Summary: The covenant people are commanded to depend on the Covenant Lord in order to grow together in unity of mind according to the Word, so that God may be glorified.

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INTRODUCTION: Once I visited a new age bookstore. The owner said Christianity, Islam, Buddism, Sikhism, Agnosticism are all the same in substance because truth is relative--“what is true for you.” I could not get her to test her theory by standing in the road and chanting, "the truck is going hit me AND the truck is NOT going to hit me" - sincce they’re both the same and all truth is relative.

In looking at Romans 15:5 and its call of the the people of God toward unity of faith, we see three clear sections.

1. The God of unity grants strength and motivation

2. The Body is the context of practicing the unity we profess

3. The Unity of the Body is Regulated According to the Word of God

1. The God of unity grants strength and motivation

V. 5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you

God is The “Covenant Lord” (from my sermon on Psalm 33 - YHWH)

Paul calls God the “God of patience." The Bible says of God, descriptively that he is

Acts 7:2 The God of glory

Romans 15:13 the God of hope

Romans 15:33 the God of peace

2 Corinthians 1:3 the God of all comfort

2 Corinthians 13:11 the God of love and peace

1 Peter 5:10 the God of all grace

Genesis 4:3 the LORD of the fruit of the ground

Joshua 3:11 the Lord of all the earth

1 Samuel 1:3 the LORD of hosts (Yawyeh Sabaoth)

For unity we must trust in God’s ability to give perseverance. God is the source and author of perseverance. Ecclesiastes 7:8 says, "The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit." Just like our own children. We must learn patience. It is a fruit of the Spirit. It is part of the apparel of the Elect, the clothes of the elect are: (Col. 3:12) "And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you."

For unity we must trust in God’s ability to give encouragement. God is the source and author of comfort. In that beautiful pastoral Psalm, 23:4, we are told:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. 5 Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; Thou hast anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

We receive encouragement in many ways: From the Word - Rom. 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Psalm 119:50 - This is my comfort in my affliction, That Thy word has revived me. 52 I have remembered Thine ordinances from of old, O LORD, And comfort myself. 76 O may Thy lovingkindness comfort me, According to Thy word to Thy servant.

As we are given strength and motivation to pursue unity in the body, we have a context to practice like-mindedness.

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