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Are We Really One Body United?

October 18, 2016

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 Christ 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 share 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 may 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 one another now, even though we may seem incomplete, we bring praise to God.

Love and …..

Kirk Out !

P.s.  Just because all followers of Jesus share a common core Spiritual unity…. The Body of Christ is still an extremely diverse unit that might not always share full agreement in matters of faith and practice among its members.  True Unity with diversity allows vastly different points of view within the Body of Christ.  Each individual expression of a local “church” Body may look and function somewhat differently than other local expressions.  The key to our unity is that we agree on what Jesus accomplished in HIs birth, life, crucifixion, death and resurrection.  As long as we share those core beliefs we are indeed One Body United in Christ.

 

 

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7 Comments
  1. tom ball permalink

    Unity is a precious gift. Jesus prayed that we might be one. In my understanding unity is more likely to be enhanced when differences are stated nonjudgmentally and then left to God to show where the truth lies. ‘Till that happens, respectfully setting the difference aside and focusing on what is held in common – a desire to worship and serve God in the way each feels in good conscience He would have us do – seems a useful approach. John Wesley stated it clearly: “Is thy heart as mine? If so, give me thine hand.”

  2. I can’t believe this one didn’t produce more comments. Scratching my head.

  3. Chris, great post. I’ve often heard “unity, -not- uniformity” and I think that says it well. I suspect for some pain of rejections, negative experiences with this or that congregation, etc., may be why more would not immediately sync with your wise post here. Security, peace, forgiveness are a journey -and all over time via the Holy Spirit as we surrender, receive revelation and choose to walk in them. Unity has it’s price (in the natural), while of course it’s God’s will, Jesus’ command and a maturing believer’s experience. Love you!! -Glenn

    • Love you too Glenn! Thanks for sharing that affirmation of the Truth in Love.

    • "BK" permalink

      As I read through this again this evening it occurred to me this may well be one of those words we should be allowing the Spirit to ‘re-define’ for us. Maybe it isn’t like a ‘end’ we should and will ‘someday attain to’ as is usually the thought that goes with the word. Maybe it’s like an ‘each and every time’ place. Instead of always there it is each time we gather; or have something we need to come into agreement on. Sometimes the Lord will deal with us one way about something and another way at a different time….same ‘thing’ but different circumstances, time, etc. Does this make any sense? Sometimes hard for me to express what’s rolling around within me…….love, “BK”

      • Makes sense to me BK. We need to embrace unity wherever we find it along the way. We can experience moments of unity with others and should fully appreciate those moments. So yes UNITY is a goal, but also a present reality at times.

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