Posts Tagged ‘We are one in the spirit’

Perfectly joined together

May 21, 2016

1_Corinthians_1-10

The Verse of the Day for yesterday focused on being of “one mind,” and the Verse of the Day for today, May 21, 2016, could be considered a second verse of the same song calling for unity in the One Body. Take a look at this request:

1 Corinthians 1:10 [Amplified]

But I urge and entreat you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in perfect harmony and full agreement in what you say, and that there be no dissensions or factions or divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your common understanding and in your opinions and judgments.

The Darby Bible offers a similar translation:

 Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all say the same thing, and that there be not among you divisions; but that ye be perfectly united in the same mind and in the same opinion.

The verse expresses 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. Ephesians 4:3-6 (AMP) also remind believers to strive to remain unified within the Body of Christ:

 Make every effort to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace [each individual working together to make the whole successful]. There is one body [of believers] and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when called [to salvation] — one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all who is [sovereign] over all and [working] through all and [living] in all.

Instead of being divided, the body of believers is to be unified, perfectly joined together. The term “joined together” is 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(AMP) speaks of the one body following the example set by Jesus Christ:

15 But speaking the truth in love [in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth], let us grow up in all things into Him [following His example] who is the Head—Christ. 16 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

In reflecting upon the Verse of the Day, my mind goes back to 1971 when I was in the beginning stages of my development as a teacher and writer. I remember being asked to produce a writing sample, and I wrote a brief commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:10. Since that time, I have endeavored to study and teach the Word of God, as an expression of my gratitude to my Heavenly Father, who preserved me and kept me while I served in the US Army during the Vietnam era. Like countless young people and adults, I rode the crest of the Jesus Revolution, the revival movement that swept the nation during the 1960s and 70s. One of the popular Christian songs considered to be an anthem of that unforgettable time-frame captures the essence of the message of today’s blog entry: “We Are One in the Spirit / By Our Love” offered by the Mark Swayze Band.

           

As He is one: We are one

February 1, 2015

deuteronomy-6-4-5

The Verse of the Day for February 1, 2015 is found in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (New Living Translation):

“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.

This passage is part of the Shema, a daily prayer that is spoken the Jewish tradition. The Hebrew word Shema, which means “hear,” begins this most important request in verse 4. The entire prayer includes verses 4-9. In the New Living Translation, the word shema is translated “Listen”:

“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates

The Verse of the Day brings to mind a related verse that speaks of unity in the New Testament. In 1971, I remember being asked to produce a writing sample at the beginning of my first year in a ministry leadership training program, and I wrote a brief commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:10:

 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.

Since that time, 44 years ago, I have come to appreciate the same verse in the Amplified Bible that renders a more precise definition of the word “judgment.”

1 Corinthians 1:10:

But I urge and entreat you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in perfect harmony and full agreement in what you say, and that there be no dissensions or factions or divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your common understanding and in your opinions and judgments.

Someone has said that opinions are like noses—everybody has one. Even so, believers are encouraged to hold the same opinion regarding who we are in Christ. I think of the lines from a song that was especially meaningful to me when I really experienced the love of Christ for myself and came to know Him intimately and personally as my savior: “We are one in the Spirit.” Here are the lyrics:

We are one in the Spirit
We are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit
We are one in the Lord

And we pray that all unity
May one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians
By our love, By our love
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians
By our love

We will walk with each other
We will walk hand in hand
We will walk with each other
We will walk hand in hand
And together we’ll spread the news
That God is in our land

We will work with each other
We will work side by side
We will work with each other
We will work side by side
And we’ll guard each man’s dignity
And save each man’s pride

All praise to the Father
From whom all things come
And all praise to Christ Jesus His only son
And all praise to the Spirit
Who makes us one

Jars of Clay provide a musical reminder that, indeed, “We are one in the Spirit.”

God’s desire for unity

March 28, 2014

1 Timothy-2 5-6

The Verse of the Day for March 28, 2014 is an expression of unity:

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 KJV

Those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, believing in their hearts that God raised him from the dead, receive the power to become children of God (John 1:12).

Romans 8:16 reminds us:

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

This reality is confirmed in 1 John 5:6 :

This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

Just as God is one, He desires that we, as His sons and daughters, become one. Jesus Christ expresses that same desire in the prayer that Jesus Christ offered to God just prior to the events leading to his crucifixion and ultimate resurrection in John 17:20-23:

20“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;

21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:

23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

God’s desire, expressed through Jesus Christ, has always been for unity. Likewise, God’s desire for His children is that they also be one, to be unified by the love of God. John 13:35 makes known that desire:

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

A musical expression of the unity that should be evident in the followers of Jesus Christ is “We are one in the spirit.” The popular folk classic that reached its height during the late 1960s, the period when I first experienced and subsequently manifested God’s love, is rendered here by Jars of Clay: