably team wrestling. The Greeks had a form of wrestling where one team of 5 or 6 people would line up here, and the other team would line up there, and at a signal they would all leap at each other and there would then be a mass of individuals wrestling.
Well, we are to strive to wrestle together for the faith of the Gospel, for the propagation of the Gospel of Christ. You know there is nothing that will solve church problems more than an outward look at the enemies that are all around us.
The early church had to deal with the Roman pagans who thought Christians were atheists because they didn’t have idols. They had the Greek sophists there around them. They had the Jews who were persecuting them. They had all sorts of problems out there, so generally they wouldn’t be fighting among each other.
The problems of the peace time army are notorious, and that’s what happens. The church is involved in a warfare. I assure you one thing, if you had 5 or 6 men on a wrestling team wrestling with others, they no doubt had some differences among them, but I assure you they would learn to work together—or they would quickly lose.
Dear Lord, forgive us that Your church on earth is fraught with factionalism. Forgive us for any way in which we contribute to this disunity. Give me strength for today to be a positive force for unity in Your body…
BY GOD’S STRENGTH, WE CAN STRIVE TO BE
A UNIFYING FACTOR IN THE BODY OF CHRIST.