Summary: The church is growing and God is adding people however to truly be effective we must have unity. Growth without unity is a disease that has infected the body. Cancer is a growth in the body, but it is against the body and not working in unity, we cannot
“Unity in the Church”
Pastor M.L. Maughmer, Jr.
Ephesians 4:1-6 “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. [There is] one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all”.
OPENING:- The other week I pulled out our New Member Booklet and began to discuss with the Church some of the aspect of the booklet. I went over Our Vision, Mission, Prayer, Focus Statement, and Pledge and I was talking about Love is what causes us to be effective in work, word, and deed, Colossians 3:17 says “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him”.
I began to talk about how amongst our small congregation that God was going to bless and in this blessing multiplication was going to take place and regardless of the multiplication that happens we must and will remain the church that Loves everybody. One of the main key factors in being a church that loves everybody is that there must be unity. Surely, everyone will agree that unity in the Church is of the utmost importance.
Although we agree that unity is of the utmost importance we must understand that the Church is not called to a superficial kind of unity (only in church on Sunday and Wednesday), it is not called to a handholding kind of unity (Oh isn’t that cute they are getting along), but it is called to a unity that mirrors the unity of the Father and the Son. This is what Jesus prayed for in John. 17:20-23, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word (this is the church the body of Christ); That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me”. This is unity and is what we as the church must strive for; however, this type of unity comes only through humbleness.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMBLE?
The dictionary says it is having or showing a sense of lowliness or inferiority. It is not a proud or haughty attitude, it is not being arrogant, but a spirit of deference and submission. It is not slavery or weakness, but it is the free will of a person to bring under subjection himself or herself in order, that, that which needs to be accomplished, is accomplished.
Humbleness is a modest estimation of one’s self Romans 12:3 says “For I say through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” John the Baptist said I must decrease that He may increase.
Humbleness is a self-abased attitude, the Bible says in Mark 8:34 “…Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” The cross was a symbol of shame, disgrace and humiliation. The one carrying the cross had been judged by the magistrates and found guilty of a crime, they were sentenced to be crucified on a cross, this the Bible says is a curse, “curseth is he that hangeth on a tree”. So the cross represented shame, disgrace, humiliation, and a curse. For a person to willfully take up the cross was saying that they didn’t care of the shame, disgrace, humiliation, or so-called curse as long as they could do what needed to be done in-order to be like Christ. Humbleness is not searching for popularity and glamour, but is bringing yourself, your attitude, your pride, and your feelings under subjection and accomplishing that which needs to be accomplished. It is not looking for popularity in the eyes of society, but in the sight of God and that God may be Glorified.
Simply stated humbleness means being of a low estate. It is seeing others as higher than ourselves. The Greek word “tapeinoo” means to level a mountain or hill. A humble person is one that has no hills or mountains sticking up, they are not filled with arrogance and self-pride. They do not jockey for position or brag about their achievements, they are not worried about the fanfare and recognition. If we look at the mission of John the Baptist we understand that his purpose was to preach repentance, which is the humbling of a person before God in order that they may receive salvation. The Bible says in Luke 3:5 “Every valley shall be filled up and every mountain and hill made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth.” John’s purpose was to make ready the hearts of people, to cause them to become humble and receive salvation. He understood his purpose; therefore, brought himself under subjection, he didn’t become arrogant and prideful, but understood that he had to decrease in-order that Jesus would increase. John the Baptist was poor in spirit, HUMBLED.