THE BASIS FOR UNITY (Part 2 of 5)

We began a series last week on Unity.


Here is the basic outline:
I. The Blessings of Unity.
II. The Basis for Unity.
III. The Benefactors of Unity. (Things that promote unity)
IV. The Breakers of Unity.
V. The Binding of Unity. (Like the binding of a book)


Our focus this week is on II. The Basis for Unity.


Unity should not be based on circumstances. There can be union without unity. 
Two cats tied together by their tails and thrown over a fence would have union but not unity.


So what is the basis for unity?


A. God 
In John 17:21 Jesus prayed about the church being in unity with God and with one another.


A.W. Tozer employed the analogy of piano tuning to describe how it works. He said, "If a hundred pianos were merely tuned to each other, their pitch would not be very accurate. But if they were all tuned to one tuning fork, they would automatically be tuned to each other." Similarly, unity in the church isn't trying to be the same as everyone else. It is not uniformity! We are individuals with different personalities, strength, weaknesses, preferences, gifts etc. In short, we are like a group of many different pianos. Without abandoning our "unity on the essentials of our faith" we can retain our individuality and still be joined together in a way that will please and glorify God by becoming like Jesus Christ. We must all be, "tuned to His likeness." When all is said and done it is not "my way" or "your way" that matters, it is "His way." Jesus having "His way" in all of our hearts is the key to church unity and unity in our homes.


B. Salvation
Acts 2:41 says, "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.


Before they experienced the unity of verse 26, they had to be saved and add to the church.


C. Doctrine
Act 2:42a  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine 


Trying to have unity without common doctrine is like trying to mix oil and water. A chorus of ecumenical voices keep harping the unity tune. What they are saying is , "Christians of all doctrinal shades and beliefs must come together in one visible organization, regardless... Unite, unite!"
I agree with Charles Haddon Spurgeon who said "such teaching is false, reckless and dangerous. Truth alone must determine our alignments. Truth comes before unity. Unity without truth is hazardous. Our Lord's prayer in John 17 must be read in its full context. Look at John 17:17: 'Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.' Only those sanctified through the Word can be one in Christ. To teach otherwise is to betray the Gospel."


D. Prayer
Act 2:42b and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.


The early church prayed together on a regular basis.


We know the early church had unity because Acts 2:46 says, "they, continuing daily with one accord,..........and singleness of heart,"


Please visit next week for part 3,

Blessings,

Lisa


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