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Scripture Reading: Psalm 133:1-3
God’s “One-derful” Plan for Unity
1. We all regard unity of believers as a great blessing, Psa. 133:1.
2. Jesus prayed for the unity of His disciples, Jno. 17:20-23.
3. The Holy Spirit expressed an expectation of unity, 1 Cor. 1:10.
4. The Father has called us into unity of fellowship with Son, 1 Cor. 1:9.
5. Yet, unity seems elusive for many Christians, churches and families.
6. God’s plan for unity combines attitudes, doctrines and conduct, Eph. 4:1-6.
I. UNITY IS MADE AND MAINTAINED BY FOLLOWING GOD’S PLAN FOR UNITY.
-One tendency we must overcome in our quest for unity is thinking unity comes from us. We are not the source of unity; we are the ones who must implement God’s plan for unity.
· Unity does not reside in the preacher (1 Cor. 1:11-13).
· Unity does not reside in an elder or the eldership (cf. 3 Jno. 9-10).
· Unity does not reside in majority rule (cf. Jno. 16:32).
II. FOR UNITY TO BE APPROVED BY GOD, OUR CONDUCT MUST BE WORTHY OF OUR GOSPEL CALLING, Eph. 4:1.
A. Often, the Life that Pleases God does not Please Men, 4:1.
1. Unbelievers united in persecution, Jno. 16:1-2.
2. Lives that are worthy of the gospel produce unity: One spirit, one mind, one purpose, Phil. 1:27.
B. Unity in Error is not Worthy of the Gospel, Gal. 5:7; cf. 2:11-13.
-This deception runs deep, due to emotions and human relations.
C. We Cannot Expect Unity to Result from Factious Attitudes and Actions, Gal. 5:20; 1 Cor. 3:3; Jude 19.
-Our actions directly affect our unity, cf. Rom. 12:9-16. All these behaviors drive toward unity of mind and treatment (v. 16).
III. ESSENTIAL ATTITUDES OF UNITY, Eph. 4:2-3 (Phil. 2:1-5).
(“with all” – Full, entirety, whole, complete)
A. Lowliness: Humiliation of mind. Cast down, not elevated, Phil. 2:3.
B. Gentleness: Mild, gentle friendliness; secular Gk. “opp. of roughness” (TDNT, 6:646), cf. Phil. 2:4; Prov. 15:1-2. Treatment that is without arrogance, impatience or anger, cf. Gal. 5:23; 6:1.
C. Longsuffering: Long temper, forbearance, without hasty retaliation, or seeking vengeance, cf. 2 Pet. 3:9 (Col. 3:12).
D. Forbearance (bearing with): By Means of Love (en, instrumentality), stimulates forgiveness, Col. 3:13. “Holding up under a load of vexations piled upon us” (Lenski, 508).
E. Eager Diligence to Guard (Maintain) the Spirit’s Unity by Means of the Uniting Principle of Peace, 4:3. Col. 3:15
1. Part 2: God’s platform of unity (Eph. 4:4-6).
2. Invitation: You must be united with Christ to be saved, Rom. 6:1-6.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: December 5, 2017