Unity: Radically Counter-Cultural
Hello Church Family: Most likely, if you are reading this email, you also own an automobile of some kind. That is my guess. And if you own an automobile, you know the importance of regular preventative maintenance to keep your vehicle running smoothly and safely down the road. And if you don’t do regular maintenance you will find yourself broken down on the side of the road not going anywhere.
The church can also experience a break down when we do not engage in regular preventative maintenance. One of the most important elements of the church to maintain is its unity. Jesus passionately prayed the night before His death that all of us would be brought to experience the same complete unity as Jesus has with His Father (John 17:21, 23). The unity of the church is of vital importance. The church cannot exist without unity and our unity is in Christ. This is especially true in our divisive, fragmented, shattered world of politics, race, Covid, vaccines, gender wars and the list goes on and will most likely change tomorrow. The world cannot agree on anything and it cannot tolerate those who think even slightly different.
Does Jesus want that divisive, fragmented culture to permeate His Church? Absolutely not! He died for us to experience the unity that is only available in the Godhead. Throughout history God has called people who are natural enemies in this world to be brothers and sisters in Christ within His body the Church. This only happens through the work of the Holy Spirit and that is why we must be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Without the Holy Spirit's unifying bond of peace we will fall back into being divisive enemies that backbite and devour each other.
So, what is this unity we are commanded to maintain? Unity is living all of life in humility and gentleness with patience, bearing with one another in love while being eager to maintain a Spirit-empowered bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3).
This unity is a radical counter-culture work in a world that crumbles in dis-unity. A unified church is one of the strongest evidences of the truth of the gospel. This is especially true in a world as fragmented and divisive as ours. Unity is the beautiful manifestation of a Spirit-empowered church. Who do you need to be eager to engage with in a work of Spirit-empowered unity?
I look forward to worshiping together in unity this Sunday, Steve