Tag Archives: Unity

President Biden on Unity

The White House

I watched part of President Biden’s inauguration speech today. He made some good points, even though I would disagree with the way he would apply some of those points. The President spoke of the importance of unity. “Uniting to fight the foes we face: anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, violence, disease, joblessness, and hopelessness. With unity, we can do great things—important things.”

I can’t help but wonder if Biden’s speechwriters were influenced by the letter to the Ephesians. Regarding anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, and violence, the Holy Spirit commanded through the pen of the apostle Paul, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Regarding joblessness, do we not all have work to do in the Lord’s church? “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

Regarding hopelessness, Paul wrote, “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—that at the time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:11-13).

The President affirmed, “With unity, we can do great things—important things.” I wholeheartedly concur! “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13).

Did Paul—inspired by the Holy Spirit—tell us to strive for something in the church that is impossible to achieve? “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3).

Are We “All on the Same Team”?

          I asked on Facebook, “What are some excuses you have heard (or used) for ignoring or disobeying the will of God?”           One of the many excellent responses came from brother Steve Davis, who replied, “We’re all on the same team.” This may be said many different ways, such as, “Go to the church of your choice,” or, “We’re all headed to heaven, just taking different roads to get there.” Is this a Biblical concept?
          If we are on the same team, shouldn’t we be using the same playbook? When the quarterback calls a play, doesn’t he expect the wide receiver to run a certain route? The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:10, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the SAME thing, and that there be NO DIVISIONS among you, but that you be perfectly joined TOGETHER in the SAME mind and in the SAME judgment.” Can this be said about all the denominational confusion in the religious world?
          Instead of the “church of your choice,” wouldn’t it be wiser to worship with the church of God’s choice (Acts 20:28), in the many that He decrees (John 4:24)? There are not “different roads to heaven,” there is only the “narrow gate…which leads to life” (Matthew 7:13-14).
          God’s will is revealed in His Word. The only way to know His will is to study His Word. James 1:25 encourages us to seek the truth and live according to it: “But he who LOOKS into the perfect law of liberty and CONTINUES in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a DOER of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
          Denominationalism leads people away from God. Only the Word points to the Lord. May we all love the Lord and His revelation (John 14:15), and study, learn, and obey the things contained therein (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

The Growth of the First Century Church

Acts 2:44-47

I. Their United Effort

    A. “Together” / “Common” / “With one accord” (Acts 2:44-47)
    B. NOT unity in diversity! Unity in the apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 1:10; John 17:20-21)
    C. Striving for peace (Acts 6:1,7; Romans 14:19; Ephesians 4:1-3)

II. Their Steadfast Nature

    A. Steadfast in doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers (Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 15:58; 16:13)
    B. Danger of not being steadfast (Galatians 1:6-9)
    C. Self-discipline (Romans 12:1)

III. Their Belief in the Message

    A. “Into all the world” (Mark 16:15; Colossians 1:23)
    B. Unafraid when opposed (Acts 4:18-20; Galatians 1:10)
    C. Despite persecutions, they believed (Acts 8:1-3; 2 Cor. 11:24-27; Acts 12:1-2; 8:4)