May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.Romans 15:5-6
Brainstorm all the “units” that we are part of (families, clubs, corporations, etc.). Have each person answer: In which of these units do you feel the most sense of unity? How is that unity expressed?
John 17:20-26 Christ’s prayer for all believers
What did Jesus want all believers to know and embrace? Why?
Paul’s prayer for unity:
Romans 14:3 No stumbling block; no judging; no obstacle
Destroy love and unity among Bible-believing Christians… driving people away from Christ
Creating a sense of love and unity among false religions, especially those that deny the deity of Christ
Satan is blinding people to the most basic truth in all of Christianity --- If Christ Jesus was not God, he could never have been the perfect sacrifice on the cross --- the incarnation is the essence of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Hebrews 7:27; 10:1,14)
Practical steps for developing unity in the church:
Realize first that unity is possible.
The unity that Jesus and Paul prayed for is a concrete, visible, and practical unity that can exist among believers; day-to-day, gut-level unity
Unity is possible in Christ Jesus and it will be obvious to people that see us; Though many personalities, we are drawn together as one heart and one soul
Realize that unity in a local church is not automatic.
Christ prayed (and is praying) for us; We have supernatural help available to defeat Satan
We must “make every effort” (Romans 14:19 and Ephesians 4:3) to see that we do not allow human factors to create irritations to bring about misunderstandings that divide us; Satan delights in using controversies and trivia to destroy local churches
(see 1 Timothy 6:3-5 and Titus 3:9)
Face your problems and solve them (examples: Overlooked widows in Acts 6 and Christian requirements in Acts 15)
Realize that the key to unity is Christian maturity, reflecting love.
Don’t be accepting of immature and unloving attitudes and actions (i.e., Corinthian church)
The world takes notice of the church. What message are we sending?