Illustration results for christian unity
Garth Wehrfritz- Hanson
Paul and the Philippians remembered and supported one another in prayer. A joyful, loving, and caring church is one which keeps each other in prayer. Oftentimes, we fail to be a joyful, loving, caring Christian community because we fail to remember and support each other in prayer. There are many missed opportunities because we are not listening to God with an open mind and heart in prayer. Christian community without prayer is not possible. It’s like trying to cook a good meal without the necessary equipment; or fix a car without the necessary tools and repairs—it is not possible. Prayer not only gives us the necessary resources to be the community God wants us to be and accomplish the tasks God wants us to do; prayer also changes our impossible situations into possible ones. More importantly, however, prayer changes us. Prayer works on our negative, doubting, critical, apathetic sinful attitudes and behaviours. It transforms such harmful attitudes and behaviours into a joyful, loving, caring Christian community. So as Paul would say, never underestimate the power of your prayers—God works miracles through them. Also, pray without ceasing, as Paul instructs us to do.
Josh McDowell writes, in his book, Answers To Tough Questions Skeptics Ask About The Christian Faith;
Lest anyone think this isn’t something marvelous, we’d like to give you this challenge. Find ten people from your local area having similar backgrounds, who speak the same language, and are all from basically the same culture. Then separate them an ask them to write their opinion on only one controversial subject, such as they meaning of life.
When, they have finished, compare the conclusions of these ten writers. Do they agree with each other? Of course not. But the Bible did not consist of merely ten authors, but 40. It was not written in one generation, but over a period of 1,500 years; not by authors with the same education, culture or language, but with vastly different educations, many different cultures, from 3 continents and 3 different languages, and finally not just one subject but hundreds.
And yet the bible there is unity. There is complete harmony, which can not be explained by coincidence or collusion. The unity of the bible is a strong argument in favor of it’s divine inspiration.
Sermon Central Staff
DEALING WITH DIVISIVE PEOPLE
Ray Stedman said, "Some people for the sake of their point of view would destroy the unity of your church. How do you deal with them? Avoid them. We must keep our eye on them and turn away from them. In other words, we don’t listen to them. We’re never obligated to hear a person out when what they’re saying is not consistent with Christian speech. If they are tearing down the church, tearing down the pastor, tearing down the leaders or Sunday School teachers or any believer, we should not listen. Because even out of a misguided sense of courtesy, our listening to them would make it seem that we agree, while what we’re doing is giving them another chance to vent their verbal poison."
(From a sermon by Bob Joyce, Paul’s Missionary Heart, 8/3/2011)
The year was 1630. The place was the Massachusetts Bay along the Atlantic coast near the place known as Plymouth Rock. On board the ship the Arabella John Winthrop, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Company challenged the Puritan settlers to establish a new kind of Christian community.
Winthrop said: We must be knit together in this work as one man, we must entertain each other in brotherly affection. . ., we must delight in each other, make others’ condition our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together. . ., our community as members of the same body, so shal...
The foundation of all theology is the unity of God.
To be one, to be united is a great thing. But to respect the right to be different is maybe even greater.
Bono, Lead Singer of U2
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE CHURCH
Calvin, who saw that the Devil’s chief device was disunity and division and who preached that there should be friendly fellowship for all ministers of Christ, made a similar point in a letter to a trusted colleague:
"Among Christians there ought to be so great a dislike of schism, as that they may always avoid it so fast as lies in their power. That there ought to prevail among them such a reverence for the ministry of the word and the sacraments that wherever they perceive these things to be, there they must consider the church to exist...nor need it be of any hindrance that some points of doctrine are not quite so pure, seeing that there is scarcely any church which has not retained some remnants of former ignorance."
SOURCE: Charles W. Colson, The Body, 1992, Word Publishing, p. 107-108.
Four things that Doug Murren says in his book Churches That Heal that hinders the church from becoming a church that heals:
i.A Lack of Compassion
He notes, “Two million people die every year. Only about 200,000 of those die knowing Jesus as their Savior. Loneliness is one of the major contributors to the high number of heart attacks. Each year 800,000 babies are born out of wedlock (Churches That Heal pg. 104).
ii.The “Us verse Them” mentality
This mindset builds walls and barriers toward unbelievers. We are to be the light and the salt to this lost world around us. We are to tell people about Jesus Christ and show them the way to eternal life. Not hide from them (105-108)!
iii.A lack of transparency (108, 109)
We must live lives that show that we are “Saved by Grace” and that we are not perfect. We must be genuine and authentic with others.
iv.A consumer mentality
This view has devastated the church today. Christian view church as a place to have their needs met. They have no desire or will to sacrifice and serve others. It is self-centered Christianity which focuses only on what do I get out of this church. The reason there is tremendous turnover in the church is because peop...
Bill Hybels, the pastor of Willow Creek Community Church just outside of Chicago makes this statement. “If you create a loving community, first time seekers will sniff it and say “I want in.”
Booker T. Washington said, “You cannot hold a man down without staying down with him.”