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Wednesday: The Unity of Faith — 10 Comments

  1. Many of us have motorcars. They are really quite amazing machines. If you took one apart you would have quite a pile of many different types of material. Iron, copper, lead, aluminum, glass, hard and soft plastic, rubber, and so on. In a pile those materials are pretty useless. But when they have been put together in the right order we end up with a machine that works well - most of the time. The unity is not in the parts but in the design, ensuring that each part is in the right place doing what it is intended to do. If all the parts were uniformly the same, we could not build a car.

    Unity is not uniformity, and I think that sometimes Christian churches get the two ideas mixed up. Unity is not something you can achieve with a Papal Encyclical or a Review and Herald editorial written by the Seventh-day Adventist President. Unity is heart stuff, not head stuff. Now at this point some would had a long comment about how it is the work of the Holy Spirit. That is true, but the Holy Spirit has to work through us. The Holy Spirit is like glue in a tube. If we don't take the cap off and squeeze the tube, the glue cannot do its work.

    The early church had a problem where the glue had come unstuck between the Jewish and Greek members. So they had a committee meeting and acted quickly appointing folk to ensure that the work was done to get the glue to work again. That is how the Holy Spirit works. It empowers us - it does not do the job for us.

    You know what I am going to say:

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

    Paul has the same message:

    And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Eph 4:32 KJV

    ... and that is when all the parts start working together!

    • And this takes me back to last weeks lesson and particularly on the putting on the "belt of truth" I realize that it's this truth that will bind us together and inturn bring about the so desired unity in the family of God.

  2. Walking with THE ONE is the only way to be One! Every single Christian has to be "connected to the vine." We can only do much for ourselves when founded in Jesus's Love. By doing that and letting God's Spirit do the work He needs to do in us, we will undoubtedly become One because the Spirit will lead us into this condition. Unity does not come from within ourselves; Unity comes when we individually accept God's invitation of Love and surrender ourselves to His Spirit.

  3. I restate my believe that true unity for the Ekklesia can only be established by/through the one Holy Spirit given to man to teach and show him how our God loves us and causes us to treat each other with kindness – Eph.4:4-6.

    Each member of the Ekklesia has many opportunities to contribute whatever it is the Spirit moves them to contribute, but the motivation to engage needs to come from the same source - the Spirit of God. He calls for all types of 'communication/interaction' to be done in the spirit of love for one another.

    We look for the author of this special disposition to bring this about within our life. Sure, we can will ourself to show kindness toward others, but when done by/through the motivation of the 'flesh', we will run out of steam pretty soon and 'burn out’.

    I consider our ‘hard work’ to be the unwavering determination to stay faithful, living with the heart and mind always seeking counsel from the Holy Spirit, tuned into hearing what His reply is and moving forward accordingly. Our conscience ought to be tuned finely enough that we can know right from wrong intuitively, the rest is caring enough to do what we know is right.

    I believe the more one feels secure in the hands of our Lord and Savior, the less one worries or fretts about securing ones ‘place’ in life by resorting to ones own strength; the blessed life unfolds as we focus on hearing our heavenly Father to give us direction and follow it.

    Have you ever considered that when we pray for one another we cannot 'hate' each other? Praying then is one of the expressions of loving and caring for one another. Wearing our spiritual armor at all times is another good sign that we are prepared to help each other to defend our faith at times of stresses – prayer and preparedness are the hallmark of a surrendered life based on God's love for us.

      • 🙂 "And the Lord will give thee rest continually, and will fill they soul with brightness, and deliver thy bones, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a fountain of water whoes waters shall not fail." Isaiah 58:11 DRA

  4. James White and Uriah Smith had conflicting views of the king of the north. JW spoke his views in the Sabbath morning sermon on September 28, 1878. Ellen had a vision that included a word of reproof for James. A difference of opinion among leading brethren would undermine the confidence of folks. She never said who was right. What was important was perception. Bio, vol 3, 96-97.

  5. What are ways that we can contribute to the unity of our church, both at the local and worldwide level? Why is it important that we do what we can?

    Here I am remined of a CS Lewis quote: “Humans are very seldom either totally sincere or totally hypocritical. Their moods change, their motives are mixed, and they are often quite mistaken as to what their motives are.”

    I have known for years and now even more so recently as a pastor, that the way to keep unity even during a conflict is to not judge other people's motives or accuse them of having wrong motives. It is best to address specific actions while assuming everything was done with the best of motives and intentions. After all we all mean well, but we all are human. I find this CS Lewis quote to be very accurate and helpful in keeping unity during conflict.

  6. I love how Jesus treated the paralytic who was let down the through the roof by his friends! The man knew his sins had gotten him to that place, but he wanted to change. And Jesus didn’t condemn him for his sins or give up on him, but forgave and healed him. When people make mistakes we don’t want to shame people. That’s the devil’s job. He’s the accuser of the brethren. Revelation 12:10

    I think we can help build unity by not bringing attention to people’s faults or weaknesses, but try to speak words of life and hope to them and CERTAINLY not talk about their misdeeds behind their back.


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