One Spirit Matthew Clifton-Brown
To have one body, united and joined together, with no divisions and quarrelling, we need to understand that every believer starts in the same way, being born of the The Spirit of God.
Ephesians 4: 1-6
Matthew was drawing our attention to the vital relationship between One Body and One Spirit.
Jesus makes it very plain to Nicodemus the Pharisee in John 3, “No one can enter the Kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit." There is a supernatural element to salvation; it is a work of God. It is a creative act of God, a miraculous change of heart that happens when we choose to believe in Christ and put our trust in Him.
There is only One Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, unlike the numerous demonic spirits, as we see mentioned in Mark 5, and Ephesians 6. As there is only one Spirit, the same that we are all transformed by at the moment of salvation, we need to be convinced that God’s plan is that there should be only one body, the church, with no splits and divisions.
Matthew outlined 5 main works of the Holy Spirit in our lives:
- Conviction of sin, humility and an awareness of God’s holiness (1 Tim 1:16)
- Regeneration in us (Eph 2:1-2)
- Incorporating us into His Body (Eph 2:18-22)
- Sanctifying us (1 Thess 2:13)
- The same good fruit (Gal 5:17-23)
- Taking each of the 5 areas listed above, and thinking about the urgency of Paul’s plea to the Ephesians for a unified church, talk about how each area helps us towards unity. So why does being humbled by God knowing that I am the worst of sinners help me to be more united with my fellow believers? How do the fruits of Galatians 5 help me be serving my brother and sister rather than tear them down? How does being sanctified by the same spirit work towards this joining in to build up the church community? Etc.
- Talk about your own experience of the Spirit at work in you; tell your salvation story with emphasis on the supernatural transforming power of God in you.
- If there is anyone in your small group that this hasn’t as yet happened to, ask them if they’d like to pray to God that He does this!
- Pray as a group for more unity in King’s, and for all the churches in Edinburgh.