Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Witness of Unity

Have you ever thought about how unity can be an effective witness for your church? David wrote:

Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the LORD has commanded the blessing,
life forevermore (Psalm 133).

Verse one could be referring to family members, but in the context of this passages it is referring to those of the same nation or tribe. The picture that Verses two and three shows is that unity is a pleasing aroma to the Lord as we gather for together.

We often hear of churches not being in unity and it is usually over something ridiculous. Some of these moments have resulted in a church split. What good does a church split do in these circumstances? Nothing. Granted there have some church splits based on false teaching and legalism, which is totally different than splitting over the color of the carpet (This is a true story).

How does unity reflect our witness? It shows we are disciples of Christ. Jesus said:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35).

Our love for one another is a testimony over what God has done for us through Christ. When you attend a worship service this morning, you are worshipping the Living God with your brothers and sisters in Christ. You may have some things in common and might not like the same things, but that is not what brings you together. Your commonality is Christ. Christ died so that we can receive the adoption as sons and daughters of God.

Unity shows we are one. The Apostle Paul made this request the Ephesian church:

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unityof the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:1-6)

If we want unity in our church, we must maintain it. When we maintain unity, we demonstrate our love for the Lord and one another. Yes, we will not see eye to eye on some things and that is okay. We can disagree on non-essentials, such as schooling for our kids and Bible translation, but we should all agree on the essentials, like the gospel message and the sufficiency of Scripture.

Imagine a church that promotes the gospel message and it seems they are doing whatever they can to reach people yet there is no unity, would you want to be part of that church? How would the community look at that church? Very negatively and I don't blame them. They are contradicting themselves is saying Jesus loves while wanting to tear each other apart.

Unity shows we love Jesus and one another. Unity reflects the Trinity as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three in one. Unity is shows we need each other.

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