Mature Class Study, teacher Edith Tolbert.
Two people can’t walk together if they don’t agree. We have to agree to go together and walk in the same direction.
Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
It’s a blessing to be able to dwell together in unity. God has ordained for the Church Of God to be in unity.
Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Unity is the joining of separate entities to form one, harmony in opinions and interests, state or condition of being one. The Philharmonic Orchestra has 100 permanent instruments. When warming up, it sounds chaotic. When they perform, everyone has their eyes on the director so their parts work together in a unified effort to make a beautiful sound. We’re all different but God’s plan is for us to be in unity. When people aren’t working together in unity with the body, the devil is behind it. We’re not saved to do our own thing, to make a name for ourselves, or show how great we are.
II Timothy 3:1-5 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
People that are lovers of their own self, won’t care about anyone else or work smoothly with the rest of the body. God want wants us to be in unity, not to focus on others’ faults. We have to be saved and sanctified so we don’t these attitudes:
II Timothy 3:3 (Amplified Classic) [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.
The enemy groups people together in the chaos of men loving their own selves. That’s why there’s so much protest and civil unrest in the world. Pilate and Herod hated each other until they came together to persecute and find fault with Jesus.
Luke 23:8-12 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad…because he had heard many things…and he hoped to have seen some miracle…he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes…vehemently accused him. And Herod with his men…mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate…Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.
Paul and Silas preached and many were saved, but the unbelieving Jews were upset. They moved with envy from the devil to have people without any morals to cause an uproar in the whole city. They assaulted the house of Jason because Paul and Silas were staying there. The brethren paid a security fee to get Jason and others released. They let Paul and Silas go by night to Berea. The people received him there and loved the truth. God used the situation to spread the gospel. The devil brings union to accomplish what he wants. The Holy Spirit is our unifier. We have to be saved and sanctified.
Acts 17:4-11 And some of them believed, and…Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women…But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took…lewd fellows of the baser sort…and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason…drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers…crying, These that have turned the world upside down …do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. And they troubled the people…when they had taken security of Jason…let them go…immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea…These…received the word…
We get saved and repent of our sins, then God wants to fill us to be sanctified and filled with the Holy Spirit in a second definite work. We put ourselves completely on the altar, the carnal nature is removed, and we’re filled with the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
John 14:15-17 If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father…give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you…Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive…for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Jesus told the disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they were filled with power from the Holy Ghost. There wasn’t any division like when the apostles argued about who was the greatest. That carnality was removed when the Holy Spirit came so they were all in one accord. We have to sacrifice our will, put ourselves completely on the altar, and just want God’s way.
John 17:17-19 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
Unity is a beautiful thing! God wants us to have unity like Jesus has with God. There isn’t any division between them.
John 17:20-22 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
Unsanctified people can’t enjoy unity because carnality in them causes division. Sanctification brings unity. Paul said the Corinthians were babes in Christ. They were saved but carnal so they had envy and division. Division was wrong then and is wrong today. The enemy wants division in the Church Of God. We have to be sure we love God above everything.
I Corinthians 3:1-3 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
There were contentions and arguing at Corinth. Paul admonished to have no divisions but be perfectly joined together in the same mind and judgment. God wants us to do that today. He wants us to be totally submissive to what he wants.
I Corinthians 1:10-11 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren…that there are contentions among you.
Paul warned that men among them would rise up to cause division. Watch out when someone is contentious, proud, and lifted up. You can mark it down as the enemy at work. That’s why we have to be sure we’re clothed with humility.
Acts 20:29-31…after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them…three years I ceased not to warn every one…
Five things we need to keep unity: lowliness, meekness, longsuffering, forbearance, and endeavoring.
Ephesians 4:1-3 (Amplified Classic) I therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God’s service, Living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another. Be eager and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of [and produced by] the Spirit in the binding power of peace.
We have different traits and opinions – diversities. We’re responsible to stay humble and strive to keep unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Lowliness is being humble like Christ and not thinking our opinion is better than others. Meekness is the humility to bear mistreatment or put up with things. Long suffering is bearing with as long as necessary without finding fault or complaining. Forbear is to put up with things that may never change. Endeavoring is making an effort to keep unity.
I Corinthians 12:4-6 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
The body of Christ is like our body – there are many members. Our ears don’t do the same thing as our eyes. Our fingers don’t do the same thing as our legs. The body of Christ is many members and all different but we act as one complete unit.
I Corinthians 12:12-14 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.
I Corinthians 12:18-20…God set the members…in the body, as it hath pleased him…many members, yet but one body.
God wants us to have the concern each other and for the whole body.
I Corinthians 12:25-27 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer…ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape. God wants us flexible. We won’t be if we’re not filled with the Spirit.