Summary: One accord does not mean the early church was traveling in a Honda. They were moving together as one because they were moved by the same Spirit. Unity in the body of Christ is serious business. Because unity in the church springs from the heart of God
Intro: One accord does not mean the early church was traveling in a Honda. They were moving together as one because they were moved by the same Spirit.
Acts 2:44 “Now all the believers were together and held all things in common.”
Remember 1 Corinthians 1:10 “I have a serious concern to bring up with you, my friends, using the authority of Jesus, our Master. I’ll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common.”
Unity in the body of Christ is serious business. It is more important than the design, decoration or use of a building. It’s more important than VBS, youth, hymns verses praise choruses, our pet project or hurt feelings. Why? Because unity in the church springs from the heart of God as the Holy Spirit is allowed to control each of us as living stones. As living stones if we humble ourselves and allow the Spirit to work in our life he will properly place us within the body of believers called the church and we will be together in following, obeying, and portraying Jesus Christ!
What does it take to be unified? It requires belief in the finished work of Jesus that leads to a new birth of each individual. The new birth is a surrendering of our entire life to the lordship of Jesus Christ and the Person of the Holy Spirit comes and lives in us.
1) Common faith
a) In a person – It is how you experience the person of Jesus Christ first in introduction then in daily interaction. This is the beginning of our reunion with God. Jesus invites us to walk with Him and be reconnected with God. However it is not merely connection but a faith and trust that should transform every area of our life. The people we see in the Bible were moved to write the sacred texts we call scripture, the apostles were moved to surrender and sacrifice their lives for Jesus! We each experience the same Jesus through our individual lives but in a greater way through unity with the other parts of the Body of believers.
b) In principles (the principles reveal the person)
Although Paul is calling for unity, it is important to note that he is not speaking of unity at any price in which the fundamental truths of the gospel are jettisoned. If we are to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace we need to know and hold to the truths that unite us as a body. (List essential truths, incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, sinless life, etc)
c) In practical lifestyle
If we pay attention to the teachings of the Bible applying the person and principles of the
Bible to our daily life it will direct us toward living in a loving community of believers. Jesus said it is more blessed to give than receive. We find this to be very true in this body of believers. We can be blessed with community if we are willing to give up our ideas for Gods. We have to give up our grip on our rights, our property, our reputation, etc. If we are in control of these things then God is not and we are not living in the community God designed for us to be blessed by.
John told us how we can know if we are part of God’s family and God’s community.
By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. (1John 3:10) (True faith requires action. Practice and love are verbs!!!! Action words)
We must be careful to guard against the lie that we can follow Jesus alone. There is a movement today to reject the authenticity and authority of Scripture. This results in an absence from community worship and accountability. What we are saying is the same thing that Adam and Eve did in the Garden. When they said yes to what God wanted them to say no to they were saying in effect hands off God. What we see today in our families, in churches, (tell about class mate that fell into sin), communities, our country is a result of saying Hey God, hands off. We must guard our hearts against a spirituality that perverts all Jesus revealed by simply becoming a quest for comfort, pleasure, and self-stimulation rather than personal relationship with Jesus that calls for surrender, obedience, and daily cleansing.
Vance Havener spoke of His becoming part of God’s family and body,
"I came to Christ as a country boy. I did not understand all about the plan of salvation. One does not have to understand it; one has only to stand on it.... One thing I did understand even as a lad: I understood that I was under new management. I belonged to Christ and He was Lord."