Christian unity is something we know God wants and yet seems elusive if not impossible. How do we find unity among so much diversity? How far from the scriptures can someone go before they are no longer part of the family? What do we do with differences of interpretation by people who all love Jesus?
First we have to understand that unity is something God creates. He puts us in a unified family, the church, the body of Christ – one body, many parts. This is grace. None of us deserve to be in.
We must understand that God wants unity and God has created a unified church for himself. We must recognize who is in that body as best we can. We must seek unity, unity that is created by God and maintained by God’s people with the help of the Holy Spirit. If we don’t know where our unity comes from we will never be united!
Sometimes our theology and the way we read the Bible make unity more difficult than it has to be. It is important for us to realize the Bible itself doesn’t make every issue a line of fellowship – that you have to adhere to be in. The Bible has some things do that but not everything. We need to know the difference. There won’t be one person who is granted permission to decide what is core based on how they read the bible. We all must determine this for ourselves what we believe the essentials are…that list (based on what the Bible itself says is central) is actually quite short. The results of our study to find unity won’t be perfect. Perfect unity won’t be achieved this side of the second coming. But I believe the principles outlined in this particular video (and the one before it) can move us a few steps closer. Once we realize that it is biblical to keep first things first and not make everything a line of fellowship, then people can understand their unity without feeling like they are compromising what they believe the Bible teaches. The big, big question is which issues make the list of “first importance” as we each read and study. Our lists will differ some but hopefully we can find some commonality and not feel like we are compromising our beliefs (per Romans 14).
We need to be in prayer about this – constant prayer. Prayer for wisdom. Prayer for maturity. Prayer for discernment. Prayer for unity!
We need to be fasting about this – that God would help us find inroads to unity without us compromising our core beliefs! Join me in this!