Disciple Up # 24
By Louie Marsh
We talked last week about the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. One of the big issues that flows from this historic event is divisions in the church. They didn’t start with the Reformation, but they certainly accelerated because of it. So today I want to talk a little bit about the topic of unity, why it’s important and some overlooked aspects of it.
One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organization do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team. The first requisite is life, always. – A W Tozer
Believers are never told to become one; we already are one and are expected to act like it – Joni Erickson Tada
Unity without the gospel is a worthless unity; it is the very unity of hell. – J C Ryle
Jesus prayed for unity – why?
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. John 17:20-21 (NIV)
It’s essential if we are to reflect God’s nature – unity in truth, and essential if we are to win the world.
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Romans 14:19
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Eph. 4:3
ANY attitude that causes disunity is sin.
Col. 3:15, 1 Cor. 1:10, 2 Tim. 2:14, Pr. 17:14, 2 Cor. 13:11, Phil. 1:27; 2:1-3, Col. 2:2, Phil. 4:2, 1 Peter 3:8, 1 Cor. 14:33, John 13:34-35, 2 Tim. 2:23, Rom. 12:16-18, Col, 3:13-14, Ps. 133:1.
“In Essentials Unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things love.”
It comes from an otherwise undistinguished German Lutheran theologian of the early seventeenth century, Rupertus Meldenius. The phrase occurs in a tract on Christian unity written (circa 1627) during the Thirty Years War (1618–1648), a bloody time in European history in which religious tensions played a significant role.
- In Essential Beliefs – We Have Unity.
There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to one hope when you were called– one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Eph. 4:4-6
- In Non-Essential Beliefs – We Have Liberty.
Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters…Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand…So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God… So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. Romans 14:1,4,12,22
- In All Our Beliefs – We Show Love
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 1 Cor. 13:2
Disciple Up Low Down on Christian Unity
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