Following Sunday's message on the importance of spiritual unity in the church, Aaron gives us 3 simple ways to walk out unity on a daily basis:
1. Take the long view. Remember, pursue unity in the church because a unified church is the picture God is presently using on earth to show us (and an onlooking world) the perfect cosmic reconciliation and the unity Christ will bring to all creation when he comes back again. Let the long view of the excitement of a reconciled and unified creation in the new heaven and new earth be a powerful motivation to maintain unity in the present. God has already begun this reconciliation in the church as a picture of the future. When we're not unified it reveals an inaccurate picture of God’s wise and future plan. True Christian unity should be attractive as it reveals God's wise purposes.
2. Ask God on a daily basis to help you cultivate the personality of unity within the church (4:2-3) - a spirit of humility, gentleness (a desire not to harm, a valuing of the other person and waiving of our own rights), patience (long-suffering, to have a wide and big soul), and putting up with someone in love. It's only by God's Spirit that we are empowered by grace to obey; yet we must make every effort in the Spirit.
3. Unity without any principles is no unity at all. The Trinity and gospel are basics of our faith. Any spiritual unity we have with others must include these non-negotiables. However, we must always keep our pride in check so as not to exclude other true believers who may differ on secondary or third-order issues. Al Mohler has a good article about non-negotiable, secondary, and third order doctrinal matters HERE. Remember what Richard Baxter said: “Unity in essentials, liberty in incidentals, and in all things, charity.”