Is Unity Even Possible?

Lysa TerKeurst

Day: 10 | Plan: Christ Alone

Today’s Reading: Ephesians 3

Ephesians 3:6 (NIV) “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” 

Have you ever heard the phrase “The Jews are God’s chosen people” and felt left out? Or read Deuteronomy 14:2 which clearly says about the Jewish people “… The LORD has chosen you to be His treasured possession.” If you’re of Jewish descent, this verse makes you feel amazing. If you’re not, you could easily scratch your head and wonder, “Am I a child of God? Am I chosen? Where is my place in all of this?”

Ephesians 3 may be one of the most important passages in Scripture for all of us – those of Jewish descent and those who are not.

We see this clearly in Ephesians 3:6, “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.”

Notice the word “together” being used over and over in this verse. The sense in which the original Greek word is used emphasizes unity.

This is setting us up for unity in the body of Christ. In these verses the apostle Paul finally makes known the “mystery” of how God would include all of humanity into the promise of salvation through Jesus.

Paul clearly states that the gift of the gospel was for all people – including Gentiles. In fact, elsewhere, Paul shows us that this mystery is not something new that came as an afterthought of God, but had been on His heart from the very beginning. Paul declares that the gospel was preached to Abraham and that including all nations was always part of God’s plan. (Galatians 3:8)

The Gentiles are even found in the lineage of Christ. 

Ruth the Moabite. 

Rahab the harlot from Jericho.

So in essence if we did a DNA ancestry test on Jesus, there would have been both Jewish and Gentile genetics in His blood.

When Jesus’ blood dripped from the cross, it was truly for you. For me. For all those who believe in Him as Savior. And it declared a promise to us all.

As a matter of fact, just before Jesus went to the cross, during the last meal He shared with the disciples, He prayed something very specific for all believers. And of all the things He could have prayed for us, He chose to pray for our unity: “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:22-23). 

Wow. Reading this makes me realize why the enemy is so determined to destroy relationships through racial hatred. Our unity would help the world more clearly see Jesus and the love God has for us all.

We are in the same family. All of us. All races. All socioeconomic backgrounds. All skin colors.

But don’t miss the end of this chapter. Paul is building all of this on what we read at the end of Ephesians 3. It’s the love of Christ that empowers us to live in this kind of unity.

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the LORD’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16-19).

This is racial reconciliation. But it also translates into every relationship we have in life. It’s about loving that neighbor next door to you that has done some things to seriously bump into your happy. And even deeper, it’s about loving those within the walls of your own home whom you quite frankly don’t like very much today.

Anyone who is different from us has the potential to infuriate us.

It’s only when we stay rooted and established in the love of Christ that we have any hope at all of seeing people like God sees them, loving people like God loves them and living together in unity despite our differences.

Prayer: Father God, I can’t thank You enough for weaving me into Your story and welcoming me into Your family through the sacrifice of Your Son. Help me root ever deeper in the truth of Your love. I want Your love to be what flows in me and through me. I want to be an instrument of hope and light in a dark and divided world. I want to learn to love like You do. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

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