1 Therefore, I encourage you, I the prisoner in the Lord, to walk worthy of the calling by which you were called, 2 with all humility of mind and meekness, with long-suffering, forebearing one another in love, 3 being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
In yesterday’s post “Unity,” we looked the importance of genuine Christian Unity in the Church. Another New Testament word that emphasizes this importance is bond (συνδέσμῳ (sundesmos)), which we see in the passage above where we are to keep the unity of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace.
In Classical Greek, from the time of Homer onward, the root δεσμός (desmos) meant “chain” in the New Testament, it meant “band, bond, ligament.” With the prefix συν (sun), “with”, therefore, συνδέσμῳ means “that which binds together.” In a negative sense, we see it in Acts 8:23, where someone is enslaved by a habit or attitude. Peter says of Simon the sorcerer, who was not a truly converted man, “εἰς γὰρ χολὴν πικρίας καὶ σύνδεσμον ἀδικίας ὁρῶ σε ὄντα,” or, ““For I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of unrighteousness.” In Colossians 2:19, it refers to a tendon or ligament of the bones that holds the body together. This, then, is the picture of true unity. It is not some superficial, sappy sentimentality, but rather a bond, the very ligaments of the body, that hold us together.