PRESERVE THE UNITY
Maintaining unity – what’s it all about and why is it so important? A little Bible study will help us all to understand why God sets such store on unity.
- God is one – that means that, although God is three Persons, Father. Son and Holy Spirit, they are what is called “unity in diversity”. That means that they are completely united in their being and in what they do; something like a team working together to win a game.
- God made the universe to be one. Everything is interdependent, even the heavenly bodies to the farthest limits of the universe. Everything in nature is interdependent because it reflects its Creator.
- Although human beings were created to be interdependent, sin brought strife and alienation, and disrupted God’s plan for us to be one with Him and one with each other to reflect His oneness.
- Jesus came to redeem us from slavery to sin and to restore what sin has destroyed. God’s plan was that, through the church, He would show the world what living as one in His kingdom is all about.
- Jesus’ last recorded prayer is about oneness with Him and with one another, so that the world will know that the Father sent Him.
Unity between people is one of the most powerful forces in the world. God knew that at the tower of Babel in Genesis 11; that’s why He confused their languages and scattered the people because they were bent on rebellion against Him.
One of the effects of Jesus’ death was to reunite Jew and Gentile into a strong bond of unity. There can never be true unity between people who are naturally enemies outside of the reconciliation that Jesus made possible through His death.
In the early church, the people stood together against a common enemy that was trying to destroy them – the Roman Empire. They gathered in communities that protected and defended, supported and prayed for one another against persecution.
It is God the Holy Spirit who creates unity but the Word instructs us to maintain it.
The way to maintain unity is simple but, like most things in the Christian life, not easy. Paul gives us the prescription in Ephesians 4:1ff
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
What keeps unity – humility, gentleness, patience (Eph 4:2); and mutual submission (Eph 5:21).
What destroys unity? SELFISHNESS AND PRIDE!
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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