Unity in Christ's Body
By Mickey Keith on February 01, 20070 CommentsThe church of Jesus Christ is to be a unified church if we are to see His Glory and Power among us!
“How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along! It's like costly anointing oil flowing down head and beard, Flowing down Aaron's beard, flowing down the collar of his priestly robes. It's like the dew on Mount Hermon flowing down the slopes of Zion. Yes, that's where God commands the blessing, ordains eternal life. “ Message
It’s His church, we just get to participate in it!
Matthew 16:13-17 NLT -“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”[a]
14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah,[b] the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John,[c] because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’),[d] and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell[e] will not conquer it”.
His desire is that we be characterized by agreement, harmony and unity. These set us apart from all other organizations, clubs and groups. Notice what Jesus said concerning agreement- Matthew 18:19 “Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
The Place of Agreement is the Place of Power!!
Jesus taught us to pray, setting ourselves in agreement with the Father-- Matthew 6:10 “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
Our first place of agreement must be with God’s will. Learn to establish His will in your life, your home, your marriage…We cannot afford to think that somehow we can get the Creator of the Universe to align Himself with our petty will and selfish desires. Total surrender to God’s will is necessary for success in all areas of life.
When Jesus prayed, “Not my will but yours…He was saying, “Not my decisions or purposes, but yours…Not my plans or designs, but yours.
This must be the cry of our hearts--to walk in unity and agreement with our Heavenly Father.
Amos 3:3 “How can two walk together except they be agreed?
There must be unity in the church and in our personal relationships, and it begins when we are willing to line our lives up with the will of God and put Him first. In true unity, we maintain our individuality, personality, expression and variety of function, yet we come into a corporate identification that says we are His!
Unity does not mean uniformity…This would be boring and dangerous. This is how cults and false religions are formed; when people are stripped of their individuality for the sake of the `cause’.
But a true believer who has found forgiveness through the Lord Jesus has also found his true identity in Christ! “Christ in you the hope of Glory!”
As a tea bag diffuses into hot water making what we call tea, so the new life in Christ by the Holy Spirit flows into us. That brown water we drink is not really tea, the tea is still in the bag. We don’t become Christ, but we are infused with His nature, character and with a desire to follow His will.
The New Testament pictures of unity are seen in these analogies: One body, many members…One flock, many sheep…One temple, many stones…One nation, many citizens…One vine, many branches… one army, many soldiers.
This unity exists no where else in the world, and is meant to be a tremendous witness-
John 13:34,35 “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, that you have love one to another.”
It is also a source of power in the church.
1And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Our unity is foundational to all that God desires to do among His people. Five times in His high priestly prayer, Jesus prayed that His followers would be one, as He and the Father are one- John 17:20-24
Unity in -
Doctrine: John 7:16
Purpose: John 4:34
Love: John 5:20
Work: John 5:19
The enemy knows that to destroy the church’s witness, power and effectiveness, he must only destroy their unity. Mark 3:25 and Psalm 127:1 “A house divided against itself cannot stand” and “Unless the Lord build the house, we labor in vain who build it.”
Satan never bothered Adam until Eve appeared on the scene. He fears the multiplication of strength as two join in committed relationships-
The mathematics of the Kingdom- “One can set a thousand to flight, but two shall set ten thousand to flight.”
Unity is one of our greatest weapons of spiritual warfare- too often overlooked and unrecognized.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
Successful relationships can only be maintained as we work toward a spirit of unity. Families, friendships and churches must have a similar, kindred spirit and vision. To reach our goals and achieve harmony requires effort.
Romans 14:19 “Follow after those things which make for peace and things that edify the other.”
David and Jonathan--- 1 Samuel 18:13 says that their souls were knit in a covenant bond, so deep and lasting that Jonathan preserved David’s life, and was willing to give up his throne for his friend.
Ruth and Naomi ---Ruth 1:16 “Where you go, I will go, and where you stay I
will stay; Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
Picture the Body of Christ as God sees it---
To be effective, we must be unified- One mind and one heart-
Gossip will have to go!
Backbiting will have to go
Jealousy and petty squabbles will have to go!!
“But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” NIV
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