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Are We One Or Not?

May 16, 2012

Greetings,

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”  Romans 15: 5-7

Unity is a familiar concept in the New Testament.  Many times we are encouraged to be ONE and have unity.  Unity though is not something we can MANufacture on our own.  It says here that God may give us a “spirit” of unity.  So then unity is actually a gift from God and not something that can be worked up in the flesh.  I have witnessed the Ra Ra Ra of those trying to make unity happen in the church like cheerleaders at some kind of game.  Sad to say, but it never really works that way

Unity is something that just IS of Him and we need to just learn to accept it as a given fact among us.  Jesus has given us unity.  It is right there in front of us and we just need to choose to walk in what He has already provided.  Having said that, even though it is a given thing it still needs to be accepted in order for it to be manifest in our lives, both individually and corporately.  He has already given us the endurance and encouragement that is needed to walk this path together in unity and not division.  Like I said it is a gift, but like all gifts we must choose to unwrap it and then put it to good use.

He wants us to glorify Him in unity with one heart and one mouth.  Because together we form one body with only Jesus as the Head.  There is only one body and together with all the other Christ followers we have one heart and one mouth.  There can be no divisions in the true body of Christ.  Because of this we need to accept one another even though we may have warts, blemishes and farts that we want to hide.  Jesus accepted us even with our flaws and so we should also accept our sisters and brothers the way they are with any imperfections in flesh or doctrine.

When we are accepted we come to Him and then He is able to change and conform us to His will.  This change never comes before our acceptance of Jesus, but only afterwards and it is often a process that can take many years.  The fact is that we are ONE in Christ Jesus and we need to not lose heart as we seek to overcome the obstacles that seem to impede our unity.   Jesus wants us to be ONE and we need to surrender to that no matter how long it takes us to bear the fruit of true unity.  He takes us with all our imperfections and He works in us until we become one in Him.  This process takes patience and time, but by accepting each other now, even though we seem incomplete, we bring praise to God.

Love and …..

Kirk Out !

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11 Comments
  1. deanna troi permalink

    okay Captain, you are seriously in the wrong on this point. in all of your bashing of the “hierarchy” that exists in the body of Christ, you forgot some essentials of unity from the book of Ephesians:

    I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the UNITY of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
    But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
    Therefore He says:” When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”
    (Now this, “He ascended”- what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
    And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the UNITY of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
    THAT WE SHOULD NO LONGER BE CHILDREN, TOSSED TO AND FRO AND CARRIED ABOUT WITH EVERY WIND OF DOCTRINE, BY THE TRICKERY OF MEN, IN THE CUNNING CRAFTINESS OF DECEITFUL PLOTTING, BUT SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE, MAY GROW UP IN ALL THINGS INTO HIM WHO IS THE HEAD-CHRIST- FROM WHOM THE WHOLE BODY, JOINED AND KNIT TOGETHER BY WHAT EVERY JOINT SUPPLIES, ACCORDING TO THE EFFECTIVE WORKING BY WHICH EVERY PART DOES ITS SHARE, CAUSES GROWTH OF THE BODY FOR THE EDIFYING OF ITSELF IN LOVE.- Ephesians 4:1-1

    hope this lends some new perspective.

    deanna troi : )

  2. Deanna, I see unity as something that IS and at the same time being something we need to work on as “each part does its share”, thanks for sharing Counselor….

  3. Reformed by the Holy Spirit permalink

    To Deanna Troy: I don’t see the Captain being seriously wrong here. When the Apostle Paul said “We SHOULD no longer be”….it implies that what is necessary is before us…and for some reason we (like the Ephesians) are not doing this.

    Church unity is a label I would offer to the conventional western church of our time. I have seen the forced marches and cheerleading sessions first hand.

    However, to simply “be” instead of “do”….that is another thing. When people are guided by the same principles they find in there hearts……they tend to gather together. If, in fact, those guiding principles are placed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, then that gathering together will be natural – as long as believers are yielding to God.

    The cheerleading approach assumes that as long as people “fake it until they make it” they will be reborn. By applying an undercurrent of pressure, you can get people to gather together out of guilt and fear. Then, we have everyone “cheering together” because, well, that is what everyone else seems to be doing”. Somehow, changed hearts are supposed to develop out of this.

    In contrast, when believers are gathered because of their changed hearts, knowing that such change can only come from God, then the activity of unity (the “do” part) will be a natural extension of the body of believers.

    So, it is practiced, and it is enabled by God.

    The Captain’s statement “When we are accepted we come to Him and then He is able to change and conform us to His will. This change never comes before our acceptance of Jesus, but only afterwards and it is often a process that can take many years.” is balanced and what it is really about.

    If the process is a forced act of man, it will not survive. However, if the process is seeded by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit….It will last and be sincere.

  4. Stephen Roland permalink

    The unity amongst His called out ones is going to increase due to passion of a common cause, and a lack of the false. A new found faith in Christ and His involvement in our lives through the power of His Spirit which helps us let go of religion and cling to Him and His spoken word. Where the sharpening of each other may come with pain and giving up our embedded ideals, but because we recognize His voice and the love we share through this bond of unity which is enriched by the fellowship of our sufferings, of not loving or lives but each others and His.

  5. Gary Z permalink

    Endeavoring to KEEP the unity, Counselor Troy, not CREATE the unity. Also, quite obviously, NOT to destroy the unity which God Himself through His Spirit has created.

  6. sorry Troy, I meant to type Troi (DOH! did it again!)

  7. deanna troi permalink

    well, i do see that there is some unity here, between Chris and the followers of this blog- however, dare i say it, but the unity is a unity of Bible bashing, and let’s use the parts of the Bible we like and throw out the ones we don’t like….such hypocrisy, it would be better to just throw the whole thing out and start your own denomination (or cult). of course then you could clearly state that you just do what you feel like doing and you really just think for yourself, without being Spirit led at all. and my criticism here is not just related to this particular blog, but a long series of rants by Chris that try to make claims that the Bible is moot because of Spirit, and hierarchy within the body of Christ is unnecessary and wrong as well. sorry to disappoint you all, but i will never follow this crowd. @Homer Simpson, oops i mean Gary, no worries about the misspelling of my name, it’s not my real name anyway, lol. @Christopher, you will always be my truest friend regardless of what you believe….

    Love,

    d

  8. Reformed by the Holy Spirit permalink

    Deanna Troi….I see no Bible bashing going on. I see followers of Christ who are trying to understand the whole Word of God and how it applies. Jesus tells us that we will be known for our love for one another. I don’t know…..I don’t feel loved when I am called a hypocrite that is void of the Holy Spirit.

  9. I would just like to say that just because someone approaches the bible from a different than traditional stance it does not automatically make them a heretic of any sort. Sure I deviate from traditional understanding of some passages, but if that never happened we would all still be Roman Catholics. Just because traditionalists hold a certain view of scripture it does not make that view right or the only way it can be looked at.

  10. Let me go on record here and say I have never bashed the bible, what I have said is that it is less than God, Spirit, Jesus and Father, I will not recant that stance, I have never said the bible is moot,
    I also do not believe that the bible supports a hierarchy within the church, If you think I am wrong about this than I say you are entitled to your opinion, but my understanding and experience tell me otherwise, do those 2 beliefs make one cultish? I don’t think so, However, I do appreciate any interaction on this blog, When we all share our experience and perspective we all get closer to His truth.

  11. and yes, both The Spirit and no hierarchies are hills I am ready to die on.

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