Everywhere you look today there is a spirit of division. Parents are divided from their children, neighbors are divided, churches are divided, the nation is divided, the world is divided.

The evidence abounds: there is a spirit of division among us. What does the Bible say about division and how do we live as people possessed of the Spirit of Christ in a generation dominated by division?

The opening verses in Ephesians chapter four is one place to look.

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Is that true? Is there really one Church where there is a unity of the one Spirit and a bond of real, abiding peace? Yes, there is. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but that is the God’s honest truth.

In Christ, there is one body of believers, one household of God, one family of faith, one holy Bride with one Lord, one faith and one God who is over all and through all and in all. It may not seem as if the Church of Jesus Christ is indivisible, but it is.

From God’s view there is one Church. There is no such thing as an American church. Or an Egyptian church. Or a persecuted church. Or an African church. And no denominations either.

There is not “my church” and “your church.” No White Evangelical, Black Pentecostal, Mainline, Asian or otherwise. The true Church has many expressions, yes, but in reality, the Church is one unified body; indivisible. Let that sink in for a moment. The Church is One.

When one part suffers, all suffer.

When one part celebrates, all rejoice.

When one local church is planted or replanted, the Body feels invigorated. When one local pastor suffers a moral public failure, or one church is revealed to have been a place of curse instead of blessing, or one local outpost closes its doors, the Body feels the pain of it.

And when we hear about Christians half a world away being attacked for their belief in Jesus Christ, we feel it in our bones. This violence was carried out against the members of our very own family – our brothers and sisters.

When you consider the questions of unity and division, do you recognize yourself as intimately knit into the family of God? You are an integral part of the Body of Christ and without you the Body does not function properly. You matter to the Church as much as your fingers or skin or eyes or stomach matter to the proper functioning of your own flesh and blood.

Paul reminds the Christians in Ephesus that they are one in Christ. They each and all have the unity and peace – individually and corporately – that comes from the presence of His Spirit. He also says they have to work to maintain it.

Paul urges his fellow believers to live in relationship with one another “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” So the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace exist in and among them – but they must be eager to maintain it through humility, gentleness, patience, mutual forbearance and love.

Love. It occurs to me that God is love, God commands us to love, God grants us the gift of love and God points to love as the first evidence of the Spirit’s work in our lives. When Paul is addressing the subject of relationships among true Christians in his letter to the church in Rome, he says:

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:9-10)

Do you see the connection Paul makes between genuine love and the work required by those who want to maintain the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace? So, what might that look like today in your life?

How can we practically love others today? It may be as simple as allowing someone to merge in front of you on the interstate despite needing to start that merge a mile back.

Or maybe abhorring what is evil looks like turning the channel or skipping the video that contains language you know is an offense to the holiness of God.

Maybe for you, genuine love today is going to require an act of self-sacrificial forgiveness or refusing to be offended.

Ephesians 4:15-16 reads:

“speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

Each and every Christian is an integral part of the Body of Christ in the world today. I’ll work out my part of Body and I’m counting on you to work out your part, that the whole Body might grow, built up in love.