SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Monday November 11, 1996

The Heart of Organization

John 17:19-26

All true corporate unity in the church is founded in each believer's unity with Christ. Such unity makes it possible for people of various temperaments, talents, and cultures to live in harmony.

For what did Christ pray on behalf of His disciples and all future followers? Why? John 17:19-26.

"The instruction given me by One of authority is that we are to learn to answer the prayer recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John. We are to make this prayer our first study." - Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 239.

"Those who are truly connected with God will not be at variance with one another. . . . His Spirit ruling in their hearts will create harmony, love, and unity.... n union there is strength. In division there is weakness and defeat.

"The most convincing argument we can give to the world of Christ's mission is to be found in perfect unity.... In proportion to our unity with Christ will be our power to save souls....

"Little differences, dwelt upon, lead to actions that destroy Christian fellowship.... Let us keep drawing near to God, and He will draw near to us. Then, as one, we shall reach upward to Him. The churches will be as gardens of the Lord, under His cultivation." - Our High Calling, p. 170.

Describe the role of spiritual gifts in achieving unity. Compare the assigning of various gifts to Moses' act of delegating authorityand work. Eph. 4:11-16.

The unity for which Christ prayed cannot be enforced by ecclesiasticaledict. The plea for unity is not a call to suppress discussion of important matters among church members (Mark 9:33-37; Acts 15). Unity is grounded in Christ's truth (John 17:17, 19).

How can we discuss important matters and still maintain a spirit of unity? Eph. 4:1-3, Eph. 4:17-32; 2 Tim. 2:19-26.

What "little differences" do you find yourself dwelling upon., disuniting yourself from the body of Christ? Pray that Christ will bring us together in harmony with His teachings and His purpose. (See Evangelism, pp. 370-372.)