Biblical Unity: Called by Christ to be ONE in Him
We are One Race, all with the same problem: hard wired for rebellion…
History of the human race leading to the gospel proved we cant solve our sin problem
Sin leading to hatred, prejudice, bigotry, discrimination, oppression is our DEFAULT
God used the nation of Israel to both prove the need and solve the problem
He did himself what we could never do: conquer sin and death
The massive injustice that has happened is not reconcilable without God
That is the only way we can be united
‘Religion’ is not the answer (Jewish, Christian or any other ‘Form’)
What religion does is try to appease God by what YOU can do
To overcome sin (so we can be united) requires what only God can do
The only way we can have true unity is through the Gospel leading to biblical salvation…
Real unity has to come from being united around and by something: Christ
We are all One Race so it’s not race that divides us…Let’s get real: It is things like:
Physical Appearance / Culture / Values / Religion / Language / lifestyle
And based on our preferences we: Discriminate, Stereotype, Generalize…Sin Attitudes
And then we justify our differences as being to deep to get over
So let’s see what we are called to concerning unity as the Scriptures teach
Biblical Unity is what we are going for…so let’s start with Jesus Christ
Jesus praying in the garden focused on the goal of our unity…but it is not a given…
I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
- This is US!
- Jesus desires those who believe in Him have unity that reflects the Trinity’s unity
- Our unity proves the reality of Jesus Christ as the ‘Messiah of God’
I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.
- The Glory is the connection by God’s Spirit which enable the ‘Perfect Unity’
- If those who believe in Christ as Lord & Savior were united, others would ‘believe’
- Our unity can prove to everyone that God loves them
- If His Spirit is in you you will feel the call to Biblical Unity around the Gospel
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
- The prisoner begs you to get in the cell with him…because it is BETTER that way!
- As a disciple of Jesus Christ we are all called a higher standard of love
- We are called to pay forgiveness forward, called to treat others like God treats us
Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.
- Unity takes intentionality, it will not happen without focus on it (Yielding to H.S.)
- The bond of peace is personal surrender to the Gospel of Jesus Christ
- As Born Again, Spirit Indwelled Disciples of Jesus Christ, God UNITES us!
- In every way that matters we, IN CHRIST, are united…so live that reality out!
Can that really happen? What does it look like when it happens?
All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all.
- The converts from Pentecost where living with the Jerusalem Jews (Diverse City)
- They ALL were united emotionally and in practical ways (True Communalism)
- The leadership declared the truth about ‘The Christ’ / ‘The Resurrected Lord’
- Blessing flows from Unity around ‘The Gospel of Jesus Christ’
The way forward is to not deny our differences
God wants all of the different expressions of Humanity because they reflect all of HIM
St.Paul used the human body as a metaphor for the ‘Church’ (God designed both)
1 Corinthians 12:12-13
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
- Our differences are reality (we cannot minimized past oppression / sin / disunity)
- Only together can we display what The Godhead wanted to express in humanity
- We are ‘Organs’ different from and complementary to each other’ ~ C.S Lewis
Unity does not come from imposed uniformity…
It comes from each of us placing our uniqueness under Christ’s sovereignty
We can be united by obedience to The Gospel & intentionally seek unity & peace
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
- We need the ‘Grace of Christ’ to understand others who are different than we are
- ‘Clothe Yourself’ is to live out who you were meant to be (Chosen, Holy, Beloved)
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
- There are going to be problems, let Jesus Christ be your example of forgiveness
- Love is the glue that unifies us, Christ’s Love for US!
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
- We started talking about what we are called to when Jesus Christ calls us
- The surrender to that reality is how you let HIS peace rule
- We are all called to experience that peace together as the Body of Christ in Unity
A few sermons will not change things… This is a attitude and lifestyle thing
Why do you think Jesus Christ ‘prayed’ for us to be united instead of making us be?
Describe how Christ’s love has called you to the unity that is God’s will for ‘Believers’?
Why does The Gospel of Jesus Christ unite His followers?
What is your role in a united body; different from & complementary to each other?
How does you experience of forgiveness from Christ allow you to forgive others?