- The church is a witness. If you’ve ever gone through a dispute or disagreement in your church, you know how despairing it can be. Do you think it’s possible to worship God in peace without disputing viewpoints we “know” are wrong? How did the early church deal with differences? What does God want us to do when fellow members get into fierce disagreements about what your local church should be doing?
- Under the cross. “Church unity,” your lesson states, “is…a gift of God.” If good intentions and hard work don’t get our church working together in unity, what will? How does God create church unity? What specific counsel are we given in Ephesians 1:7-10 about relying on the life of Jesus for unity? But, you may say, when I go to church either we don’t talk about it, or it doesn’t exist. (And by “it” you mean a bonding in unity and fellowship.)
- Reconciliation. If you believed that the Second Coming is in a state of delay because of inaction or wrong action by God’s church, how would this belief change your attitude toward the church? What can you as an individual member or family do to restore reconciliation in the church? Should we take on the spiritual needs of our community as a project for our church? Why?
- Practical unity. Sometimes differences of opinion within the church become so strong that it seems we are falling apart. Are we? Can you share suggestions with other members of your class about how we can do more good than we are for others in our classes, in our church, and in our neighborhood? Are you ever tempted to think, “Oh, well. They don’t notice me or my church anyway”? What is the result of that kind of an attitude?
- Diversity. Can you read Romans 14 and 15 with just a touch of humor as you recognize these points of argument and dissension? Considerable time in the Roman church went into describing what’s wrong with certain types of food. Put yourself in a situation like that. Could it happen that in your congregation or neighborhood of Christians that not everybody agrees about what is wrong and what is right? Today we don’t even think about food offered to idols, but what differences of opinion do we hold onto about topics such as whether we should eat meat or keep quiet about it. If a vegan diet is a good idea or a stretch of what some think is right. Go to church always or just when it’s convenient. Enjoy Sabbath lunch at a local restaurant or spend three hours on Sabbath preparing a real feast. Other points of diversity?