Do you feel like the church of Jesus Christ is unified? “No” Do you truly believe that your separation, your ways please God more than the way others worship the King of Kings? People join organizations of faith and become accustomed to “their” way of worship “their” way of dressing for church. However, “their” way is never perfectly “His Way”as it is based upon a collection of imperfect people and their interpretation of Scripture. Why are there so many divisions, or denominations of faith? Is not “faith”a gift from God? “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Eph 2:8 – People choose to separate themselves from those people who express their faith differently, therefore there is NO unity in Christ, and we do NOT honor His name or His way by our choice to divide. No “brand” of church is getting it perfect. The common denominator in Christianity is our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. The definition of denominator is a number below the line, a common fraction, a divisor. Jesus is not our divisor, He is the Savior, the One God, who desires that NOT one person be left out. That Truth in itself should rattle the soul of each person who claims to follow the example of Jesus. Who do we serve? What is His name? Jesus the son of man claimed to be the Messiah (Luke 4:14) the Lord (Matt 22:41) One with the Father (John 10:30). Jesus demonstrated His power over demons, over nature, over death and spirits of evil. Is the devil real? Jesus speaks the Truth, He is the Light and He has all authority (Matt 28:18). Jesus preexisted His birth. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 The Word is capitalized which means that Jesus existed from eternity, as the Alpha and Omega. “Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created…” Colossians 1:15-17. Jesus is the Source of everything that is, He preceded creation with God and the Holy Spirit. Do all denominations agree with the theology of preexistence? NO! Googling Denominations I discovered a number of ways we are NOT united in Christ. Christianity – 2.42 billion believers
- Catholic Church – 1.285 billion.
- Protestantism – 900 million.
- Eastern Orthodox Church – 270 million.
- Oriental Orthodoxy – 86 million.
- Restorationism and Nontrinitarianism – 35 million.
- Independent Catholicism – 18 million.
- Minor branches – 1 million
Jesus asked His followers “Who do you say I am?” An exceptional man? A scholarly teacher? A holy prophet? Either Jesus is the Son of God or else a madman, a lunatic, or a liar. Can UNITY in our FAITH in Jesus Christ as Lord of all be restored? Are we fervently praying for His church to UNIFY? Would our genuine prayers to be the “the mind of Christ” in this world glorify His name, His will, His purpose in our salvation? David wrote Psalm 8:3-6 “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him (Jesus) ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet….O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.” We were ALL created in the image of God to be His friends, His servants. “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 C.S. Lewis wrote “If a thing is free to be good, it is also free to be bad. Free will is what has made evil possible….why then did God give us free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.” God, Jesus knows how fickle our hearts are. He knows that our best efforts to please Him fall short because we are prone to lie, to rebel, to disobey and disrespect people, to gossip, to commit adultery, to transgress, to violate the moral standards set up by God. In other words we are all sinners saved by God’s grace, which is a gift from God. If we continue to separate ourselves from people who are different than we are, we can never come to pray for them, to appreciate their needs, or their hearts for Jesus. A test for all is to see how we follow Jesus in that He loves everyone, the same, no matter what denomination, or what method of baptism, or worship style they prefer or practice. If we want to be victorious in our journey of sharing Jesus, we must unify as His church body. God hates pride. If it is our pride that keeps us from loving others as He loves us, then we consider ourselves above God and His desire that we unite as His army of saints. Are we trusting what bible scholars have to say, or are we trusting what Jesus said and did for all?
Justification is the process of being made right in one’s relationship to God. Righteousness is a right relationship with God, and righteousness cannot be earned, it can only be given, and given by God. We are adopted and given the gift of a saving faith. A faith or a deposit of trust in our hearts to receive the mercy and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 The Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God. The Old Testament is the history of man being prepared to receive Jesus. God gives us specific orders, His system, or His arrangement; administration or dispensation of His law, His will, His ways. The New Testament reflects the history of Jesus fulfilling God’s law. Scripture is “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” Training in the right way to be in relationship with God, to counsel us regarding our conduct and lifestyle choices. The Bible has been tested and found to be the reliable Word to affect change in the hearts of man. Let us repent from our self-reliance and return to God’s way which is UNITY for His name, for His glory.