Unity in the Church

Sunday October 2, 2016

The five-fold ministry is to equip the saints to do the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12). We as the body of Christ    need to do what we are called to do. As Shane obeyed God’s direction to go to missions in Russia, the Lord revealed more of what that entailed. Be in the place where you are to be, and He will reveal more to you. Church life is to be the place of true life and joy. What expectation do you bring when you come to a church service? If a part of the body is hurting, it affects the other parts. It is the same in the body of Christ. Psalm 133:1 tells how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. Paul talked about trying to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3). There is one body, one Spirit, and we were called in one hope of our calling. John 17:11 and 18-21 again stresses the importance of the unity of the believers. Jesus prayed for His disciples, including us, to be one. Ephesians 5 is about unity in marriage. The body of Christ is fitly joined together (Ephesians 4:16). Ed Cole, who ministered mainly to men, said that everything God does is according to a pattern and based on a principle of God’s kingdom. Look for patterns of identification, involvement, investment, and increase. Each one has a specific role to play in the body of Christ. When someone is persecuting us, do we see that person as God sees them? Do we see their need for salvation? Increase is for God’s glory. When one member suffers, the others suffer, too. Prayer is based on covenant. Religion is based on works. Believers should come together, each one doing his or her work. What are we expecting God to do when we come together? Weeds need to be taken out by the root. Get rid of bad things at the root. Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy. He attacks the roots of your identification in Christ. Christ places people in the body as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:18). We need to pray for the ministry of reconciliation and reconciling the world to Christ. The world will know that we are Christ’s disciples if we have love for one another (John 13:34-35). Division comes at kingdom, city, and house level. Reconciliation comes by repentance. Right now the USA seems divided in many ways, including division in the church. There are bigger things at stake. Some people identify greatly with sports. Satan will use what you identify with to get access. We have to judge ourselves. There is so much at stake. Do not be so preoccupied with your own affairs that you do not see the bigger picture. God wants unity, but not at the expense of compromise. There are hand-off areas, such as priorities. Look at experiences in light of truth. When the church was in one accord, there was increase and miracles. Remain faithful. You will not miss out when you are in His will. LOVE is the key to unity. People are messy, but without people there can be no increase. Keep the big picture for a big family.