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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What Do You Mean, "Seek Unity?"

I received a few comments from sisters in Christ who were confused on this statement from a previous post:

"In all things, and in all our differences, we need to love one another and seek unity."

Let me clarify.

We seek unity on our commonality, Jesus Christ.

I also think that if we put as much time and effort into sharing the gospel as we do critiquing the body of believers, we would possibly see more souls bending a knee at the cross.

With this said, I am a bold truth-seeker and giver. It is my deep desire to see Christians maturing so that they can be free to get out of themselves and get onto the great commission...and any and all purposes that God has ordained for them. I am eager to see the imperfect, works-in-progress saints persevere in truth and love and grace.

It is not my duty to judge the motives of my brothers and sisters in Christ. It fact, I believe this is a great sin. It is, however, a saints calling to exhort and admonish actions when they are contrary to the Word of God. Having the responsibility to speak truth in love should remind us of how precious the Word that is entrusted to us. We need to know the Word, ask for wisdom, and walk in humility daily if we are to be the sweet fragrance of Christ, not only to a dying world, but to our adopted family in Jesus.

I also find it to be very prudent to know the difference between an opinion, a persuasion, and a conviction.

Opinion - A personal view, attitude, or appraisal.
Persuasion - A form or system of belief. Adamant about it.
Conviction - The state of being convinced or convicted; strong persuasion or belief; especially, the state of being convicted of sin, or by one's conscience. You can back it up Biblically.

I HIGHLY recommend you take the time to read the article, Glorious Grace, by Jasmine Baucham. Excellent.


Robin said...

Jasmine's post is a great reminder of how quickly we can judge in a self-righteous way. We are all guilty in that respect.

When it comes to judging we need to remember to first take the log out of our own eye and then we can see clearly to take the speck out of our brother's eye. (Matt 7:5). Notice that first we have to get the log out of our own eye. That will be a struggle and is only accomplished by the grace of our Lord Jesus and by going through that removal of the log I believe that helps us to have more compassion and patience on others with their specks and knowing that it takes the work of Jesus. Well, it should and therein lies our problem.

simplebeauty said...

Thank you for clarifying this. What I have seen a lot of know a days that is alarming is that more and more Christians are willing to go against the Word of God to "include" people so that they don't feel left out. By include I mean, accepting ungodly life styles and wicked ways, so that no ones feelings get hurt. The truth is that peoples feelings will get hurt, but if they don't know what they are doing is wrong they will never have a chance, so sometime tough love really is the best.

I will take the time to go and read this article by Jasmine.

Thank you again,

Simple Beauty

TeriLynneU said...

Excellent post, Sarah Mae! I love Philippians 3:15 "All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you." That last part frees me from having to persuade anyone ... GOD TOO WILL MAKE CLEAR TO YOU! What a blessed relief to know that it is not for me to make anything clear ... that is the work of the Father.

Lauren said...

wonderful post! Thank you for going deeper into that verse!

Anonymous said...

Exactly! And I love your thought about how if we stopped criticizing one another, we would see more knees bent at the foot of the cross. It always confuses and pains me when I see sisters in Christ criticizing one another. I don't get it. We are all here for the same purpose - to live our lives in such a way as to glorify Jesus, so that the unbelieving will know Him and come to Him.

Wisdom for Today said...

Great post. Thanks for the clarification:)

Muthering Heights and Other Senseless Sensibility said...

You did a great job articulating this! At my church, they always tell us that when it comes to differences between believers, to focus on this hierarchy:

1) Commands - Non-negotiable!
2) Principles - Grey areas...proceed with grace.
3) Disputable Matters - these are unclear and because they vary so much, we should avoid arguing over them and extend grace. Why pick fights over issues that we will not know about completely until we meet the Lord?

Traci~ Ordinary Inspirations for the everyday wife, mommy, and homemaker said...

Well said... I will have to go read that article.


Robert Bravery said...

Probably one of a few guys who actually read your blog.
But a great post. Unity can be such abroad topic, many would forgo the core principals of God just for unity. This is not what God intended.
Many go on their emotional feelings rather on the Word of God. That's where it all breaks down

His Honeybee said...

Just started reading a book on God's Amazing Grace today....it's called The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. All I can say is WOW...........if the church could grasp the grace that God intended, it would ROCK THIS WORLD!!! Oh, Lord, let it be as you so earnestly desire.........Let us all see as YOU see and love as YOU love.

Proverbs 27:19 said...

I love the way you gently respond. It is humble and loving.


Reborn said...

Thank you for the link to Jasmine's blog. I was thrilled to hear that perspective, especially coming from her (the product of a "strict" home). It gives me hope!!

Anonymous said...

Dear SarahMae-

Your post reminded me of a quote ('selected' from oriiginal source):

* "The gospel has been described as a pool in which a toddler can wade and yet an elephant can swim. It is both simple enough to tell to a child and profound enough for the greatest minds to explore. Indeed, even angels never tire of looking into it (1 Peter 1:12)".
"Humans are by no means angels, however, so rather than contemplating it, we argue about it."
"A generation ago evangelicals agreed on "the simple gospel": (1) God made you and wants to have a relationship with you, (2) but your sin separates you from God. (3) Jesus took the punishment your sins deserved, (4) so if you repent from sins and trust in him for your salvation, you will be forgiven, justified, and accepted freely by grace, and indwelt with his Spirit until you die and go to heaven."
- by Tim Keller, posted 5/23/2008, "The Gospel in All its Forms Like God, the gospel is both one and more than that."

grateful for HIS grip,

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Well-put Sarah Mae!