“I have never yet known the Spirit of God to work where the Lord’s people were divided.” Like D.L. Moody, neither have I. Instead, most of us probably have seen too often how disunity hinders the Spirit’s work in the church and damages the church’s witness to the world.
Unity in the body of Christ can’t be taken for granted or taken lightly. Unity is a gift from God made possible by the cross of Jesus and made effective by the working of the Holy Spirit. It’s not something we can create, but unity is our responsibility to guard. The greatest threats to church unity come not from outside the church, but from within. So we need to be on guard against attitudes and actions that destroy unity, like these:
1. Making everything about you
Reality check: The church doesn’t exist to make you (or me) happy; it exists to glorify God.
The way to maintain unity is to think of others as more important than yourself…
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The great heresy of the church today is that we think we’re in the entertainment business. A.W. Tozer believed this to be true back in the 1950s and 60s. Church members “want to be entertained while they are edified.” He said that in 1962. Tozer grieved, even then, that it was “scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction was God.”*
More recently, David Platt has asked: “What if we take away the cool music and the cushioned chairs? What if the screens are gone and the stage is no longer decorated? What if the air conditioning is off and the comforts are removed? Would His Word still be enough for his people to come together?” (Radical)
Would it be enough?
Tozer got it right: “Heresy of method may be as deadly as heresy of message.”
HALLOWEDNESS, NOT SHALLOWNESS
Like Tozer, we…
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108 –April 18 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST
Posted: 17 Apr 2015 05:23 PM PDT
Teenager in Prison
“But he’s just a kid!” Surely those words could have been said of Joseph in Egypt, or of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Babylon. But that might also have been said of Andrei Yudintsev, who was eighteen when he and his friend, Vladimir Timchuk, were arrested during the Thanksgiving service at their Baptist church. The lads thought they might spend a short time in the local jail or be fined, but soon they discovered they were going to be “tried” and the mandatory “guilty” finding would confine them for years in prison. They were given prison terms of three and a half years. Following a brief incarceration in the local prison, the two were transported to different prison camps. On April 18, 1982, Andrei arrived in his camp where he worked as a welder. For two years, he had no Christian fellowship, but one day he was told that a fellow believer had been brought in. He rejoiced to meet Pavel Zinchenko and to discover that they had many mutual friends. The men continually encouraged each other which made the burdens of prison almost tolerable. In the course of time, a third believer, Vladimir Blasenko from Nikolaev, was also transferred into their camp. Vladimir had suffered severely for his faith, but his captors could not break his spirit. Valdimir was thrilled to discover that Andrei and Pavel had a New Testament, and he read late into the nights. Andrei reported: “At first it might seem that this was a waste of my youth, but when it was over, nothing remained except gratitude to the Lord and gladness. David says in Psalm 33, ‘For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy Name.’” “He’s just a kid?” Of Andrei we can say, he became a man, and a special kind of man, a man of God!
Dr. Dale R. Hart adapted from: “This Day in Baptist History III” David L. Cummins. pp. 225 – 226
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