Unity, it is like the precious ointment . . .

Posted: April 11, 2012 in Devotionals, Shared Thoughts
Tags: , , ,

(Sorry for the posting confusion over this post.) 

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments. As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. (Psalm 133:1-3)

I am currently writing a series of articles now about unity which I hope to complete in the next couple of days. The subject is one that has been on my heart for a long time, years . . .  and to be honest, I am greatly sadden by the fact that biblical unity is something I have rarely experienced as a Christian. Certainly not to the degree it is displayed in Psalm above; which is actually the core text for the final article I am writing. Since it is one of the “Songs of Degrees” in Psalms, I will also post on just what that means and why the journey to Jerusalem was required of all male Jews three times a year.

But just think about it, unity as a precious ointment? On the head, bread and garment of the high priest? Certainly you can see the magnificent significance. Yet at best I have only encountered what seem to be brief moments of such unity before it was spoiled either by the rise religious egos or successfully battered spiritually with demonic assaults of false accusations and suspicions. I know there are many who may feel they’ve experience unity, but I would ask simply if it met the test of the verse 2 above, was it truthfully a godly unity (I pray so), or was it just another comfortable carnal/religious compromise saturated with warm humanistic love that was nonetheless failing to wholly embrace the offense of the cross to their flesh?

Sadly there exists too much disunity within the Body of Christ, although admittedly any disunity is too much. Be assured it grieves to pain and agony the heart of our Savior, who died and rose so we could be victorious against our sins, that so many of His followers are still carnal and spiritually weak to the point they cannot wage a successful warfare against the strategic devilish assaults designed to leave us divided and warring among ourselves.

Oftentimes self-centered Christians have no effective defense to guard against their own presumptuous sins because they are easily offended feeling they were not spoken to or treated as they believe they should be. Yet if they were pressed to identify the sin, they could not find a godly precept in God’s holy Word wherein they were trespassed against for it was their sense of self-worth and pride that has been offended and not the righteousness defined in God’s word. At least with true sins definable by God’s word, when committed against a brother there is a definable path for reconciliation. But not so with religious pride, it creates a chasm that even the godly can’t cross over to appease the offended.

Dearly beloved, do not think this is a snare only for young and immature Christians, it is a snare that can trap anyone not keeping himself before the Lord or who has allowed their heart to follow an untimely or unlawful indulgence. The adversary is a master of justification, especially when it comes to convincing a believer that the fruit they have their eye on won’t kill them or interfere with the plan of God for them and His body. We must never forget the earnest prayer and heart desire of our Savior revealed to us in His words, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”

Therefore, while I finish my article I submit the following passages which address the need unity among Christians.  Please prayerfully read them for what they are, God’s word.

Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” 8 Your watchmen shall lift up their voices, With their voices they shall sing together; For they shall see eye to eye When the LORD brings back Zion. 9 Break forth into joy, sing together, You waste places of Jerusalem! For the LORD has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem.

Acts 4:32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. 34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.

Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 14:19 Therefore [see entire chapter] let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. 22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

Romans 15:5 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

Ephesians 4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling.

Philippians  1:27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.

Philippians 2:1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Philippians 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. 17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame–who set their mind on earthly things.

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Peace.

Comments
  1. Kim says:

    Many times within the church, I feel like I’m still in high school…trying to fit into the crowd or be accepted by the crowd but feeling like I have some flaw or flaws that make me undesirable by the “in crowd”. I wonder if we really can only experience being a part of the body of Christ when we are all equal in having nothing but Christ. We are all too focused on what we bring to the table monetarily, materially or skillfully. When you have nothing to give or offer but the fact that Christ is in you, that puts everyone at an equal place on the playing field. Then, perhaps, it’s all in our minds. Mayge we just “think” we’re not a part of the group because of our own mental picture of ourselves. Does that make sense? So, I try to think positively of people and place the blame on myself. Unity as described in the Word is beautiful. Are we willing to have nothing but Christ in order to experience that beauty?

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    • William E. Males says:

      Thanks for the reply Kim,

      “Are we willing to have nothing but Christ in order to experience that beauty?”

      Good question. I think you hit on several good points, I would add that whatever we think we “bring to the table” is only what God has given to us anyway. That is part of why I did my series of articles on “Faith as a grain of mustard seed” where Jesus reminds us that even after we have done all that He has commanded us we are to realize we are but unprofitable slaves.

      Leading up to that post I touched on the necessity of us being “Good Stewards” and the consequence of our wasting what the Lord has given unto us. The Apostle Paul tells us clearly that the unique dispersion of God’s gift’s, calling and graces are for “the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come in the unity of the faith. Even to a full knowledge of the Son of God, unto perfect men transformed to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”

      We need to remember we have nothing more to offer to God than that which He has given unto us to utilize to His glory by our faithfulness motivated by love perfected. Love vertically and horizontally.

      Peace to you and yours Sister Kim. Stay blessed, live for the King.

      William

      Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bookmarked this as a reminder

    Like

  3. tsth says:

    I am finding that it is the stronghold of “pride” that interferes with true unity. Until we/the church are willing examine ourselves and recognize that our own sin must be acknowledged and dealt with…willingly, we will not find unity “in the Word”. And unity in receiving the truth of the “whole counsel of God” involves not being offended by that Truth, even when it addresses our own sins. The church has sin that needs to be willingly addressed, within it…and until that happens and we are humbled, we will not find unity. This means that “I” am willing to receive truth from another believer in Christ Jesus, when I am confronted with it, especially if in regard to sin that I may be involved in.

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