What’s the glue of the scattered church?

17 04 2020

Due to Covid-19, our churches are not gathering as is our custom.
What are the factors that will hold churches together? What has kept the global Church together for centuries?

In Ephesians chapters two and three, Paul unveils the church as the mystery now revealed – that believing Jews and Gentiles (in all their diverse cultures) belong to one body which Christ made possible through His death.

As we descend from mountain-high “ecclesiology” (study of the church) to walking it out in our practice, we see how the church is intended to operate (Eph.4).

Paul has given many comparisons to reveal the beauty of the church. We are:

  • fellow citizens (in God’s new nation), 2:19
  • members of God’s household, 2:19
  • a holy temple being built by God, 2:21-22

But the picture Paul develops most fully is that of one new man, with Christ the Head and the Church His body.

Just as the global Church must look to Christ as our Head, each local church or fellowship plays its part in also looking to our Head. In broad strokes, what does this require?


The Church is held together by common commitment to shared truth. Paul gives specifics:

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph.4:4-6)

The polytheistic Gentile cultures would have stumbled over the singularity of this doctrine. Jews, God’s chosen nation, would have struggled to hear that their exclusive relationship with God was now opened to hundreds of Gentile peoples with their diverse languages, foods, dress, holidays, and habits.

Today, “universalism” says that there are many ways to reach God, and that ultimately everyone will be saved.

The Bible, however, unashamedly declares there is one body consisting of all those who genuinely believe in, and are spiritually connected to their Head, Jesus Christ.
In compassion, God’s Word beckons all to accept this message of particular salvation.

In order to preserve this unity of faith, Paul instructs us to love one another.

“with all lowliness and gentleness, with long-suffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bod of peace” (Eph.4:2-3).

How do we walk worthy of our calling as members of the body of Christ? We start by knowing the truths which God wants us to preserve.

Cognitively, we study God’s written Word for knowledge. Through prayer and experience with Christ, we yearn for spiritual understanding which surpasses knowledge (3:19).

What is it that keeps the scattered church one in Spirit? One factor is the unity of our faith based on divine truth revealed to us in the Scriptures.

Are you a rigorous Bible student? Does your church help you delve into God’s Word consistently?

How do you want to use this unique time of slow-down to know your faith more deeply?

Next time we will look at a second aspect of the effective church:
>>> Equipped saints doing the work of ministry.