Audio Sermon “God's Miniature”



Dec 25, 2016
Japanese and English Joint Service:

“Unity of the Spirit" by Rev. Toru Asai
Eph 4:1-6, Luke 1:35, etc.




Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Eph 5:1-2)



Summary
                 

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep (lit. Working hard, keep) the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Eph 4:2-3).

The imperative "Keep" is in plural, and it is addressed to the group(s) of Christians. Needless to say, the unity mentioned here is the unity they need to have among them. Thus, this "unity of the Spirit" is the unity that the Spirit gives. "The bond of peace" is the bond resulted from the reconciliation that they have come to have with God through Christ—by the forgiveness of their sins. This bond works as they forgive each other by being "patient," and "bearing with one another." Note the participle, "Working hard" ("Make every effort" in NIV). Keeping such unity requires hard work, effort and active involvement in working together.

The Holy Spirit has a role and power of uniting what is separated. When the earth was (or became) in Chaos with protons, neutrons and electrons in the state of plasma, he was "hovering over the surface of the water." The moment that God said, "Let light be!" the separated particles were put together in order, and a tremendous amount of energy in the form of light was released.

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters (Gen 1:2-3).

In the similar way, after the world with one people and one language was made scattered and separated at the Tower of Babel, it was the Holy Spirit again who began to unite the world and its peoples both the Jews and the Gentiles on the day of Pentecost into one body, the church.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven … All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. … God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. … because each one heard them speaking in his own language (Acts 2:1-6).

Speaking in tongues has an important role of mediating between the soul and the human spirit in a person as well as between him/her and God. When sin comes into our soul, it brings division between the soul and the spirit so that they can no longer work together to do God's will doing his justice and righteousness. Then, at the remission of sin through Christ in us, the Holy Spirit begins to unite the two making the soul more submissive to the spirit—by making our mind unfruitful as we pray in tongues—so that we will learn to walk according to the spirit, or to be led by the Spirit of God. This is called "the Law of the Spirit of life."

… because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. … in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit (Rom 8"2-4).

So, the unification of our soul and spirit has brought, at the same time, the unification of God and us. It should be remembered also that it was by the power of the same Holy Spirit that God the Son came to this world—the beginning of the unification of God and humanity.

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35)

Christ came so that we would become children of God, and having the same Father now, we are to be one through the unity of the Spirit.





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