As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
As chapter 4 begins, Paul commences the next section of his letter, the section that relates to the Christian life. He starts this with a reference to his situation, but this is not a reference that should generate pity, it is a reference that shows his example of putting his faith into action, resulting in his being in chains. It is as though he is saying that he knows full well the implications of what he is telling them to do; live lives worthy of their holy calling.
He tells the people they should accomplish this through humility, gentleness, patience and love. They should “make every effort” to maintain “the unity of the Spirit” through the “bond of peace.” Remember his prayer and the illustration of family that we looked at earlier in the last post, for this is its application: “One body and one Spirit.”
Paul continues in verse 5 with the oft-quoted assertion of “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” but you no doubt see that in Paul’s context, there is no attempt to push one doctrinal position over another to win an argument. No sir, for Paul’s whole point in this passage is the importance of Christian unity. Verse 6 completes the sentence with the bold and unambiguous statement that cements Pail’s unity appeal: there is “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”