In our passage today Paul calls upon us to bear with each other’s differences for the sake of keeping the Church in a good, solid unity, since we are all part of God’s one, big, happy family of salvation! Does that seem like a fair summary of verses 1-6? Each believer is connected powerfully to all other believers, and each local congregation is bound tightly to all other congregations.
This is why it is important to interact with believers from other Churches and it is why we find it important to be part of a denomination. It is good to go to conferences where we connect with other Christians and it is good to partner together with other congregations in various cooperative ministry ventures. We are all one, though we each express our faith in our own unique way.
When God saves a person He unites them to a local congregation where they can put into practice the truths that God is teaching. Some people don’t unite with a local Church because it is just too complicated, too demanding and it is just plain hard. But it is impossible to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, when you are all by yourself. Spiritual change and transformation that leads to true spiritual growth in Christ can only happen when you are involved in the body of Christ. It is impossible to become more patient, for example, unless you are around people that require you to be patient!
And so we connect with the Church, eager to work hard to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, as we live together in real life situations.