The closer we come to Jesus, the closer we come to one another. We see with new spiritual eyesight.
The Spirit of Christ enables us to view one another differently. The little things that once bothered us are reframed by the grace of Christ. Cherished hostilities are relinquished in the light of His magnificent grace. Old scores and disputes are, as much as possible, set aside. Barriers are broken down. The gospel heals broken relationships.
When the Holy Spirit was poured out in its fullness on Pentecost, the attitudes of the disciples toward one another were dramatically changed. In the light streaming from the Cross, they saw one another differently.
“Every Christian saw in his brother a revelation of divine love and benevolence. One interest prevailed; one subject of emulation swallowed up all others. The ambition of the believers was to reveal the likeness of Christ’s character and to labor for the enlargement of His kingdom.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 48.
List some of the practices that fostered unity among first century Christians. Why are these practices so powerful in bringing believers together? Matt. 18:16-20; Acts 1:14; 12:5, 12; 6:7; Matt. 28:16-20.
Hoping or wishing for unity does not achieve it. The New Testament church prayed together and talked together. They studied God’s Word together, and together they shared their faith. Prayer, Bible study, and witnessing are powerful elements that create, foster, and sustain the unity of the church. As we pray for one another, we are drawn closer together. Participating in an evangelistic outreach to the community creates a sense of oneness or togetherness. A living, dynamic, unified and revived church is one whose members are praying together, studying God’s Word, and reaching out to their community.
What are some of the forces at play that threaten the unity of your local church, or even the church as a whole? Why is it important to understand what these forces are and to be ready to deal with them?