Posts Tagged ‘Acts 17:26’

Unity within diversity: Let the Church rise

August 29, 2017

Galatians 3--28

The emphasis of Verse of the Day for August 29, 2017 is on the Body of Christ, which is described in Galatians 3:28 in the Amplified Bible:

There is [now no distinction in regard to salvation] neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you [who believe] are all one in Christ Jesus [no one can claim a spiritual superiority].

God, our Father, is one and all that He has created is an expression of oneness or unity regarding all of humanity:

Acts 17:26 (Holman Christian Standard):

From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live

The Church is the ultimate expression of oneness or unity of purpose, of unity within diversity and diversity within unity.

When the Church, the Body of Christ, those called out among Jews and Gentiles, emerged as a new entity on the Day of Pentecost, God provided an amazing display of diversity. When those who waited for the promise of the Father that Jesus Christ spoke of as he departed to heaven, a remarkable gathering of individuals came to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost:

Now there were then residing in Jerusalem Jews, devout and God-fearing men from every country under heaven (Acts 2:5).

Although God demonstrates diversity in all of His creation, He also desires a demonstration of unity within that diversity. The Church, the collective body of believers, who have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and who endeavor to live out the precepts and principles of their faith also illustrate this concept. One of the terms used to describe this example of diversity is “the mystery,” a metaphor used to describe the union of Jew and Gentile into one new man, the Body of Jesus Christ, the quintessential example of unity within diversity.

The Scriptures reveal God’s desire for unity among believers, that there be no divisions, literally, no splits, breaches, or schisms, for we have been called in one body. Believers are to strive to remain unified within the Body of Christ: Instead of being divided, the body of believers is to be unified, “perfectly joined together,” a term derived from the Greek word meaning to repair, to mend, to reunite and make perfect what has been broken. We are familiar with the colloquial expression: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” The converse would also hold true: “If it’s broken, then fix it.” Certainly this would apply to the Body of Christ, which is to be unified and not fractured nor divided, just as the human body is designed to be whole. Ephesians 4:16 describes God’s divine design:

From Him the whole body [the church, in all its various parts], joined and knitted firmly together by what every joint supplies, when each part is working properly, causes the body to grow and mature, building itself up in [unselfish] love.

The love of God is to be the hallmark that identifies believers, individually and corporately, as members of the Body of Christ. The love of God when activated and boldly demonstrated can be a life-changing force in any community.

Twelve years ago, almost to the day, Hurricane Katrina, one of the costliest natural disasters and one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States, ravaged New Orleans and other areas of the Gulf Coast.  At that time the Church came together not only to make a difference, but by their selfless acts of loving service, the Church became the difference in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Today, as Hurricane Matthew with its heavy rains and flooding continues to engulf Houston and other areas of Texas. Once again, the Church will rise to the occasion and be the life-transforming force that it was designed to be.

The video performed by Jonathan Stockstill, “Let the Church Rise,” displays a specific instance where the church rose to the occasion and made a significant difference in a disastrous situation. America, indeed, the whole world continues to be engulfed with endless challenges that seek to overwhelm us. During these trying times, once more, “Let the Church Rise.”

It’s all about relationships: Closing comments

July 30, 2016

Romans 12--10

Over the past 10 days or so the blog entries on Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe have focused on the concept “It’s all about relationships,” the theme from a life-changing conference attended three years that related seven principles that can be universally applied to “launch, challenge, and grow relationships.” While we can universally apply these principles in achieving and maintaining successful relationships, we can also specifically apply them in the area of race relations, a critically important area in America today.

 

Upon further reflection on the series of entries, I recall a statement from Dr. Augustin Fuentes on the subject of race, pointing out some of the myths associated with the subject:

There is not a single biological element unique to any of the groups we call white, black, Asian, Latino, etc. In fact, no matter how hard people try, there has never been a successful scientific way to justify any racial classification, in biology. This is not to say that humans don’t vary biologically, we do, a lot.  But rather that the variation is not racially distributed. . . . Seriously, there are no biological races in humans today, period.

The point of the discussion is that there is only one race, the human race, as Acts 17:26 so clearly reveals Jehovah God’s divine design for humanity:

Acts 17:26 (NLT):

And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,

In light of that reality, the seven principles discussed and shared are indeed universal concepts that apply to all relationship—indeed, “It is all about all relationships.”

Whether with God, family, friends, co-workers, husband or wife,

“It’s all about relationships,” the foundation of life.

These seven principles are related to verbs that connote action when specifically applied in terms of what should be done to “one another.” The reciprocal pronoun used in the plural carries the notion of a group of people acting upon themselves, i.e., upon one another. For example, we are to “love another and so forth. . .”

1) Love

2) Honor

3)  Forgive

4)  Encourage

5)  Admonish

6)  Serve

7)  Make peace

The following poem summarizes the seven principles which form the foundation as we learn to

Value and Steward Relationships

“Paying close attention to the relationships in your life is not an extracurricular activity–           it’s the reason for life itself.”

Dane Findley

 

 

We must learn to value and steward relationships,

As we ever strive to launch, grow and to maintain them.

We form a seven-fold perfected cord of purpose:

Golden strands of strength intertwine with one another.

1

To decide, demonstrate, freely give and practice love:

The first thread whereby we must launch all relationships

And follow Christ’s command that we love one another.

2

To place value on, respect and hold in high esteem:

Giving preference, we take the lead–we are intentional;

With genuine affection we honor one another.

3

To forgive, release from payment, to do a favor,

Even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do,

Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another.

4

To call alongside of and to call to be near,

In the midst of fiery trials that seek to beset us,

Comfort each other and encourage one another.

5

To put in mind, to instruct, we seek to give warning.

The Word of Christ dwells in us that we might minister:

We must exhort, urge, and admonish one another.

6

To render service to, to act as a bond slave who serves

And joyfully gives advantage to the one being served,

So use your freedom to serve one another in love.

7

As agents of change we transform our environment;

We give no offense and remove every stumbling block.

We have salt in ourselves, and make peace with one another.

 

 

We must learn to value and steward relationships,

As we ever strive to launch, grow and to maintain them.

As we love, honor, forgive and encourage each other,

We must admonish, serve, and make peace with one another.

 

“Be Devoted,” the music video used to close the discussion of Principle Six, makes reference to “Serve one another” and a number of other principles, thus this song by Acapella is appropriate to conclude our final comments:

 

 

 

All one in Christ Jesus

January 12, 2016

Galatians-3-26

Revised and re-posted from a year ago, the following blog entry on the Verse of the Day for January 12, 2016 focuses on the Church, the Body of Christ, which is described in Galatians 3:26-28 in the New Living Testament:

For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.

God is very concerned about diversity, not only in nature and in other features of the universe but in every aspect of life, particularly among people. Acts 17:26 also makes known that God “. . . hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; Holman Christian Standard renders the verse this way:

From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live.

When the Church emerged as a new entity on the Day of Pentecost, God provided an amazing display of diversity. When those who waited for the promise of the Father that Jesus Christ spoke of as he departed to heaven, there was an amazing gathering of individuals who came to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost:

Now there were then residing in Jerusalem Jews, devout and God-fearing men from every country under heaven (Acts 2:5).

Although God demonstrates diversity in all of His creation, He also desires a demonstration of unity within that diversity. The Church, the collective body of believers, all those who have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and who endeavor live out the precepts and principles of their faith also provide an illustration of unity within diversity. One of the terms used to describe this example of diversity is “the mystery,” a metaphor used to describe the union of Jew and Gentile into one new man, the Body of Jesus Christ, the quintessential example of unity within diversity.

Paul speaks of “the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Paul was the first to receive an understanding of this concept which was later more fully revealed in Ephesians and elsewhere in the Scriptures. As believers we endeavor to synchronize our desire to comprehend to a greater degree the mystery of the one body with God’s desire to show teach us, as expressed in this poem:

Oh, To See the Mystery
Ephesians 3

Enlighten our eyes that we might openly see;
Expand our minds and widen our comprehension
To understand the temple of the mystery.
Teach us to fully comprehend each dimension
And ascertain the magnitude without measure:

Reveal to us the true length,
though it is endless;
Teach us to find the full breadth,
though it is boundless;
Help us to reach the vast height,
though it is measureless;
Teach us to probe the great depth,
though it is fathomless.

Show us your divine design for the inner man.
Make plain the purpose, the pattern, the symmetry
Unfolded in the blueprints of your master plan
For the One Body, temple of awesome beauty.
Share with us the value of this priceless treasure,
Held in the secret places of your good pleasure.
Show us the riches of the glory of this mystery
Which is Christ in each of us, the hope of glory.

The Church is the ultimate expression of oneness or unity of purpose, of unity within diversity.

Frontline Music offers Galatians Meditations that focus on Galatians 3:24-28

Oh, to see the mystery

January 12, 2015

Galatians-3-26

The Verses of the Day for January 12, 2015 focus on the Church, the Body of Christ, which is described in Galatians 3:26-28 in the New Living Testament:

For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.

God is very concerned about diversity, not only in nature and in other features of the universe but in every aspect of life, particularly among people. Acts 17:26 also makes known that God “. . . hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

Holman Christian Standard renders the verse this way:

From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live.

When the Church emerged as a new entity on the Day of Pentecost, God provided an amazing display of diversity. When those who waited for the promise of the Father that Jesus Christ spoke of as he departed to heaven, there was an amazing gathering of individuals who came to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost:

Now there were then residing in Jerusalem Jews, devout and God-fearing men from every country under heaven (Acts 2:5).

Although God demonstrates diversity in all of His creation, He also desires a demonstration of unity within that diversity. The Church, the collective body of believers, who have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and who endeavor live out the precepts and principles of their faith are also an illustration of unity within diversity. One of the terms used to describe this example of diversity is “the mystery,” a metaphor used to describe the union of Jew and Gentile into one new man, the Body of Jesus Christ, the quintessential example of unity within diversity.

Paul speaks of “the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Paul was the first to receive an understanding of this concept which was later more fully revealed in Ephesians and elsewhere in the Scriptures. As believers we endeavor to synchronize our desire to comprehend to a greater degree the mystery of the one body with God’s desire to show us and teach us, as expressed in this poem:

Oh, To See the Mystery

Ephesians 3

Enlighten our eyes that we might openly see;

Expand our minds and widen our comprehension

To understand the temple of the mystery.

Teach us to fully comprehend each dimension

And ascertain the magnitude without measure:

Reveal to us the true length,

though it is endless;

Teach us to find the full breadth,

though it is boundless;

Help us to reach the vast height,

though it is measureless;

Teach us to probe the great depth,

though it is fathomless.

Show us your divine design for the inner man.

Make plain the purpose, the pattern, the symmetry

Unfolded in the blueprints of your master plan

For the One Body, temple of awesome beauty.

Share with us the value of this priceless treasure,

Held in the secret places of your good pleasure.

Show us the riches of the glory of this mystery

Which is Christ in each of us, the hope of glory.

 

The Church is the ultimate expression of oneness or unity of purpose, of unity within diversity.

Listen to and take a look at musical rendering of Galatians 3:27-28 called “As Many of You” which is also expressed in sign language.