Tuesday, September 17, 2013

That We All May Be One



With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  
One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, 
who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  
Ephesians 4:2-6

It is simply amazing that the world, in all of its sin and degradation, can unite to produce standards of ungodliness while the body of Christ can't unite in unity to restore or bring light to a sin-darkened world! Unity within the body of Christ is essential. This is a scriptural truth.

And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:  Matthew 12:24


Before Jesus departed earth in His human form, He prayed for those that would continue His mission.  Within that prayer, He prayed for unity: 

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:  John 17:20-22

It is a sad commentary to witness the body of Christ in disunity; arguing over mundane things in comparison to doing the things that Christ has called us to do.  In the Kingdom of God, there is not to be a big 'I', little 'you' mentality, no cultural clash, no racism, no social status barrier, no gender clashes, no 'haves and have not' barriers.  We are all united for a common cause.  Even our spiritual giftings are not to separate us.  Apostle Paul said:


That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.  1 Corinthians 12:25;26


Jesus called for peace; the absence of conflict, among the disciples:

Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.   John 20:21


Jesus established these basic Kingdom principle when He told His disciples:  


But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant; Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:25-28)

But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. (Luke 22:26)

But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister,And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. (Mark 10:43-44)

Jesus was dealing with a specific matter of leadership here, He also established a general principle of the Kingdom: "It shall not be so among you."   


Although worldly standards and earthly kingdoms accept certain principles, the principles of God's Kingdom are different . . .   
"It shall not be so among you."

The Kingdom of God is Unity.  There are many earthly kingdoms, all divided from one another. There are also divisions within earthly kingdoms which result in coups and revolutions. God's Kingdom is a united Kingdom. It is described as one spiritual body with many parts. 

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. (I Corinthians 12:12-14)

The residents of God's Kingdom are united together in God.  Jesus said, 

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also many be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:21-23)

God's Kingdom has no relationships with the kingdom of Satan:   

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  1 John 2:15

One of the main purposes of unity in the Kingdom of God is the unlimited power it produces.  Jesus promised: 

Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:19-20)

The Kingdom of God is to penetrate the world in two ways: As light and as salt.  The word of God tells us this:   

Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16)

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.  The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.  Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light. (Luke 11:33-36)

Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?  It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Luke 14:34-35)

And He said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? And not to be set on a candlestick? (Mark 4:21)

Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltiness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another. (Mark 9:50)

In the natural world, salt works silently. It is used to preserve food, heal wounds, and add flavor. A little salt affects a great amount of food.

In the spiritual world, Kingdom residents are to penetrate the world as salt. We are to preserve the values and quality of the Kingdom, be a healing balm to others, and be as the flavor of life. We are to spread the Kingdom steadily. As salt, we can affect a great mass of humanity when we are united with God's purpose.

By this same token, consider what Jesus says about the salt that has lost its savour:

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

In another passage, Jesus compared the penetration of the Kingdom to leaven.  Matthew 5:15

Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
 (Matthew 13:33). 

Like salt, a little leaven works silently to penetrate a great lump of bread.  In the natural world, light exposes darkness. It shows the way out of darkness. Light in darkness cannot escape notice. The Kingdom resident is to be a spiritual light in the world. We are to expose and show the way out of darkness. 



We are not to allow anything in our life (bushel) 
to blow out the light of the Kingdom.  

This is a common goal we have as believers in God.  We cannot be like the world and only come together for those things that, though they may be held in the church, are not designed to advance the kingdom of God.

Believers are to live the life of the Kingdom in a visible way, steadily penetrating the kingdoms of the world with the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.   We do this as a united front!  After all, it was Jesus who said:


By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.  John 13:35

After all, we are representatives and ambassadors of God!

(Biblical Studies)

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