Summary: There is power in unity. The early church demonstrated this, as they remained in one accord.
There is Power in Unity!
By Rev. Ruben Rivis
Key verse: Acts 1:14
I¡¦ve always been fascinated by the early church as described in the book of Acts of the Apostles. The early church was a strong and powerful unit of simple, ordinary and like¡Xminded people who loved God with all their heart. This is evident through the testimony that the early believers left an example for us to follow.
If we take a closer look in the book of Acts, we¡¦ll see that the early church believers were doing some amazing things:
„X They were anointed and full of the Holy Spirit
„X They were preaching the Word of God with boldness
„X Miracles, Signs and Wonders followed the preaching of the Word
„X Thousands were being saved and added to the church
„X People gave themselves, their possessions to the cause of Christ
They were so united and they were so filled with the Holy Spirit that they turned their known world up¡Vside¡Vdown for Jesus Christ.
As we read through the book of Acts we cannot but be challenged to ask ourselves: why are we not seeing the same power of God operating in our church today?
The Bible declares that Jesus never changes, He cannot change: ¡§Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.¡¨ (Hebrews 13:8) God never changes. If God doesn¡¦t change and if God is the same:
„X Why are we not seeing the power of God at work in the church?
„X Why are we not seeing people being saved?
„X Why are we not seeing miracles, signs and wonders?
God is not dead! He does not change! He is the same! We seem to know so much more, these days:
„X We have more information than ever before
„X We have greater teaching than ever before
„X We have more people than ever before
But somehow in our churches today are missing some of the basic elements that existed in the early church. Such as love, fellowship, unity demonstration of God¡¦s power, just to mention a few.
I believe there are many aspects of the early church that contributed to its success but today I want to highlight on one aspect and that is: ¡§UNITY¡¨.
In the book of Acts there is one phrase, which appears again and again, and that is the term ¡§one accord¡¨. The early church was in one accord, was united and had things in common.
The phrase ¡§one accord¡¨ is actually repeated 11 times in the book of Acts and only one other time in the New Testament.
The early church was in one accord and I believe that unity was one of the reasons why the blessing and the power of God, was upon it. The believers had one mind, one purpose, one heart and this contributed to their spiritual success.
If we want to see the power of God manifested in our churches today, we need to be a church that is of one accord, a church bases upon the unity that the Spirit of God brings.
In Psalm 133 the Bible says: ¡§1 How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! 2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. 3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.¡¨ (Psalm 133:1¡X3)
The Bible says that the Lord commands His blessing on the church and that God¡¦s blessings come upon the people of God that are united.
I believe that the greatest challenge for the church of Jesus Christ today is: that of brothers and sisters that come from different walks of life, dwelling together in unity. People who coming from all walks of life, transformed by God, living in unity, wow, now that¡¦s powerful. That¡¦s the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The early church, was a united church, was a church in one accord and today I want to highlight three areas of the kind of unity that was in the early church, and I believe is greatly needed today in our churches:
1). United in Prayer
There is a story in the Old Testament about a great army that came against King Jehoshaphat (you could read the entire story).
2 Chronicles 20:2¡X4 ¡§2 Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, "A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Sea. It is already in Hazazon Tamar" (that is, En Gedi). 3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.¡¨