Understanding the Nature and Practice of Spiritual Togetherness.

Unity in Christ's body is maintained by more than individual behavior and relationships. It is maintained by having a unified mission.

Ephesians 4:3 continues to show us how "to preserve the unity of the Spirit" that He has given the church.


To be diligent means to take care to do something well in every way, and to do so quickly. The word evokes the image of eager readiness at the start of an athletic contest. Other places translate the word "make every effort." It is usually used in a concluding context, when one has been prepared to act.

People stay at churches for all sorts of human reasons. Their family attends; they like the Bible study groups; they've been there for a long time. People leave churches for similar reasons. But God places us where we are for a bigger reason: the Great Commission. God's concern is for his church to see people saved and discipled, to plant churches and to support other church-planting and foreign missions. We get to pursue this together.

The pursuit of togetherness is as conscientious as it is compassionate. Spiritual oneness is the foundation to a truly effective church family. Oneness in Christ Jesus is primary (Ephesians 1-3); agreement over the character and conduct of our walk is also essential (Ephesians 4-6). Understanding the nature of Christian maturity and pursuing that is the adhesive that holds our spiritual unity together.

We don't protect unity for its own sake. Ephesians 6:18-20 wraps us Paul's letter with a focus on the Gospel. Spiritual maturity that fosters unity also affects how we live our personal, domestic and vocational lives. This is all done in pursuit of one thing: the proclamation of the Gospel.

"Unity of the Spirit"

We continually preserve what God has first put together. Each individual governed by the Spirit The unity we maintain was not produced by us. We get to be a part of what the Spirit produces. God created unity among His church, and He decides how we must preserve it.

"Bond of Peace"

Peace is the belt that holds everything together. This is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). It grows out of a group of believers who are all being transformed by the same Spirit.

Staying at a church is about more than just doctrine and philosophy. A church can have both of these right but still be missing something. Believers should still be asking, "What are we doing and why?" Pastors must give feet to the Great Commission as they preach and lead their congregations. If they do not do the whole will of God, the church will not fulfill its complete mission. Paul ends all his letters with a practical portion; doctrine always ends in getting the Gospel out to more people.

Application Points

  • What is your part in the bigger "Why?" of the church? How are you pursuing the Great Commission personally and with your brothers and sisters in Christ?
  • When we keep focused on our eternal reason for being here, it becomes easier to deal with the natural frustrations of being in a family.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Matthew 6:33 – Spiritual priorities.
A Hymn to Encourage: "There's a Wideness in God's Mercy"

There's a wideness in God's mercy
like the wideness of the sea;
there's a kindness in his justice,
which is more than liberty.
There is welcome for the sinner,
and more graces for the good;
there is mercy with the Savior;
there is healing in His blood.

But we make His love too narrow
by false limits of our own,
and we magnify His strictness
with a zeal He will not own.

For the love of God is broader
than the measure of one's mind;
and the heart of the Eternal
is most wonderfully kind.
If our love were but more faithful,
we could take him at His word;
and our lives would be loving
in the likeness of our Lord.