The Ultimate Filter
“Being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3 NASB
There’s a simple take-away from this passage all by itself: be hard-working toward protecting the unity that the Holy Spirit has brought us into with one another. Pretty simple. Seems so straightforward to me right now. However, early in my walk I did not even know this verse existed. Later, when I allowed myself to drift, I was not concerned about unity. Preservation? I protected my own interests and selfishness. To have understood this Scripture back then! Urgh.
Up to this point in Ephesians chapter four, Paul has been saying that the believers—them then, us now—must walk the walk and not just play saintly dress up. Kind of goes back to those white-washed sepulchers Jesus spoke about.
Let me put it like this, this weekend I got schooled on the touch-up and photo-editing trends of social media. If you edit your photos, I’m not judging you. If I knew how to whiten my teeth in photos, I probably would. In fact, anyone that looks close at the Carter wedding photos, will note someone whitened my teeth. (Not to throw the family member who did so under the bus or anything, it is just social media culture). However, my teeth are naturally stained from sweet tea circa just-past-my-sippy-cup days to present day, and coffee. That is life. What Paul has essentially been saying up to this point in Ephesians, though, is that Believer is not a filter that we slap on ourselves to make ourselves look good to other believers. Being a believer is the filter Christ has placed on us so that we may look good when the Father looks at us, it is the filter of Christ’s Blood on the Cross.
Now, having had that gift bestowed on us and having accepted it there is a certain expectation God has places on us as Paul is pointing out in 4:3. We are to protect the unity of the Spirit, which God has pulled us within in His sin-filter, Jesus Christ. We do this by humbling ourselves with just how small we are and how infinite our God is, by checking our pride and letting things go because those are His commands.
God wants us to live in peace with one another as a faith-community. I believe that means pouring into the gifts and talents of others, just as I have been blessed to have others pour into my own. I believe that looks like us setting aside our differences of opinion and way of doing things to see the kingdom advanced as we are obedient to God. I believe that is experienced as a community by recognizing even the best of us have sin and the need of Christ’s filter with God, so we must forgive one another elsewise we may not enjoy Christ’s filter with God. (Matthew 6:15 NASB).
Ultimately, Ephesians 4:3, being such a simplistic verse drives a massive concept home. For us to be hard-workers who preserve the unity of the Spirit Christ baptized us in as believers—you know, part of that Divine Filter—we must accept Christ, all that He teaches us through the Word, and we must daily take up our crosses and be Christ-centered. Not self-centered. After all, Our Filter is about us being restored to God and putting Him at the center of our lives.
I don’t know about you, but I would rather have the filter of God than the filter of a thousand apps. What do you think? How can you work toward preserving the Spirits unity?
Until Next Time!