Find the spirit of unity for our nation
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3)
We walk in peace to keep us bound together united in Christ. Jesus broke down all the barriers between man, who are we to rebuild them? Race, gender, nationality, financial circumstance, it is all done away with.
A dangerous thing that can happen to a church is that it becomes homogenous. Everyone looks the same, sounds the same, has the exact same political views, the exact same social views, the same financial circumstance, everyone is around the same age and everyone is the same demographic.
It then may appear to be an exclusive organization where someone from the outside might not feel welcome or comfortable if they are not exactly alike everyone else. A church in this situation can easily become a self-serving and self-centered endeavor. It might not give the appearance of a church but look more like a club to the outside world. Some churches who head down this road that have the right type of leader may end up as a cult, which unfortunately does happen.
The point is that the people in the church should not rebuild the walls that Jesus made such a great sacrifice to tear down. Every person is precious to God and we all come to Christ on the same level. We are no better or worse than anyone else, we all need God’s forgiveness. If we consider that Christ called Simon the Zealot who stood against everything the Roman government was along with calling Levi the tax collector who took money from the Israelites to give to the Roman government we then can realize that all of our differences are irrelevant when we are called to serve Christ and His church.
When we come to Christ we all become servants of Christ, all of our own ideas, thoughts and opinions are set aside. We have a great spiritual bond of peace brought by the Spirit of God to all believers. All divisiveness, differences, and prejudices are done away with.
We cannot allow our old self, our old life to enter the picture. We cannot bring pride, arrogance, prejudice, grumblings, judgment and criticism back into the mix. Divisiveness and a disturbance of the peace and spirit of unity is catastrophic for the church. Divisiveness tears apart a church. God calls us to peace and unity inside His church.
Be Perfect, of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. (2 Corinthians 13:11)
When you trust Christ as your Lord and Savior, God gives you a new birth, spiritually. God makes a new creature, places His divine nature into the believer, and puts His Holy Spirit into the believer. The true believer will bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, and meekness. God will place the believer into the new body of people He is creating.
For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body-whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free- and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. (I Corinthians 12:13)
A modern version; For we are all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body-whether Republican or Democrat, whether gainfully employed or living on government assistance, whether you support the second amendment or believe in gun control laws, whether you drive a Chevy or a Ford, whether you are a Cleveland Brown or Pittsburgh Steeler fan; we were all given the one spirit to drink.
When the barriers are broken down, we are all one body, given the one Spirit to drink. If you bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit and are in the new body then unity will happen. If you are not in unity with another believer it is because you are most likely walking after the flesh and are in a backslidden position.
Walking in a backslidden position will produce things that are contrary to love, joy and peace. It will produce things that hurt the body of believers: An ill spirit, struggling for position, self-centered differences, reactions, feeling superior, seeking our own way, forming cliques, selfishness, envy, and anger. These things will destroy unity in Christ’s church.
This is why we are called to walk with humility, meekness, longsuffering and forbearing others in love. We are called to strive to keep peace and unity in the church. We may not agree perfectly on worldly matters, but if we agree on who Christ is and what His life, death and resurrection means to each and everyone’s eternal life, then we can walk together just as we are called. If we are focused on our duties and service for Christ and His kingdom exclusively then we can walk together just as we are called.
We are in a time where our country is greatly divided and I pray that we stop turning to our politicians, ideologies and the opinions of man for the answer to our problems. I pray that we as a country turn back to God and realize that He gave the solution to all of our problems in His Holy Word and through His Son’s life, death and resurrection. I pray that we ask Christ to come into our hearts and we put our faith and trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Most importantly, our faith and trust stay in Christ alone. My prayer is for peace and unity in our country. My prayer is for peace and unity in Christ’s church. My prayer is for the understanding that peace and unity will only be found, and this country will only be great again, if we stand together united in Christ. In Jesus’s powerful name I pray.
(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)