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Bible Study: Christian unity

NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.

Bible Passage: Ephesians 4:1-10

Discussion Questions:
— Why is it so important for believers to live in Christian unity?
— What is the relationship between a shared faith and a shared mission? How do these two things contribute to unity among believers?

Food for thought:

October is when we really learn if the guys wearing the same football uniforms are a team or only a group. By then, challenges have been faced and injuries have caused adjustments.

Groups dress alike and will do some of the same things, but usually for individual reasons.

A team will dress alike and do the same things out of a commitment to a unifying goal. That goal overrides individual reasons, which is why we may see a player switch positions because that is what is best for the team. That is just what a team does.

In Ephesians 3, Paul identified several character traits that come as a result of becoming a follower of Christ. Humility, gentleness and patience are all relational words. There’s no need for them in isolation. Paul assumed believers would be living in community, which requires us to look past each other’s quirks and shortcomings, and focus on the One who unites us into one.

Paul reminded the Ephesians that for the believer there is one body, Spirit, hope, Lord, faith, baptism, God and Father. Believers were bound as a result. Jesus has already created spiritual unity; our responsibility is to maintain it.

Our end goal is to glorify God, to shine the spotlight on who He is in all His greatness. Unity among believers reveals the greatness of God.

When Christians are divided, the world doubts the reality of the Gospel. Walking together in loving unity is how believers express the authenticity of God’s revealed mystery of the Gospel. We enjoy Christ’s victory when we walk worthy of our calling, walking in unity with other believers. This oneness doesn’t mean we always agree, but it does mean we seek to demonstrate Christlike character even when disagreeing.

When we exercise our faith together, supporting and celebrating one another’s spiritual victories, we enjoy Christ’s ultimate victory and give others a reason to join us.

Explore the Bible
Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/ExploreTheBible.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool or ordered at LifeWay Christian Stores.