Further Study: Unity: The Bond of Revival
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“In these first disciples was presented marked diversity. They were to be the future_studyworld’s teachers, and they represented widely varied types of character. In order successfully to carry forward the work to which they had been called, these men, differing in natural characteristics and in habits of life, needed to come into unity of feeling, thought, and action. This unity it was Christ’s object to secure. To this end He sought to bring them into unity with Himself.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 20.

Discussion Questions:

  • Why is a unified church structure so important for us? What would happen to our mission, to our message, and to our church as a whole if congregations, conferences, unions, or divisions were to go their own way? Imagine the chaos that would ensue.
  • In class, answer the question: Why am I a Seventh-day Adventist?
  • However important unity is for the church, are there some things that are even more important? If so, what? For instance, in dealing with those who preached doctrines with which he disagreed, Paul wrote this: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8-9). What happened to unity here, at least with these people?
  • Dwell more on the issue of how our message and mission are crucial to our whole identity as Seventh-day Adventists. After all, what would our purpose be without our message, which no one else is preaching to the world? At the same time, what other things unite us as Seventh-day Adventists? That is, though we would have nothing were it not for our mission and message, what else do we have that helps to define us, and why are these important, as well?
  • Why is unity so crucial for any revival and reformation among us?
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Further Study: Unity: The Bond of Revival — 10 Comments

  1. I think I'm glad to have found the church of God. I like the unity that has been ensured right from the general conference. How I pray that we be unified and rightly fixed and fit like the composition of a house. Let us be firmly rooted in the Word lest we be misled by false doctrines.

    Like(5)
  2. [Moderator note: please use first and last names when commenting on this site. Thanks!]

    The message is clear, unity conquers all and united we stand separated we fall.

    Like(2)
  3. Unity is so crucial for revival and reformation, because without it we cannot do the work of Christ. We cannot get out there and preach the Word to a lost world and persuade them that what we are saying and living is true, because we won't be living what we are preaching. In other words, we will be lost if change doesn't take place in our lives.

    People want to feel, see and hear Christ in us. They want to experience the keeping of the Sabbath, the health message, they want to experience people who know how to settle issues in a Christ-like manner. In other words, they want to experience Christ in action through us, living, breathing beings, created in His image. No one is perfect, by any means, but with each day we should be striving for perfection.

    If our churches continue to stay caught up in matters that don't matter, we will miss out on the harvest we were intended to sow. The blood of many people will be upon our hands if our hearts aren't pricked, repentance and confession takes place.

    My daily prayer is that God will help us get things right with Him and each other before it's too late.

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  4. God thinks of the Christian church as connected to the vine, as His family here on earth to reach the world. He has given us His word to ground us. Like the church from the beginning needed some organization to be united, I believe that we need organization in the church today. I have chosen to be a Seventh-day Adventist because I have found no other church that follows what I find in the Bible the way this particular denomination does, so I respect the way the church is organized. I also respect that some must lead and they need my respect.

    I still follow prayerfully the Word of God and see where we are near the end of all that was prophesied in the Bible for the end of the world. God's people everywhere need to search the Scriptures and know where they stand. Just as the Bible gives truth, there are many untruths. We need the Bible more now than ever before.

    We also need Jesus to return as He has promised. We know His Word is true and He will do everything He promised He would do, but He also promises to give us what we need to draw others to Him before it is too late. I am thankful to be a part of a church that takes this roll and the study of the entire Bible with its important truths for the end of time seriously.

    Like(10)
  5. What makes unity?
    Eph. 4:11-14 -- "And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 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 fullness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive."

    Inspiration makes it plain that God's plan is that the Church should ever be growing both in knowledge and perfection 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 fullness of Christ; that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.

    Since the Church has not yet attained the standard set forth in this verse of Scripture, it is obvious that she needs to have greater knowledge of Bible religion than she has at the present time.

    Being far from having reached such unity of faith, of knowledge, and perfection, we see the need as clear as crystal: We as Christians need to start growing, otherwise the season of such growth will pass and we shall be left but dwarfs, not having advanced far enough to be eligible for a home in the Kingdom. Then shall it come to pass that all such unmatured Christians shall bitterly cry out, "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." Jer. 8:20.

    To defeat the Enemy and maintain unity and harmony, let every believer cease finding fault with his brethren; watch his own steps and not theirs; realize that they have the same opportunity as does he to know the difference between right and wrong; bear his own and not their responsibility; esteem them better than himself; and do and say nothing he would not like them to do or say to him.

    Let each realize, as did Paul, that charitableness--forbearance through love--is the most indispensable, urgent, and lofty of all attainments:

    The urgent lesson here to be learned is that those who are ever-progressing, keeping pace with the march of Truth, are the only real Christians. And though even the most advanced of these have not yet reached the high standard (the full growth) set for them by the Lord, yet Inspiration in this latest feast of butter and honey (the latter rain), proffers character-building material to all. As a result of this, thousands of faithful ones at first (Rev. 7:3-8; 14:1, 5) and millions at last (Rev. 7:9; Mic. 4:1-3; Isa. 60:5, 6) will having finally matured for harvest, actually achieve the Lord's standard, and 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 fullness of Christ." Eph. 4:13. What a bountiful harvest of full grown Christians to be garnered in!

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  6. I thank God by His grace we are being revived by these spiritual admonitions. infact there are some fives elements that help us grow spiritually as good Christians and to build God's Church.
    These are Bible studies, Prayer, Felloship(Unity in Christ), Witnessing and Obedience to God.
    I believe when we consider these elements very well God Himself will help us reach our golden goal. Amen

    Like(6)
  7. I see politicians coming together with an objective of winning the favour of citizens. This has given me an insight; how about we having an objective of taking the gospel to the world. I must appreciate the diversity enjoyed in our church worldwide. Imagine meeting hindu adventists in their churches; what a beautiful adventure! HAPPY SABBATH and be blessed MY ADVENTIST FAMILY worldwide.

    Like(2)
  8. This week we saw that we need unity but that unity doesn't mean compromise with error. Today's lesson poses the question,

    "What would happen to our mission, to our message, and to our church as a whole if congregations, conferences, unions, or divisions were to go their own way? Imagine the chaos that would ensue."

    That question is not hypothetical; it is reality in Samoa and we can see "the chaos that would result" currently taking place in that country because of the decisions the South Pacific Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, known as the SPD for short, has made.

    When I see what is happening in Samoa and in Tonga under the jurisdiction of the SPD, I see how it is possible to compromise even on one of the most fundamental doctrines of our faith.

    Did you know that the majority of SDA's on Samoa and all of the SDA's on Tonga are officially worshipping on Sunday with the full support and guidance of the SPD, claiming that it is the seventh day of the week?

    To get a full picture of what is happening there I would suggest spending time with some of the articles on the Sabbath Issues website:

    * "Two Sabbaths for Seventh Day Adventists in Samoa Due to International Dateline Change."

    * "A False Issue - The Day-line" A Signs of the Times article from November 26, 1906, shows that our church had to deal with the issue of a special date line for Sabbath-keeping purposes before. The author notes that keeping any day other than Saturday as the Sabbath in the name of "correctness" loses the real meaning of the Sabbath as the sign of loyalty to God, as distinct from the worship of Rome.

    * "Where Did We Get Our IDL?"

    * Despite the 1906 Signs of the Times article and other similar ones in our history, the SPD chose to make an official decision to recommend keeping Sunday as Sabbath in Samoa, justifying it by stating that after the dateline change of November 2011, Sabbath would fall on Sunday. (See "Samoa Seventh-day Adventist Church Issues Statement re Date Line Change.")

    * "Arguments For Keeping Sunday as Sabbath in Samoa Examined." is an extensive rebuttal of the arguments the SPD used to support the decision to recommend that Samoan Seventh-day Adventists keep the Sabbath on Sunday.

    The whole situation in Samoa is heart wrenching and has divided our church, to say nothing of families. It is not just an issue for Samoa but affects the Seventh-day Adventist Church world-wide far more than we would like to think. As faithful members, I believe we need to take the time to investigate the matter to understand the issues involved.

    Like(2)
    • Thanks, Tyler, for bringing us an example that demonstrates the confusion that ensues when leadership of one division of the world church decides to implement policies contrary to the rest of the church body.

      In Samoa we have Sunday-keeping Adventists harassing Seventh-day Adventists who worship on Saturday. And I note that it has become so bad that the local mission threatened to take a local congregation to court because they were worshipping on the seventh-day Sabbath (Saturday) in the church that they had built with their money.

      What is the response of the rest of the body of Christ in a situation like this? If we just watch this happening and consider it not our business, are we not partially responsible for what is going on?

      Should we express solidarity with those who are worshipping on the seventh-day Sabbath on Saturday, as we are? Should we not send them messages of encouragement? Should we not pray for them?

      What does supporting unity look like in a case like this?

      Like(1)
    • I agree with Tyler,
      When I see the consternation caused by a policy issue such as the proposal for women's ordination in the SDA Church, I cannot figure out why the world Church is not marching in the proverbial streets over Adventists keeping Sunday.

      Sabbath is a fundamental doctrine and far more significant than a policy regarding ordination.

      Like(1)

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