Unity

The only real source of unity is the Bible. Biblical unity. If we are trying to develop a source of unity within culture from any source other than scripture, we will be led to identify around a thought or group that agrees with a worldview that may sound appealing, but will fail to achieve true unity. As Christians, and therefore apprentices of Jesus Christ, unity must be found in the source, the word of God.

Truth and love are faith based. Romans 10:17 (ESV): "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." Listening to others’ world views to develop understanding is FINE; as Christians, we must know that unity requires a scripture-based worldview. How do you develop a scripture-based worldview? By filling your mind and heart with the word of God (truth); growing in knowledge; seeking the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in prayer; growing in Christlikeness (love); and maturing in your walk with Jesus (according to Ephesian 4:9-16). Deep scripture reading, filing your mind and heart with God’s word, and seeking the Holy Spirit’s move in your life is what will cause you, as an individual Christian, to have your perspective transformed, reflecting faith and love from the source, Jesus Christ, thereby causing you to act on mission.

We must gather together to find unity as we listen and discuss God’s word and how it directly and indirectly affects us in this “cultural moment.” This time in culture is a test. Are you wiling to seek unity by laying down any personal agenda, perspective, thought or action that does not align with the word of God and the direction of the Holy Spirit?

Dallas Willard writes in Renovation of the Heart:
"Real spiritual need and change..…is on the inside, in the hidden area of the life that God sees and that we cannot even see in ourselves without his help. Indeed, in the early stages of spiritual development we could not endure seeing our inner life as it really is. The possibility of denial and self-deception is something God has made accessible to us, in part to protect us until we begin to seek him. Like the face of the mythical Medusa, our true condition away from God would turn us to stone if we ever fully confronted it….Without the gentle though rigorous process of inner transformation, initiated and sustained by the graceful presence of God in our world and in our soul, the change of personality and life clearly announced and spelled out in the Bible, and explained throughout Christian history, is impossible….The result of the effort to change our behavior without inner transformation is precisely what we see in the current shallowness of Western Christianity that is so widely lamented."

Thirty seven years ago this week we gave our hearts to Jesus, declaring that he is our personal Lord and savior. It has been an amazing journey. At the very beginning of our walk with Christ, there was a deep move of the Holy Spirit within. The condition of our lives was so destructive at that time, with deep scars and vengeful, murderous desires of the heart due to past hurt. God dealt mightily with us. He forgave us and thus we had to forgive others, in order to have life, and life more abundant (John 10:10). In time, and in persistence as apprentices of Jesus, He opened the door for both of us to find reconciliation and healing with every person had we had hurt or had hurt us. God had a plan for our lives, and it began at the source, in the word of God. Truth, love, and mission followed along the way.

Part of the joy of mission is that as we serve others, God allows unity to happen. This does not happen because of an agenda, but due to action that is birthed from a heart of love and compassion for the lost.

Jeremiah 12:5 (ESV): "If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses?" We are in a race. We must apply the word of God to every facet of life and culture, working together and encouraging one another to run in the word with truth and love.

by Bill and Elaine Lang
Bill and Elaine have served the Lord together since 1983 and have been members of Kingsway Church since 2007. They have served in worship, life group, and mission team leadership. They have two married sons and an adult daughter, along with five grandchildren, and will celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2020.