UNITY IN THE BODY OF CHRIST
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UNITY IS A SIMPLE WORD WITH A POWERFUL MEANING. WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY DESCRIBES UNITY AS A QUALITY OR STATE OF NOT BEING MULTIPLE; ONENESS. UNITY IS A CONDITION OF HARMONY, OR CONTINUITY WITHOUT DEVIATION. OR CHANGE (AS IN PURPOSE OR ACTION) THE QUALITY OR STATE OF BEING MADE ONE.
LET US EXAMINE A FEW VERSES OF SCRIPTURE THAT WILL HOPEFULLY HELP US TO BETTER UNDERSTAND UNITY GOD’S WAY.
PSALM 133:1 SAYS, BEHOLD, HOW GOOD AND PLEASANT IT IS FOR BRETHEN TO DWELL TOGETHER IN UNITY!
EPHESIANS 4:1-6 THE APOSTLE PAUL, BY THE HOLY GHOST, INSTRUCTS US TO WALK WORTHY OF THE VOCATION WHEREWITH YE ARE CALLED, WITH ALL LOWLINESS AND MEEKNESS, WITH LONGSUFFERING, FOREBEARING ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE; ENDEAVORING TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT IN THE BOND OF PEACE.
WE WILL USE THE BASIS OF THESE SCRIPTURES TO SUPPORT OUR OBJECTIVE.
IN A TIME OF TURMOIL IN THE WORLD, THERE IS A PROCLAMATION FOR PEACE. TREATIES HAVE BEEN SIGNED, AND ABANDONED. WARS HAVE BEEN FOUGHT, AND BATTLES WAGED. SCORES OF MEN HAVE DIED, AND COUNTLESS MORE INCAPACITATED IN AN ATTEMPT TO UNITE NATIONS, PEOPLES, AND COMMUNITITES. WE HAVE FOUGHT EVEN IN THIS COUNTRY TO END THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SLAVERY, AND TO ENSURE CIVIL LIBERTIES FOR ALL AMERICANS. THERE HAVE BEEN CONTINOUS EFFORTS BY NUMEROUS ORGANIZATIONS TO REALIZE A DREAM OF FAIRNESS AND EQUALITY. OUR COURTS HAVE DECIDED SEEMINGLY INNUMERABLE CASES OF DISCRIMINATION, IN AN ENDEAVOR TO REGULATE LIVING STANDARDS IN OUR SOCIETY. BUSINESSES HAVE SUFFERED MASSIVE LOSSES DUE TO THE LAWSUITS OF DISENFRANCHISED EMPLOYEES, AND SUBCULTURES CRY DAILY CONCERNING THE INJUSTICES INFLICTED BY THOSE WHO OPPOSE THEIR CHOICES. RIGHT, WRONG OR INDIFFERENT, AT SOME TIME OR ANOTHER WE WILL ALL BE CALLED UPON TO MAKE DECISIONS REGARDING THE LIFESTYLE OF OTHERS. WHILE WE PRESERVE THE RIGHT TO STAND BY OUR BELIEFS, WE MUST MAKE A DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE PERSON AND THE OBJECT OF PROTESTATION.
THERE IS A SAYING THAT THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY IS MY FRIEND. IN OTHER WORDS, WE OFTEN SHARE A COMMON BOND WITH THOSE WHO DISLIKE PERSONS WHOM WE DISLIKE. WE HAVE SIMILAR FEELINGS AND OPINIONS ABOUT SOMEONE(S), AND THERFORE WE FIND COMFORT AMONG ONE ANOTHER. THERE IS SOME CONSOLATION, WHEN AN INDIVIDUAL I MAY HAVE A PROBLEM RELATING TO IS ALSO A PROBLEM FOR YOU. WE ARE OFTEN RELIEVED TO FIND OUT THAT WE ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES WHO WOULD RATHER NOT HAVE DEALINGS WITH A PARTICULAR PERSON. WE OFTEN WILL DISASSOCIATE OURSELVES FROM THOSE WHOM OTHERS DEEM ILLFITTING, UNSUITABLE, AND INCOMPATIBLE FOR OUR CLIQUES, OR CIRCLE OF ACQUAINTANCES. WE SOMETIMES REJECT A PERSON BEFORE WE HAVE TAKEN THE TIME TO GO GET TO KNOW THEM, BASED ON THE OPINION OF OTHERS.
PEOPLE ARE JUDGED DAILY SOLEY ON THEIR RACE, CREED, AND COLOR. INDIVIDUALS, WHO DON’T EVEN SPEAK THE SAME LANGUAGE, ENCOMPASS HATRED TOWARD ONE ANOTHER BECAUSE OF CULTURAL DIFFERENCES THEY PERCEIVE AS INFERIOR, OR SIMPLY BECAUSE,”YOU ARE NOT ONE OF US.”.THIS PHRASE IS ECHOED BY MANY IN OUR SOCIETY. . IT IS NOT ALWAYS VERBALIZED BUT IT IS OFTEN EXHIBITED BY MEANS OF APPALLING BEHAVIORS AND ACTIONS. IT IS SOMETIMES BLATANT, BUT OFTENTIMES, CONCEALED, AND HIDDEN BEHIND A SMILE, OR VEILED IN BACK OF SEEMINGLY GRACIOUS TERMINOLOGY. BUT “THE HOLY SPIRIT SEARCHES ALL THINGS, EVEN THE DEEP THINGS OF GOD. “NOTHING IS HID FROM HIM, AND NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR OUR GOD. THE SCRIPTURES DECLARE, “FOR WHAT MAN KNOWETH THE THINGS OF A MAN, SAVE THE SPIRIT OF THE MAN WHICH IS IN HIM.” ONLY GOD KNOWS, AND HE CARES.
AT TIMES WE HAVE A PROCLIVITY TO GRAVITATE TOWARD THOSE WHO MEET WITH OUR DISTINCT APPROVAL RATING. WE ONLY UNITE WITH THOSE WHO ARE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGES THAT WE CONSIDER ACCEPTABLE.
IN THE NATION OF INDIA, FOR EXAMPLE, THEY STILL HOLD TO THE TRADITION OF CASTE SYSTEMS IN WHICH SOCIAL CLASSES ARE DEFINED BY THOUSANDS OF ENDOGAMOUS HEREDITARY GROUPS. THIS MEANS THAT THEY WOULD ONLY BE ALLOWED TO MARRY SOMEONE WITHIN THEIR OWN CLAN, OR PEOPLE. THEY ARE NOT ASSOCIATED WITH AN INDIVIDUAL DEPENDENT UPON THEIR CHARACTER, RELIGIOUS CONVICTIONS, LIKES AND DISLIKES, OR AMOROUS AFFAIRS. RATHER, THESE RELATIONSHIPS ARE DICTATED BASED ON SOCIAL OCCUPATION, ENDOGAMY, ECONOMIC CLASS, AND /OR POLITICAL POWER.
BUT JESUS PRAYED TO THE FATHER “TO KEEP THROUGH HIS OWN NAME THOSE WHOM GOD HAD GIVEN HIM. THAT WE MAY BE AS ONE, EVEN AS HE AND THE FATHER ARE ONE”.
THERE ARE NO BIG I’S AND LITTLE YOU’S IN JESUS. WE ARE ONE IN THE BODY OF CHRIST. WE MAY HAVE DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS, BUT ALL PARTS ARE NECESSARY FOR THE BODY,”TO BE BUILT UP INTO A SPIRITUAL HOUSE, AN HOLY PRIESTHOOD, TO OFFER UP SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES , ACCEPTABLE TO GOD BY JESUS CHRIST”.
THEREFORE THE PSALMIST DECLARES,” HOW GOOD AND PLEASANT IT IS FOR BRETHREN TO DWELL TOGETHER IN UNITY”
TO DWELL; IS TO LIVE OR CONTINUE IN A GIVEN STATE OR CONDITION.
CONTINUE; MEANS TO ABIDE, TO DWELL, REFERRING TO A PLACE, STAY CONNECTED. NOT TO DEPART, TO TARRY.
JOHN 8:31 JESUS SAID TO THOSE JEWS WHICH BELIEVED ON HIM, “IF YE CONTINUE IN MY WORD, THEN ARE YE MY DISCIPLES INDEED”.
JESUS SAID “I AM THE VINE, YOU ARE THE BRANCHES. IF A MAN ABIDE NOT IN ME, HE IS CAST FORTH AS A BRANCH, AND IS WITHERED; AND MEN GATHER THEM, AND CAST THEM INTO THE FIRE, AND THEY ARE BURNED.”
JOHN 15:9 “AS THE FATHER HAS LOVED ME, SO HAVE I LOVED YOU; CONTINUE IN MY LOVE.”
IN OTHER WORDS, STAY THERE. STAY RIGHT THERE, STAY IN HIS LOVE. LIVE IN HIS LOVE, WALK IN HIS LOVE, DWELL IN HIS LOVE. WALK IN HIM, TALK IN HIM, LOVE IN HIM. GIVE IN HIM. BE STEADFAST, AND UNMOVEABLE. THIS IS HOW WE “WALK AFTER THE SPIRIT, SO THAT WE DO NOT FULFILL THE LUST OF THE FLESH”.
WE MUST WORK THE WORKS OF HIM THAT SENT US “WHILE IT IS DAY. FOR NIGHT COMETH WHEN NO MAN CAN WORK”. THIS IS THE TIME, AND THIS IS THE PLACE. WE MUST WALK CIRCUMSPECT BEFORE THE LORD OUR GOD, THAT OTHERS MIGHT LOOK ON OUR LIVES AND CRY OUT “WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED”.
EPHESIANS 4:1-6 DECLARES THAT WE ARE TO,” WALK WORTHY OF THE VOCATION WHEREWITH YE ARE CALLED, WITH ALL LOWLINESS AND MEEKNESS, WITH LONGSUFFERING, FOREBEARING ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE; ENDEAVORING TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT IN THE BOND OF PEACE”.
THIS IS A POWERFUL STATEMENT. IMAGINE IF WE WALKED THIS WAY EVERY WAKING HOUR OF THE DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK, 365 DAYS A YEAR. ENVISION THE IMPACT WE WOULD MAKE IN THE WORLD. HOW MANY BLIND EYES WOULD BE OPENED? HOW MANY SICK BODIES HEALED? AND MOST OF ALL HOW MANY SOULS WOULD BE SAVED? WE WOULD RENDER THE ENEMY POWERLESS IN OUR HOMES, ON OUR JOBS, AND IN OUR COMMUNITIES.
IT WOULD STAND TO REASON, THAT IF WE WALKED ACCORDING TO WHAT WE KNOW IS RIGHT, THEN WE WOULD SEE THE MANIFESTATIONS OF WHAT GOD HAS SAID IN HIS WORD. WE WOULD CAST OUT DEVILS, SPEAK WITH NEW TONGUES, LAY HANDS ON THE SICK AND THEY SHALL RECOVER, AND EVEN GREATER WORKS WOULD WE DO, BECAUSE JESUS IS GONE TO THE FATHER. THE BLIND WOULD SEE, AND THE DEAF WOULD HEAR, THE LAME WOULD WALK, AND THE DUMB WOULD TALK. BUT KNOWING IS JUST HALF THE BATTLE. THE OTHER HALF IS TO WALK OUT WHAT WE KNOW.
JESUS SAID TO PETER, “WHEN YOU ARE CONVERTED, STRENTHEN YOUR BRETHREN”
AS SAINTS OF GOD, “WE SHOULD “ SUBJECT OURSELVES ONE TO ANOTHER, AND BE CLOTHED WITH HUMILITY; FOR GOD RESISTETH THE PROUD, AND GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.THE APOSTLE PETER ADMONISHED US TO HUMBLE OURSELVES UNDER THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD, THAT HE MAY EXALT US IN DUE TIME: CASTING ALL OUR CARE UPON HIM, FOR HE CARES FOR US. WE ARE TO BE SOBER, AND VIGILANT, BECAUSE OUR ADVERSARY the devil, AS A ROARING LION WALKS ABOUT, SEEKING WHOM he MAY DEVOUR; whom WE ARE TO RESIST STEADFAST IN THE FAITH, KNOWING THAT THE SAME AFFLICTIONS ARE ACCOMPLISHED IN YOUR BRETHREN THAT ARE IN THE WORLD”.
THE enemy IS AFTER US ALL. he IS A thief, WHO COMES BUT TO KILL, STEAL, AND DESTROY. AND he IS THE accuser OF THE BRETHREN, and evil ALL BY himself.
CAIN ASKED GOD A QUESTION; AM I MY BROTHERS KEEPER? THE ANSWER IS YES, YOU ARE.
WE ARE OUR BROTHERS KEEPER, WE ARE OUR SISTERS KEEPER.
THE EARLY CHURCH HAD THEIR SHARE OF DIFFERENCES. BUT THE BELIEVERS INITIALLY HAD ALL THINGS IN COMMON. THEY STOOD AS ONE, AND WORKED AS ONE. THEY DIVIDED THE WORK BETWEEN THE DEACONS AND THE APOSTLES. THEY PRAYED TOGETHER WITH AN EXPECTATION FOR THE HOPE THEY POSSESSED. THERE WAS UNITY, AND THERE WAS STRENGTH.
• LET US ASK GOD TO SEARCH OUR HEARTS, IF WE HAVE BEEN WRONGED, HELP US TO FORGIVE. IF WE HAVE WRONGED SOMEONE, GRANT US THE STRENGTH TO CONFESS OUR FAULTS ONE TO ANOTHER AND ASK FOR FORGIVENESS.
• LET US ASK GOD TO HELP US TO OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD, THATTHE WILL OF THE LORD BE DONE IN OUR LIVES, AND THE LIVES OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST JESUS.
• LET US GUARD OUR HEARTS WITH ALL DILIGENCE.
• LET US STAND BESIDE OUR LEADERS, AND CONTINUALLY LIFT THEM UP IN PRAYER.
• LET US HOLD UP THEIR ARMS, AND PRAISE GOD FOR THEIR LIVES
• LET US REFUSE THE ENEMY ANY PLACE IN OUR HEARTS.
• LET US STAND AS A UNITED FRONT. THANKING GOD FOR THE VICTORY THRU CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD, FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH. CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS AND EVERY HIGH THING THAT .EXALTS ITSELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.
• LET US BEAR ONE ANOTHERS BURDEN
• LET US BE HELPERS ONE TO ANOTHER
• LET US BEAR FORTH FRUIT THAT WILL BRING GLORY AND HONOR TO GOD OUR FATHER.
• AND LET US FOREVER BE FOUND DOING THE WILL OF GOD, THAT WHEN WE STAND BEFORE HIM, WE WILL HERE HIM SAY, “WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT; ENTER INTO THE JOY OF THE LORD." SHALOM
WHY IS UNITY NECESSARY?
• SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
• INTERCESSION ON BEHALF OF OUR SISTERS AND BROTHERS.
• HOLD UP THE ARMS OF OUR LEADERS.
• FOR THE PERFECTING OF THE SAINTS
• FOR THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY
• FOR THE EDIFYING OF THE BODY OF CHRIST
• TILL WE ALL COME IN THE UNITY OF THE FAITH, AND OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD, UNTO A PERFECT MAN, UNTO THE MEASURE OF THE STATURE OF THE FULNESS OF CHRIST.
• AND MOST OF ALL N THAT WE WOULD WIN SOULS TO THE BODY OF CHRIST
WHERE THERE IS UNITY THERE IS STRENTH.
KEYS TO UNITY
John 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Rom 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.
*****The early church was explosive and experienced such power and the reason was they were unified. ****
Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Mark 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Mark 11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Walking in the love of God
John 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind.
Matthew 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Matthew 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
1 John 4:16 -20 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man says, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen
Be careful of our words
Mark 7:15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
For out of the abundance of our heart, the mouth speaks.
Psalm 34:13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking guile.
WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE, AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE MUST BE LIKE JESUS. WE SHOULD BE CONFORMING TO HIS IMAGE EVERYDAY.
IS: 53 BUT HE WAS WOUNDED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS, HE WAS BRUISED FOR OUR INIQUITIES, THE CHASTISEMENT OF OUR PEACE WAS UPON HIM, AND WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED. ALL WE LIKE SHEEP HAVE GONE ASTRAY; WE HAVE TURNED EVERY ONE TO HIS OWN WAY. AND THE LORD HATH LAID ON HIM THE INIQUITY OF US ALL. HE WAS OPPRESSED, AND HE WAS AFFLICTED, YET HE OPENED NOT HIS MOUTH; HE IS BROUGHT AS A LAMB TO HE SLAUGHTER AS A LAMB TO THE SLAUGHTER, AND AS A SHEEP BEFORE HER SHEARERS IS DUMB, SO HE OPENED NOT HIS MOUTH.
LET US EXAMINE OURSELVES AND SEE IF WE BE IN THE FAITH.
FATHER, LOOK ON MY HEART, SEARCH ME LORD. AND WHATEVER YOU FIND THAT SHOULDN’T BE, TAKE IT OUT AND STRENGTHEN ME, I WANT TO BE RIGHT, I WANT TO BE SAVED AND I WANT TO BE FREE. AMEN
Copyright © 2010 EILEEN C DAY. All rights reserved
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