Sunday, October 10, 2010

Importance of Unity

Ephesians 4:2-6 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

We do not walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called if we be not faithful friends to all Brothers, and sworn enemies to all sin.

1. The meanings of unity:

By lowliness we are to understand humility, which is opposed to pride.

By meekness, that excellent disposition of soul which makes men unwilling to provoke others Brothers, and not easily to be provoked or offended with their infirmities; and it is opposed to angry resentments and peevishness.

Long-suffering implies a patient bearing of injuries, without seeking revenge.

Forbearing one another in love signifies bearing their infirmities out of a principle of love, and so as not to cease to love them on the account of these infirmities.

The best Christian Brothers have need to support one another, and to make the best of one another, to provoke one another's graces and not their passions. We find sin in ourselves which is hard to forgive; and we find sin in others which makes it hard to forgive them, and yet we must forgive them as we forgive ourselves in order to be forgiven by God. Now without these things unity cannot be preserved.

The first step towards unity is humility; without this there will be no meekness, no patience, or forbearance; and without these no unity. Pride and passion break the peace, and make all the problems. Humility and meekness restore the peace, and keep it. Only by pride comes contention; only by humility comes unity. We do not walk worthy of the vocation which we are called if we do not have a meek and lowly heart: Jesus demonstrated meekness and lowliness of heart, and has commanded us to learn that of him.

2. The nature of that unity which these verses prescribes is the unity of the Spirit. The seat of Brotherly unity is in the heart and spirit: it does not lie in one set of thoughts, nor in one form and mode of worship, but in one heart and one soul. This unity of heart and affection is the Spirit of God; it is worked by him, and is one of the fruits of the Spirit. This we should endeavor to keep. We must do our utmost.

If others will quarrel with us, we must take all possible care not to quarrel with them. If others will despise and hate us, we must not despise and hate them.

Peace is a bond, as it unites Brothers, and makes them live friendly with each other. A peaceable disposition and conduct bind Brothers together, whereas discord and quarrelling disband and separate their hearts and affections.

Many slender twigs, bound together, become strong. As in a bundle of rods, they may be of different lengths and different strength; but, when they are tied together by one bond, they are stronger than any, stronger even than the thickest and strongest was by itself.

3. Consider how many unities that are the joy and glory of our Christian faith. There should be one heart; for there is one body, and one spirit. Two hearts in one body would be monstrous. If there be but one body, all that belong to that body should have one heart.

The Church is one mystical body of Christ, and all Christian Brothers make up but one body, incorporated by one charter, that of the gospel, alive by one Spirit, the same Holy Spirit who by his gifts and graces quickens, enlivens, and governs that body. If we belong to Christ, we are all put into motion by one and the same Spirit, and therefore should be one. All Christian Brothers are called to the same hope of eternal life. There is one Christ that we all hope in, and one heaven that we are all hoping for; and therefore we should be of one heart.

One Lord, that is, Christ, the head of the church, to whom, by God's appointment, all Christian Brothers are immediately subject to.

One faith, that is, the gospel, containing the doctrine of the Christian faith: or, it is the same grace of faith (faith in Christ) whereby all Christian Brothers are to be saved.

One baptism, by which we profess our faith, being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ; and so the same sacramental covenant, whereby we engage ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ.

One God and Father of all. One God, who owns all the true members of the church for his children; for he is the Father of all such by a special relationship, as he is the Father of all men by creation: and he is above all, and in you all, in all believers, in whom he dwells as in his holy temple, by his Spirit and special grace.

It would be great if enough could be said, to persuade people to live together in unity. It is good for us, for our honor and comfort; and brings constant delight to those who live in unity. The enjoyment of this is similiar to the holy anointing oil. This is the fruit of the Spirit, the proof of our union with Christ, and adorns his gospel. It is profitable as well as pleasing; it brings blessings as numerous as the drops of dew. The Lord commands the blessing; man can only beg for a blessing.

Psalms 133:1-3 1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

1. Brethren's dwelling together in unity, not only not quarrelling, and devouring one another, but delighting in each other with mutual endearments, and promoting each other's welfare with mutual services.

Sometimes it is chosen, as the best purpose for preserving peace, that Brothers should live at a distance from each other; as when Abram and Lot chose to separate themselves so that they could live in peace. This might indeed prevent enmity and strife, but the goodness and enjoyment are for brethren to dwell together and so to dwell in unity, to dwell even as one, as having one heart, one soul, one interest.

2. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is! It is good in itself, agreeable to the will of God, earth conforming to heaven. It is good for us, for our honor and comfort. It is pleasant and pleasing to God and all good men; it brings constant delight to those who do live in unity.

Behold, how good! We cannot conceive or express the goodness and enjoyment of it. It is a rare thing, and therefore admirable. It is an amiable thing, which will attract our hearts. It is an exemplary thing, which, is to be used by us with a holy effort.

3. How the enjoyment of unity is illustrated.

(1.) This ointment was holy. So must our Brotherly love and unity be, with a pure heart, devoted to God.

(2.) This ointment was a composition made up by a divine dispensation; God appointed the ingredients and the quantities. Thus believers are taught of God to love one another; it is a grace of his working in us.

(3.) This ointment was a very precious and expensive ointment. So is holy love and unity, in the sight of God, of great price; and this is very precious indeed which is in God's sight.

(4.) It was grateful both to Aaron himself and to all about him. So is holy unity; it is like ointment and perfume which rejoice the heart. Christ's love to mankind was part of that oil of gladness with which he was anointed above his fellows.

(5.) Aaron and his sons were not admitted to minister to the Lord till they were anointed with this ointment, nor are our services acceptable to God without this holy love and unity; if we don't have it we are nothing, 1 Cor. 13:1, 2 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

4. It is profitable as well as pleasing; it is as the dew; it brings abundance of blessings along with it, as numerous as the drops of dew. It cools the scorching heat of men's passions, as the evening dews cool the air and refresh the earth. It contributes very much to our fruitfulness in every thing that is good; it moistens the heart, and makes it tender and fit to receive the good seed of the word.

5. The proof of the excellency of Brotherly Love, is that loving people are blessed people.

(1.) Where Brothers dwell together in unity, the Lord commands the blessing. It is God's prerogative to command the blessing, man can only beg for a blessing. Blessings according to the promise are commanded blessings, for he has commanded his covenant for ever. Blessings that take effect are commanded blessings, for he speaks and it is done.

(2.) We are everlastingly blessed. The blessing which God commands on those that dwell in unity is life for evermore; that is the blessing of blessings. Those that dwell in unity not only dwell in God, but will dwell in heaven. Those that live in unity, love and peace shall have the God of unity, love and peace with them now, and they shall be with him shortly, in the world of endless unity, love and peace.

Men, you and I need to own for ourselves that same clarity of vision that so marked the life of Christ. We need to give ourselves up for our brides and the Bride as He did. So that the family might live well. There's a world out there that needs some Tender Warriors. It's every man's purpose... every woman's dream.., and every child's hope. It's the definition of a man. I want to head up that road. My prayers are with the men of this church as we plan in our respective ministries. I believe God has some wonderful things in store for us and our families that will be the result. We must come together in unity and reach other men. When a man/father is the first person of the family to come to Jesus Christ, the rest of the family will follow 93% of the time! Let's not overlooked this mission field.

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Fruto do Espírito said...

The Peace of Christ,

Congratulations for the post and also the blog!

GOD'S LOVE FOR U.S.!

God loves each one as an only child is the love of God to the point in continuing following the same path that the storm fell incessantly and that the pain is greater than the forces that have to suffer even the darkness envelop us and try the winds injustice erase the small flame of faith but in the dark tunnel of life the light of God's love shines without ceasing love of God turns tragedy into triumph the curse into a blessing and evil in God's love is the only true path only the love of God produces fruit if planted where ever! God's love is patient ...
hopes all ...
supports all ...
and never ending,
because it is eternal!!
Believe that despite the distance, belong to the same body in which Christ is the Head. I am extremely grateful to our God that gives us this tool that is the Internet, precisely this interaction between bloggers, who united in one purpose (EVANGELISM) disclose Love and Salvation in Christ Jesus.

I'd be flattered if it were part with their precious presence of the frame followers. You're missing the fruit of the Spirit.

By the way, if not already following my blog here I leave the invitation:
  Fruit of the Spirit

My Fan Page

PS I invite you to know the blog JCde brother Jorge Araújo.
  Current Messages, some controversy, however edifying ...
Go and check out:
Disciple of Christ

In Christ,
***Lucy***