Summary: Jesus meant for for His church to be unified and we also know the enemy loves to bring division. Since we are to be unified under a blood covenant with Christ, what should our covenant clothing be? Our filthy rags exchanged for His righteousness..
(Uncommon Unity) Is a term we have used in our church for a few years.
I am asked fairly often, “What is your vision for the Church?” and my answer is usually, “A church that is healthy and unified.” “The real thing!”
Now I realize that that may not be earth shattering, at the same time it’s not all that common either!
• If something is healthy it grows
• If it is united, much can be accomplished
If I were to pick a passage that I want this church to be known for, today’s text would be among the top runners for that first place slot.
Look at the world today and I think we would all agree that the church as a whole has not fulfilled its mission.
The biggest culprit of all is disunity! There is one Jesus but more divisions of His body than we can count. Imagine what the church or a church that is truly unified could accomplish
(Tower of Babel) So what could a unified, blood bought, sold out church, full of the Holy Spirit accomplish?
Genesis 11:6 (NLT)
“Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them!
(Unify)- We can actually win our community/ world
No wonder Satan works so hard to bring division! What if we could have perfect unity? Is that even possible?
There is one passage however that gives instruction for not only unity, but perfect unity.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
These things in perfected in a church will bring about unity!
Unity is more that Conformity. It is putting the highest priority on the common goal, overlooking and forgiving each other of our differences and failures while seeing every circumstance through the eyes of love.
Unify! Under Covenant, Forgiveness over Blame, Clothed in Love
as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved
We were chosen by the father, bought and washed clean through the blood of Jesus and are supposed to be in covenant relationship with Him.
• It says holy, not wholly
• Wholly- would mean completely loved
• Holy- means to be set apart for a noble purpose
Covenants are hard for us to understand the way our society is structured.
• They were seen as a forever binding blood contract that heaven itself watched over, with sure judgment if someone dared to break it!
o We would call that superstitious today
o They called that a fact as it was made before God
o These were not letter of the law contracts but heart of the matter covenants
o A contract is drawn up on paper
o A covenant goes beyond this world into the next!
• Today lawyers make millions both writing out long worded contracts and trying to find loopholes to exploit.
Let’s take a few moments and examine one such covenant in action…
David and Jonathan:
1 Samuel 18:3-4(NIV)
And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
(Describe Covenant rituals of the day)
Not only were they now bound by a covenant- there are several other interesting points
• Jonathan was the firstborn of the King and was the rightful heir
• He gives David every symbol he had with him of his position and took the cloak of a shepherd boy!
• Yet in this act he seems to be willing to put that aside to both fulfill the covenant and for the betterment of the Kingdom!
• We have no record of Jonathan ever having a problem with God’s plan
You might say there was “uncommon unity” between David, Jonathan and God’s plan
• Not that Satan didn’t try to bring division
o Jonathan’s father tries to kill David out of jealousy
o It would have been easy for this Prince to turn
o Jonathan has to choose between the covenant he made and his own father
• Yet their unity was unshakable
• Because of this God’s man eventually sat on the Throne and the kingdom advanced to a level of glory it had never known
When we are saved we enter into a covenant relationship
• His will and the advancement of the Kingdom are top priority
• That means we may have to give up some things/positions that we think are rightfully ours