being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3 NASB
Bond – Syndesmos is the Greek combination of words that mean “together” and “band or shackle.” We might think of this word with the imagery of a chain. Each link is welded together with the next. The “bond” is only as strong as its weakest link. This all seems quite ordinary.
Until we connect this idea to two others: peace and yoke.
First we must recognize that Paul’s concept of peace is tied to chains, not freedom. To preserve the unity of the Spirit, we must be chained together. Those seeking freedom from obligation are not suitable for unity of the Spirit. They are, in fact, opposed to God’s exhibition of unity, found in the community that embraces the Spirit of the Lord. In the Bible, freedom is a function of voluntary obligation, not individual liberty. The biblical concept stands in utter opposition to our culture of indulgence even if that indulgence is laced with spirituality.
Once we realize that freedom comes in chains, then we are prepared to understand Yeshua’s statement about the zygos, the yoke. A yoke not only ties us to Him, it shackles us to each other. The yoke is the implement of peace, the equipment of the saints. Just as Yeshua exhorts us to take His yoke and find rest, Paul reminds us that the bond of true fellowship is the unity of mutual obligation. And, of course, this is one of the meanings of that great Hebrew word hesed.
Do you think of chains when you think of peace? Do you see yourself as handcuffed to the Spirit, shackled to the truth? Do you rejoice in your obligations toward others? Do you know what it means to be bound to the Lord? Does your desire to serve Him result in yoking yourself to another?
Unless you can answer these questions with affirmation, you probably haven’t left the world of Greek “freedom” behind. There is no unity without the clank of metal or the feeling of restraints.
Topical Index: bond, syndesmos, yoke, zygos, peace, freedom, Ephesians 4:3