Thursday: Achieving Unity
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The closer we come to Jesus, the closer we come to one another. We see with new spiritual eyesight.

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

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. 18:16-20Acts 1:1412:5126:7Matt. 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?

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Thursday: Achieving Unity — 7 Comments

  1. Jealousy has played a major role that has caused problems in all areas of life, not just the church. As children of God, we must come to the realization that nothing that separates us from God is of God.

    The saddest thing is, we are not blind to what's going on. Just like Adam and Eve were warned about the evils of Satan, we have been warned as well that Satan is as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Our churches are in an uproar and disarray, because we are allowing him to have his way and destroy the very thing Christ loves and that's the Church. Church had a wonderful meaning in the day. To me it meant, peace, power, joy, family, caring, sharing, stability, love, and etc. If God wasn't leading and guiding my life, I wouldn't feel those things today. I had to pray hard for those things to return to me, for there was a time when I lost those elements. Thank God for time and for refocusing me on what's truly important in this mission.

    Lord, please help us to open our eyes and realize there are no second chances to get it right.

    Like(20)
    • [Moderator note: please use first and last names when commenting on this site. Thanks!]

      GOD gives me several chances every day!!!

      Like(3)
  2. We can easily get stuck in our own little world with our family and friends and forget about others and our church as a whole. We can forget why we are here. As Christians, we are here to show what the Kingdom of God is all about, a loving relationship with Him and others. Dear Lord God, please keep us fully connected to you and one in purpose, love and power as Jesus prayed in the Garden that night! Thanks for making Your Life and Love possible because of Jesus! Amen.

    Like(15)
  3. "When the Holy Spirit was poured out in its fullness on Pentecost, the attitudes of the disciples toward one another were dramatically changed." I disagree with this statement!

    If we wait until the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (latter rain) for unity to take place then it will never come, it will be too late just as it was for the five foolish virgins that waited until the end to secure the necessary oil. We need unity BEFORE the outpouring of the Spirit since it is one of the prerequisites to the activities the outpouring brings. We cannot evangelize when the church is in confusion.

    That being said we should realize that we can't become united without the workings of the Holy Spirit but that is something that has been done constantly throughout history while the outpouring is to be a major single event that closes the Gospel era.

    Like(11)
    • Amen my brother the disciples where in unity before the out pouring of the Holy spirit the last verse of Lukes states that they were together praising the name of God that is before pentecost

      Like(2)
      • I don't know exactly what verse you are referring to but I found two in Acts:

        These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication (Acts 1:14 NKJV).

        When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind (Acts 2:1-2 NKJV).

        The last verse says that "they were all with one accord" and then the spirit descended.

        Like(2)
  4. Only the Holy Spirit can produce the change that the lesson mentioned. There was nothing that the disciples possessed of themselves that caused them to see each other differently. They did pray for unity but it was not something that they could achieve on their own.

    Like(0)

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