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Friday: Further Thought – Unity in Faith — 12 Comments

  1. Well, what have we learned this week? My guess is that after a week of discussion about the women's ordination issue on this blog, not one person has changed their mind about which is the right direction. If that is the case, we need to ask ourselves some serious questions.

    1) In the big picture of salvation and sharing the gospel to the world, how important is the issue of women's ordination?

    2) Is the division on this issue an indication that we are not listening to the Holy Spirit?

    3) Are we expecting an instantaneous solution instead of expecting a journey?

    4) How do we love one another when we have strongly held opposing views?

    5) How is the issue affecting our ability to share the Gospel?

    A secular historian had this to say: Biblical literalists are very intolerant of other Biblical literalists. How does that square with the words of Jesus?

    By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:35

    • 1. How important is knowing and following God's will if we would be heralds of the Gospel? Can we bear the message while defiled by departing from the will of God?(it matters not upon which point we depart)

      2. Does the Spirit of God oppose itself?

      3. How many years/decades does it take to make a choice to obey? If your 16 year old still wears diapers and feeds on formula from a bottle, would you feel they are making good progress? How does God feel about a church still in hostile division after 3 voted decisions? Is it God's desire for Israel to wander another 40 years?

      4. Love can be shown to even one's enemies, as Jesus proves.

      5. Look at our "growth". Does it even come close to the days following Pentecost? Should it? If not, why not?

      Are intolerant people reflecting Jesus? But what do you mean by "intolerant"? Must one allow errant teachings to be taught in our fellowship to be considered tolerant? If so, how to you justify Jesus in cleansing the temple?

  2. Saturday: Unity in Faith - As believers we are called to live by faith, yet so many of us choose to live by our feelings.
    Sunday: at-one-ment- At the cross we have been reconciled and made one with the God.
    Monday: Imagine - Satan is constantly bombarding me to look at this world for peace and unity. Christ is calling me to look up to the heaven for his true peace unification. I can only imagine what that day would be like.
    Tuesday: court date - In Christ, I don't have to face my court date. I don't even have to be present in the heavenly court.
    Wednesday: Rest - Adam ran and hid from the Lord. In Christ, I no longer need to run and hide. I can actually come BOLDLY to the throne of grace obtain mercy, find grace and help in time of need.
    Thursday: Sleep - This is not my final destination.
    Friday: Unity - Feelings divide - faith unites

    Have you ever made a decision because it simply “felt right”? Have you ever said something because it “felt like the perfect moment”? We can live by our feelings or by our faith.

    By faith alone, we will be reconciled unto him

  3. 1. Justification is only the first step in being saved. While many others claim this justification also, many do not go beyond it to sanctification by faith in all God has commanded. Many believe/teach that pardon(justification) is granted apart from repentance and reformation, but this is not what scripture teaches. Even a casual reading of God's Word will make plain the requirements of both the law and the gospel. These the church is to teach faithfully to every sinner who desires the Gift of God in Christ. This is the message of the 1st Angel, which is a call to holiness through faith in our Surety.

    2. Our unity cannot exist by merely agreeing to what is truth, but through living by every word of God. Many will call Jesus “Lord”, but in their daily lives they neither obey or serve Him, but walk in their own ways(Isa 4:1, Matt 7:21-23), thus preventing true unity with those who love the Lord supremely, and their neighbor as themselves, being sanctified by the Truth.

    3. Is it possible to “remember” the Sabbath day without being redeemed from sin? In other words; can we be holy on the Sabbath if our heart harbors sin against God and our fellow man? The blood of Jesus cleanses the believer from all unrighteousness, and while this is progressive, it is daily taking place if it is taking place at all. “To him that overcomes” are all the promises made. The victory that overcomes the world is our faith.

    • If justification is the same as forgiveness (as the lesson implies), then here are two quotes from EGW which show the similarities between justification and sanctification:

      “God's forgiveness . . . is the outflow of redeeming love that transforms the heart.” {MB 114.1}.

      “True sanctification comes through the working out of the principle of love.” {AA 560.1}.

  4. Unity in Faith. What could be a more important study today when Satan is trying to split the church! The truths entrusted our church - and assimilated into our lives are the sure bulwark against all kinds of dissensions.

  5. “Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His.” – The Desire of Ages, p. 25.

    The preceding is not valid unless one cooperates with transforming grace and the Holy Spirit.

    For those who have access to Desire of Ages, I would suggest that the previous page (24)be read as well.

    It would help to understand the plan of salvation.

    "For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." Rom 5:10

    "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit" Tit 3:5

  6. Discussion Question #2.

    Doctrine in Church Unity is important. Believing our core, fundamental beliefs helps unite us and strengthens our beliefs. That said, the way we practice things like Keeping the Sabbath Holy, can be so very different, not just from one conference to another but especially with the difference in cultures.

    Something that is incredible comforting is how many things we do have in common. I was a student at Loma Linda and 15 years ago and had the opportunity to learn Medical Spanish in Mexico. I took a summer language course in Mexico City. I lived with a Mexican family but since they were not SDA, I had to find transportation to the local SDA church. What greeting me were smiles and people saying, Feliz Sabbado (Happy Sabbath). The format of the Sabbath school was similar. Even in a foreign land, I felt at ease and so comfortable with my SDA family.

    The comfort of knowing Iwas part of a larger family helped ease the homesickness. Praise God for His mighty power

  7. Friday’s further thoughts states ....salvation is by faith alone....
    It should read Salvation is by GRACE alone. Faith without works is dead

    • Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

      If I read this correctly, the good works are the fruit of that salvation. There is a very big difference between faith and mental assent.

      • So lack of good works would reveal lack of faith? This would then render God's grace powerless on our behalf.

        Grace offers salvation, faith(that works) takes hold of it.

        I'd say we're united on this Gloria and Maurice.

  8. Fri. with Ref. made to Wed.:

    The Godly wisdom of, "disputes over doubtful things” (Rom. 14:1, NKJV), likely matters of differences in culture, opinion, etc., being left up to individual consciences is clear.
    Truly, it is when Christians face disagreement regarding matters not essential to faith and eternal life, that best personal witness...unity in the Spirit through love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance [against which there is no law] -Galatians 5:22, 23, may be best manifested!
    Granted, SDAs must be commitedly faithful to keeping God's ten commandments through the grace and mercy of our risen Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Preparation of ourselves and others (through witnessing lives), for the glorious return of our Redeemer and King, must be our foremost motivation for living, as well.


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