Disunity is everywhere, and it seems many people decry it while holding to the very selfish views and actions that promote even more disunity. Is that always wrong? Sometimes it is. Yet in the case of the Church, what — or Who — is it we should be unifying around anyway?
In this continuing collection of sermon notes from Sunday messages, one of my church’s pastor answered why, based on the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to the Romans in Romans 12 …
01.31.2010 — Romans 12: 1-16 (Paul)
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12: 1-2
- In our church, we want to be committed to “living theology” as a community of believers. We are called by God, all of us, by Jesus and empowered by the Spirit to do the work of ministry (2 Corinthians 5: 17-21).
- Our unity now is found only in Christ, for the glory of God alone, making much of Him as His new creations, for the rest of our lives.
- But we still struggle because we wrestle with our sin natures. We do not always deal well with diversity, do we? Too often we think deep down like we are always right. If the world were a perfect place, we subconsciously assume, everyone would only act as we do! Such disagreements have done such damage, over insignificant things, to the cause of Christ. Yet we are called to love God, and each other as we love ourselves, and we know we do that.
- “God’s mercy is our motive and our motivation for growing together in grace. … The mercies of God make us family.” So we can call each other brothers and sisters in Christ, with affection He has given us, with God as our heavenly Father.
- The mercies of God give us a common purpose and move us through a common process. He has given all for us; let us be grateful and give all to Him. This makes rational, reasonable, right worship. We help each other in perseverance too, because we need each other. This is a lifelong community project, letting our lives be transformed.
- We must encourage one another to find our satisfaction not in the temptations of the world, but in Him (2 Corinthians 5:18). We need to want to be like our Heavenly Father, beholding His glory in everything. His mercy moves us from selfishness to being committed to others.