Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
Unity of the Bride
by Erik Momsen
The motto on the old South African national coat of arms was "Unity is strength". We speak about a united front against an enemy and having undivided loyalties.
"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
One of the surest ways to win a battle is to "divide and conquer". Driving a wedge between two groups more than halves their strength.
The church and our families are no different. When we are intent on fighting each other, the enemy can come in and plunder instead of us having him on the defensive. Churches, communities and families will stand or fall on this.
A BIBLICAL MANDATE TO UNITY
"Father protect them by the power of your Name - so that they may be one as we are one" ... My prayer is ... that you protect them from the evil one. ... May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them." (John 17:11,15,23)
The "High Priestly Prayer" of Jesus is a pivotal point in John's gospel where Jesus prays for the greatest need of the church. John knows that love issuing in unity is the power base of the church. The church will be mighty if it can stay united. Note that the evil one is identified as the agent of disunity.
UNITY COMES FROM THE LORD
Unity is not a product of human effort. It is the power of God released.
"The hand of God was on the people to give unity of mind to carry out what the king and his officials had ordered, following the word of the Lord." (2 Chronicles 30:12)
"May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity ... so with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 15:5)
We can foster unity by teaching about it, praying for it, acting in ways that encourage unity but in the end it is God who gives it and He protects it. We by our attitudes and action can however work actively against it.
RESULTS OF UNITY
"How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity ... For there the Lord bestows blessing even life evermore." (Psalm 133:1,3)
Unity is compared to Aaron's anointing which was a total consecration to holy service. It is also compared to the dew on Mt. Hermon which gives life in a dry place. Unity brings blessing and even "life evermore". Salvation of souls depends on unity in the church. It is thus grave sin when disunity creeps in.
"The believers were together and had everything in common. ... And the Lord added to their numbers daily those who were being saved." (Acts 2:44,47)
"All the believers where one in heart and mind ... they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify. There was no needy person among them." (Acts 4:32)
The result of unity in the early church was:
- numerical growth
- great generosity
- power of the Spirit
- lack of need
WHY ARE WE NOT UNITED?
Disunity is a product of sin. Sin divides us from God and from people. When sin rules, people make choices for themselves and against God and others.
"This is good for me or I can't or will not take anymore of that kind of treatment." Imagine Jesus making that sort of statement from the cross. The world would have gone to hell by now with that kind of attitude.
"If we have been united with Him like this in his death we will certainly also be united with Him in his resurrection." (Romans 6:5)
We are united with Christ if there if evidence of self sacrifice. Salvation will be the result.
HOW DO WE BECOME UNITED?
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:2)
"Being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yourself." (Philippians 2:2)
Remember it is "the unity of the Spirit" - He gives it.
Humility is absolute in the Kingdom - submission to one another is a great source of love and power.
Impatience causes all kinds of hurts and disregard of other.
Like-mindedness comes when our minds are transformed by the Word.
The truth of the Word is balanced with Love and one purpose is the result.
Our inherent selfishness and self-opinionatedness must be recognised.
ALL THESES ISSUES ARE ALSO COMPLETELY TRUE FOR MARRIAGE.
Date Added: 2008-09-17
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