In chapters 2 and 3 Paul continues to unpack every spiritual blessing in Christ 1:3. The context of the power and purpose of God continues: through his power which raised him from the dead (v.20), also raising us (2:6), to the redemption when we, like him, will be glorified in our bodies; to the exaltation with Christ to the right hand of God of every believer. Paul’s argument of the day is with those who are in Christ but for whom background causes them to clash with others in the Lord, “You who are Gentiles by birth and called uncircumcised…remember at that time you were separate…” (2:11).
Paul extends his argument to all Christians, regardless of background, that they are the redeemed, “You were dead in your transgressions and sins…” (2:1) and an object of God’s wrath (v.3) and subject to every wile of the devil and fleshly impulse of the human heart (v.2). Yet, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive in Christ (2:5). There is no place for pride or an argumentative spirit in the Christian’s heart. Nothing is less fitting.
This principle not only applies to the Jews and gentiles, (not only struggling with persecution from the backgrounds they originated from; but with cultural squabbles between them also,) but to all Christians down through all the generations, whatever conflict they might experience.
So, in our setting, what tactics does the ruler of the kingdom of the air (2:2) employ to set us on edge and spoil the spirit of unity? Access to knowledge and ‘every wind of doctrine’ has exponentially increased in this age of the internet. The book of Revelation warned this would happen, ‘knowledge will increase’. The verse can be taken two ways: an increase in Bible knowledge but also an increase in multiple confusing ideas about how we might think. The question is: has godly wisdom increased commensurately?
One application for Paul’s teaching might be for us to always remember those in Christ are brothers and sisters, irrespective of any issues of doctrine or faith, since these are in flux and in the process of developing. Humility is the key, nobody knows everything. Omniscience is God’s domain alone. The keynote is love, keeping the unity of the spirit because in all other ways we are on a journey of learning and maturing together.
Pray that you will play your part in the church to be built together in him to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit (2:21).