Dear Visionary Leader:
I want to begin by sharing a story with you. A man was shipwrecked on a deserted island. He had to learn to take care himself and to feed himself. Many years later, someone came to rescue him.
He had taken care of things pretty well. He had a nice house that he had built. Next, to the house he had constructed a church and even had put steeple on top of it. Then, next to church was another fine, magnificent building. Those who came to rescue him said, “What is that big place there?”
He said, “Well, that’s my house. That’s where I live.” “What is that next door? It looks like a church.”He said, “It is a church. I built myself a church.” They said, “Well, what is that other building for then?”
“Oh,” he said, “that’s another church.” He said, “I had an argument in the old one and moved to another church.”
Usually, so many of our problems are on the inside of us.
I write to share the urgent harmony in the church. In this sub-series of Harmony In The Church, it is a strategic important part of Living Life From An Heavenly Edge.
In Ephesians 4:3, Paul says, “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Is that not beautiful, the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace?
Our Lord desires that we have the unity of the Spirit, that we have the bond of peace. Psalm 133: 1 says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” The Bible also says that God hates him who sows discord among the brethren.
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This harmony is a God-given harmony. We do not produce it. It is called the unity of the Spirit. But while we do not produce it, we are to preserve it. This harmony is based on several basic concepts.
First, we have the ground of our unity is truth. It is doctrinal and spiritual. In Ephesians 4:3-6 we read: “Endeavoring 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.”
I urge not to let anybody tell you that doctrine doesn’t matter. If the Church ceases to hold these great truths, she will lose her unity.
Now, what do I mean by unity or harmony? I don’t mean unison. Unison may be all right if you’re in the choir, but, everybody doesn’t have to sing the same note. We can sing in harmony without singing in unison.
Also, I am not talking about, ah, uniformity. We don’t have to be a church of clones. We don’t all have to look alike and dress alike. It is not that we are serving in the Church with uniforms. Uniformity comes from without; unity comes from within.
Union and unity are not necessarily the same. You can be in the same church and not be in unity. Somebody has said you can take two tom cats, tie their tails together, and hang them over a clothesline. You have union, but you don’t have unity.
What do we mean by unity? There are seven truths that make up our unity.
Number one: There is one body. Do you see that there in Ephesians 4, verse 4? One body. Now, what is that one body? That one body is the church of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The church is a spiritual body. The church is not a corporation with Jesus as the president; the church is a body with Jesus as the head. That’s all the difference in the world.
Now, there is a local expression of that body. And the Bible speaks of the church here and the church there and the church here and there, because not only is there that great universal church, there is that local New Testament body.
When a person sows discord in the church, he or she dishonors the head, who is Jesus, and wounds himself or herself because we are members of the same body.
Number Two: Now, not only is there one body; there’s also one Spirit. Do you see that in verse 4? One Spirit. There He’s talking about the Holy Spirit, who is the substance of our life, the secret of our strength, and the source of our unity. The Holy Spirit is the one who binds us together, who tells us that we belong one to another.
Not only does God’s Spirit bear witness with our spirit that we’re children of God, but God’s Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we belong to one another. Dr. Vance Havner has said this: “We’re not to be wired together by organization, frozen together by formalism, rusted together by tradition, but melted together by one Spirit.”
As we strive to network instead of not-work, we should strive to bring harmony throughout the Body of Christ. We don’t have the same skills, but we can have the same goal: that everyone have access to the Gospel.
Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Dr. James. O. Davis
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networking