Unity – September 1st, 2018

Unity…

There is a big push going on in the culture today to drive something that is being referenced as ‘diversity’. As is so often with the world, they have taken something which sounds like one thing and used it to promote the exact opposite in practice. Diversity is not the equivalent of unity. God calls for something entirely different.

Note from Kip…

What is being pushed today the acceptance of all things by all peoples, diversity. God calls for unity which is not the same thing at all.

Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction.

1 Corinthians 1:10 (CSB)

The Bride of Christ is made up of diverse components, that is to say diversity of race, diversity of culture, even diversity of worship and praise. But while the church is accepting of all, it doesn’t not, can not, accept sin in the name of diversity.

Agree in what you say“… “be united with the same understanding and the same conviction.

This is because we have a common source of truth, the Word of God. This is literally the words of God spoken to humanity. Not just some of humanity. It is God speaking to all of humanity. There are no divisions, exceptions, or reservations.

God through The Word, provides clear understanding of His message to us and His requirements.  The same conviction, the same way to salvation, the very same redeemer, the very same God, the very same Spirit, the very same Gospel.

It is through this unity that God determines the boundaries, what is Holy and acceptable to God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:1-2 (CSB)

I want to take a close look at this passage, because it prescribes the terms of which God finds our offering acceptable. That which God expects of us, verses those elements in our behavior,  that fall outside of the what He deems ‘holy and pleasing‘ to Him.

I referenced definitions from Strong’s and Mounce’s, for both of these words, just to dig back into the original text and meaning.

holy: hagios

In Strong’s – sacred (physically, pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially, consecrated): — (most) holy (one, thing), saint.
In Mounce’s – separate from common condition and use; dedicated.; hallowed; used of things, the sanctuary; and of persons, saints, e.g., members of the first Christian communities; pure, righteous, ceremonially or morally; holy

pleasing: euarestos

In Strong’s – fully agreeable: — acceptable(-ted), wellpleasing.
In Mounce’s – well-pleasing, acceptable, grateful.

In order to get an accurate understanding of the words being used we need to examine them in their context as well.

From this I’m to gather from Romans 12:1:

  • in view of the mercies of God – God extends His mercy to us and in light of this we should observe the following.
  • present your bodies as a living sacrifice – This is not a come as you are consideration. He expect an a sacrifice, therefore we are giving ups something.
  • holy – hagios; Sacred (physically, pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially, consecrated) and members of the first Christian communities; pure, righteous, ceremonially or morally; holy.
  • pleasing – euarestos; fully agreeable: — acceptable(-ted), wellpleasing, grateful.
  • this is your true – logikos; rational (“logical”): — reasonable, of the word. worship – latreia; ministration of God, i.e. worship: — (divine) service.

In simple terms: Because God extends his mercy to us we should prepare by sacrificing that which separates us from Him and present ourselves as pure, and morally blameless (because we have been cleansed by the blood of His Son), which is fully agreeable/acceptable to God. THIS is what is reasonable Devine service to God.

All of that is packed into that single verse. If we are prepared to adhere to this prescription what’s going to come about, comes in verse two.

“By not being conformed to this age (the world), we are instead transformed by the renewing of our minds, so that we are able to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (paraphrased)

Clearly He is telling us that if we want His Grace we must not be conformed to the world definition of diversity, but we must instead be transformed. In doing so, we will then be able to discern what God sees as perfect and pleasing in His sight.

How does all this happen? By cutting out that which the world defines as diversity. It’s not division that God seeks for us it is the elimination of that which is corrupt and unholy.

Peter began to speak: “Now I truly understand that God doesn’t show favoritism, but in every nation the person who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”

Acts 10:34-35 (CSB)

Jesus is not willing to exclude anyone from His Grace and Mercy. He desires that all come to Him. If they do, He will not cast them out!

Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out.

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. This is the will of him who sent me: that I should lose none of those he has given me but should raise them up on the last day.

For this is the will of my Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him will have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

John 6:37-40 (CSB)

Therein is unity. Churches that teach the anti-gospel of diversity as defined by the world, are falsely diverting souls from what the Word of God demands.  We can all be different and celebrate our differences, but God is not going to accept our living sacrifice to Him to be laced with sin .

Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction.

1 Corinthians 1:10 (CSB)

There is but one Gospel of Jesus Christ. That Gospel tells us He has grace and forgiveness for those who are willing to trust in him, repent of their worldly behaviors and surrender themselves to God, washed in the cleansing blood of His Son.

God’s definition of diversity is coming to unity in Him. All humanity welcomed with open arms, but to be His Bride we must forsake the world.

Blessings,
kip…


 

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