Friday, July 3, 2009

Unity (By Fellowship or On Truth)

The restoration plea still goes out today. Raccoon John Smith (speaking for disciples) after pleading for unity closed his message , “Let us then my brethren neither be Stonites nor Campbellites. Let’s just be lights from the Bible.” In pleading for unity, what are we really asking for? What does it mean to be united? An even better question is, does it matter what we unite on? The denominational world says it does not matter what we unite on and we are united as long as we believe in Jesus. The denominational world as well as the new hermeneutic movement focuses on what they see as the ‘Core Gospel.’ This says that if you believe in the seven ones then we can have fellowship. So, fellowship is broadened and unity is now based on fellowship and not truth. Was it this way in the Bible? Let’s look at an example that tells us what it means to have unity and tells us whether or not it matters what we unite on.
On the sixth day God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. But God had someone in mind to rule over all of these creatures. God said, “Let Us make man in Our own image.” He gave man dominion over all creatures whether flying, creeping or teeming. This responsibility was given to man from the will of God. In order for Adam to have found favor and unity with God he had to do as God instructed him. God also made Adam a helpmeet. God instructed them that they were to eat of any tree in the garden, with the exception of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they were to eat of it then they would surely die. Upon these words the man and his wife were to have unity with one another, with the garden and with their Creator. This death God spoke of was not only physical death, but also spiritual death, for through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, for all sinned – (Romans 5:12). This death through sin is a separation from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit which they were instructed to abstain from; separation from God, the garden, and each other came upon them. Adam and Eve had fellowship with one another, but there was something very crucial missing from their lives in order to have unity: obedience to the will of God. Unity is a principle that is as old as time itself and God speaks through His inspired word telling us how we can be united with Him, with one another and with the eternal garden which awaits those who obey His blessed will. In the account of Adam and Eve in the garden it is plain that unity is for those who keep and practice the will of God, and unity is not merely based on fellowship.

No comments: