January 28, 2019 ● 19-08
Ps. 133:1: Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!
Phil. 1:27: Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.
Phil. 2:2: make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
The writer of Psalms 133 and the apostle Paul, each writing several hundred years removed from each other and neither knowing the other, wrote about a great truth: the cause of God is much stronger and more effective when God’s people are unified.
There is a difference between unity and uniformity. Having spent twenty-one years in the Navy, I can tell you what it means to be uniform; in fact, anyone that has served in the military knows what it means to be uniform: wear the same clothes, speak the same language; march in formation – this is the military—uniform. God, however, has not designed His church to be uniform, but rather to live in unity with one another. Living in unity means although we come from different parts of the state or country, and although we have different levels of education and different vocations, we should all be on the same page when it comes to the purpose of the church.
The church of the Lord Jesus Christ has but one message: Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The church has but one mission: the proclamation of that message. However, the church uses different methods to proclaim that message. Church members will have differences of opinions and beliefs on theological issues, such as end times events. Church members will have differences of opinions about which songs to sing and what the worship service is supposed to look like. Church members will have differences of opinions about whether to have Sunday night or Wednesday night services and what those services look like. But when it comes to the message of the church, church members must be unified, they must all be on the same page. The message of the church must not get lost or watered down because it is not culturally “acceptable.” The message of the church must never change simply to get people in the doors of the church. The church must be unified behind the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ or the church will lose its focus and wander aimlessly in a sea of false doctrine.
I want to encourage you to let God’s Word equip you to be unified, to stand firm in the only message that has the power to transform lives for all eternity, and that message is Jesus Christ and Him crucified!
Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever, Amen. (Heb. 13:20-21)