Read Ephesians 4
So, Paul writes, what are we going to do in light of this? His writing often takes this turn into practical application, something theology should always do because the reality of Christ in us is not just something we acknowledge in our heads, it is in our hearts and lived out in our lives.
What does that mean here in the book of Ephesians? It means we should be taking our cues from Christ, living a transformed life through the Holy Spirit. God, who has drawn us near to Himself through the life and work of Jesus Christ calls us to draw near to each other, to be unified showing the same love that He has shown us. This is, as Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians, the freedom we have in Christ to love one another, to put others before ourselves.
This idea of being unified can be a bit confusing for us. Especially in today’s culture, unity is often misconstrued as thinking the same way ideologically, politically, and even religiously. When we have differences, we tend to push others away. That is not at all the way God showed His love for us. In fact, in the midst of our differences and the barriers that were in place, God stepped toward us, drawing us in rather than pushing us away.
Using this as an example, Paul encourages the Church to rise above their differences of opinion and exhibit the same love, through the power of the Holy Spirit, that Christ showed us. We are of one body, we have one God, and we have one identity that binds us together. As such, we can transcend our human differences for the and live together in peace.
Doing so may not always be perfect, comfortable, or even clean. There are bound to be bumps in the road. However, the encouragement here is not to let those things be a reason to push others away, but that in those times we would step into the gap and move closer to the other in that relationship and in so doing, show the love of God to all those around us, whether in the Church or not.