Unity In The Church

Unity In The Church
Sunday, June 24, 2018 – Pastor George M. Dupree
 
Today we’re talking about UNITY IN THE CHURCH – it’s true, not everyone in the Church agrees…but we can disagree without being disagreeable.
 
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
 
Ephesians 4:3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
 
In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity & Love
 
If you do a web search you’ll find this saying or a variation of it in several places.
 
The funny thing is you’ll also find a lot of controversy about it too!
 
Like who really did say it first, was it Augustine, The Moravians, John Wesley and more.
 
Also there is controversy as to the meaning of the saying, is it inclusive, too inclusive, clear, muddy on so on.
 
So I suppose it supports my opening thought that not everyone in the Church agrees.
 
So why would I use this saying today? I Like It!
 
In the Church there are ESSENTIAL THINGS and there are non-essential things.
 
Here are a few of the ESSENTIALS
 
Salvation by Grace through Faith
Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God —
 
Gathering together to worship God
Hebrews 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together
 
Remember the sacrifice of Jesus
1Corinthians 11:24 and when He had given thanks, He broke itand said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”25 In the same manner Healso tookthe cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant inMy blood. This do, as often as you drink it,in remembrance of Me.”
The Apostles’ Creed is a good summary of Christian Essentials
 
The traditional Apostles’ Creed arose when heretical groups such as the Gnostics were making certain claims that conflicted with the established, biblically orthodox teachings of the church.
 
The Apostles’ Creed is not found in the Bible but it is a statement of belief from the Bible. We believe in more than the Apostles Creed but NOT less. In Other words it contains truths that we would not remove.
 
The apostles did not write the Apostles’ Creed. Rather, it was written at least 150 years after the apostles had all died. It is called the Apostles’ Creed because it is supposed to be a record of what the apostles taught.
 
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
 
The creed was never intended to replace the Bible; in fact that’s why the line is there about the church universal or the catholic church. Catholic means universal.
 
The Gnostics were telling people that only a select few could know the truths of God and understand the word of God. So the writers of the creed said they believed in the universal and inclusive church of ALL believers.
 
The creed was designed to guide you in an easily memorable way into what the truths of the Bible are.
 
We need truth that will endure, it has to be rock solid, it needs to be immutable or unchangeable.
 
We need to focus on the ESSENTIALS and not be distracted by the differences we have. Part of growing in Christ is making allowance for differences.
Ephesians 4:2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,