Thursday, July 11, 2013

Unity In Christ

It has been a very long time since I've posted something "spiritual" in nature.  I cannot tell you why exactly as I don't know myself.  I used to get on [my other] blog and step upon my soap box telling the world (or whom ever would read/listen) exactly what I felt.  Maybe the Lord has simply done a work to show me that only the fool displays that behavior :o)

However, I have recently been led to ponder something that I want to write out.  Not to preach at you dear friend, but more at myself.  I seem to grasp things better when I write them out in clear, concise thoughts.  

So here goes....

What, exactly, does this phrase "unity in Christ" mean?

Does it mean the exact sameness?  a copycat?  a replica? 
When a photographer prints multiple copies of a picture, does that make them unified?

Let me give you an example of what I've been told I've seen unity in...

We took a road trip recently to hear some preaching. Upon arrival I saw something I had never seen before (in real life). I saw a sanctuary full of people that looked exactly the same. I don't mean exactly the same in feature, but in outward adornment (dress, jewelry, make-up). Every woman had the same hairstyle. Every woman was wearing the same 'type' of jewelry. They even wore the same manner of clothing and spoke in the same high(er) pitched voice. Every man was wearing a suit of very similar fashion. Even the little girls and boys were dressed in the same manner as their parental counterparts. And not that I was disapproving of what was worn or the way these people dressed - no to the contrary, it was very modest and classy, but when I made mention of all the replicas in the church, I was told  "what you saw was unity...".
Really????

Websters 1828 dictionary defines unity as:
The state of being one; oneness. Unity may consist of a simple substance or existing being, as the soul; but usually it consists in a close junction of particles or parts, constituting a body detached from other bodies. Unity is a thing undivided itself, but separate from every other thing.

Now the Bible:
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Psalm 133:1-3  (UNITY OF FELLOWSHIP)

Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  (UNITY OF SPIRIT)
Ephesians 4:2-4

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:  (UNITY OF FAITH)
Ephesians 4:12-14

Nowhere do I see in any of the above verbiage indication of looking exactly the same to be unified.  On the other hand something I read in my little devotional just yesterday is brought to mind...

Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest stated "Active work (to be spiritual) can actually be the counterfeit of spiritual activity (the work of the Holy Spirit)." words in parenthesis are my own

Unity in Christ is the individual expression of who He made us to be, with a heart knit together by Him; in Him.  It is not the pencil that defines our lips and eyes so boldly that we can no longer perceive their natural shape.  Or the length or brand of our necklaces.  It is knowing and believing we are good/beautiful because He first said we were is what makes us truly beautiful - and having the heart and mind to walk out THAT belief through the power of Jesus Christ our risen savior is what unifies us.

I wear make-up (very little, but I still wear make-up).
I wear jewelry (it's a new thing for me).
I wear modest, feminine clothing (it's a strong conviction for me).

Everything I do is because I am called to do it according to the Holy Scriptures.  Everything I do is to give Glory to the God of Abraham.

Unity in Christ is (as a group) believing that He died for you and living your life each day, walking in the Spirit; separate, but together.  And coming together (as a group) to magnify His name because He alone is worthy of our praise.

I am not moved, compelled, or persuaded to believe that I have to look like someone else to be unified.  God made me to look like ME for a reason.  If He wanted us all to look alike, dress alike, adorn ourselves just the same He wouldn't have made us so drastically different and then stated in His love letter to us that we are all different in beautifully different ways.  The unknown author wouldn't have admonished us to "...run with patience the race that is set before us."

We all need to be secure in who we are.  We need not place our security in man or man-made traditions, but the shed blood on that hill so long ago.  The security I have is in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  The one that died on the cross to purchase my soul with his blood as ransom and then rose again in three days to make Himself known as alive before He was taken up to be seated at the right hand of Father God in Heaven.  He did this for everyone of us.  And if you believe the same as me in this - we are unified.  You may not go to the same church as me.  You may not wear skirts/dresses.  You may not like jewelry....

We are unified in Christ.



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