A Sermon on Oneness
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.
Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
1.0 Causes of Disunity
1.1 Personal gain
1.2 Racial prejudice
In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.
Acts 15:1 Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.”
Col 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. …
21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.
23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
1.4 Differential Giftedness
We are still one body in Christ
5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;
7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;
8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
I Cor 12:15-21
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. …
1.5 Human labels
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 3:6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
2.0 What Creates Oneness Among Christians
Phil 1:27 , I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.
Hey, you! Out there on the road,
Always doing what you're told.
Can you help me?
Hey, you! Out there beyond the wall,
Breaking bottles in the hall.
Can you help me?
Hey, you! Don't tell me there's no hope at all.
Together we stand. Divided we fall. – Hey You, Pink Floyd, The Wall, 1979
2.1 Conversion and baptism
Eph. 4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Acts 2:44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
1 Corinthians 12:25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
1 Peter 5:9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” - CS Lewis, Mere Christianity
2.4 Common Enemy
Eph 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Eph 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
It is part of the genius of Christianity that any believer can become a warrior in the battle at any time and in any place and make his influence count to the ends of the earth and high in heavenly places, simply by engaging in prayer. By praying for missionaries a believer can place himself in a canoe in the Amazon, in an igloo in the arctic, in a tent in the Sahara, in a submarine in the bottom of the ocean, in a plane high in the stratosphere. He can ward off from the missionary dangers in the jungle, diseases in the city slum, disasters on the deep. He can arm the missionary’s witness with supernatural power, lift him from threshold of despondency, rout the unseen foes that lurk in the spirit world and strengthen his hand in God. By praying in the spirit, the exercised believer can conquer time and space and have a share in the battle. John Phillips, Exploring Romans
Phil 1:27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel