Eph 4:4-6

What makes the church so unique? What makes the church stand out from the rest of the world? Is it you? Is it me? The answer to that is no! What makes the church so unique is the message that brought us together under one roof to praise the only God who is above all gods and things. See a healthy church is united by our gospel confession.

A healthy church is characterized by unity and the marvelous testimony to the watching world. Everything the church is in relation to salvation, one another and the Kingdom of God is based on the principles grounded in the gospel. The cause or the baseline for this outward conformity is based upon an inner onenessOur practical oneness is based upon spiritual onenessWithout unity and conformity to the scriptures the church would never be able to function or grow and would be nothing more than a club.

Think about that for a moment! The church is one and is to be one because God is one. The true Christian church has always been characterized by their unity or oneness under the scriptures. In the book of Acts we read “Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.” Acts 4:32
No matter what someone had or didn’t, they make it an aim to share amoung the family of God. The unity of Christians in the church are to be a witness for the world to see the reflecting unity of God Himself through the visible body.

Why is that important? Without unity we look like the rest of the world. Paul saw this to be a concern “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” 1 Cor 1:10. Paul argued for unity of the Christian based on their unity in Christ. “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,” Phil 2:1-5. Even Jesus in His High Priestly prayer implored the Father that His people might be one. He went so far as to ask the Father that “they may be one even as We are One” He desired that the unity of the people of God, the unity of the church, would reflect and mirror the unity that exists between the Father and the Son.

Jesus said this “And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth." I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.  O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them." John 17:19-26

A healthy church relies and depends on these simple truths that are before us this morning. Truths that involve the Triune God over His called out ones and His plan for the church. 

Unity in The Spirit (v4)

There is only one body of true believers. The church is composed of every saint who has trusted in the Savior’s love through the gospel. It’s the Spirit who works in us to bring us to salvation and He also is the one who is changing us for the glory of God. Obvious there is only one Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God, who is possessed by every true believer. The Spirit is the inner unifying authority in the body. Though we are unique and individuals we are all temples of the Holy Spirit. “Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.” 1 Cor 3:16-17

The Spirits role in the church plays a vital part to the unity of the body.
The Spirit is what builds and strengthens the unity of the church

Eph 2:21-22 says “in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” 

The Spirit is given as a pledge to our inheritance through redemption.

Eph 1:14 we read “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
This Spirit guarantees our seat at the Marriage Table or feast.

Rev 19:9 says “And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are the true words of God."

It’s this promise that we have this one hope through the one calling of God in our lives. 

What is that universal of hope the church has? The Second coming of Christ! Now we might have people in different camps when it comes to eschatology but the underlining hope from the Amillennialist to the Pre-millennialist is the coming of Christ. The bottom line is, we all have one hope. Our calling is sure and Jesus is coming back again John 14:1-3 reaffirm that hope “"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” This hope we have is shared with the same identity we have in the Spirit. Despite there are a mix of different members from colour to ethnicity we are one body dwelt by one Spirit. The church is unique because of the Spirit that indwells the body.
Unity in The Son (v5)

There is only one Lord who is over all things and His name is Jesus Christ. “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil 2:8-11. No other name can be compared with His……. It stands alone.
He only is Redeemer, Savior.
He only is Christ, the Anointed of God.
He only is the Son of God. His ranks, His titles, His dignity, are above all others. 
We share the same testimony of grace through Christ our Lord. 
We are united in Him through one faith and one baptism. These are the characteristics of all who are truly in Christ Jesus. We testify that Jesus is Lord and we testify that faith in His work on our behalf …..is our only means of salvation. Our baptism is our public declaration of sins forgiven by Christ alone and set apart by grace alone in Christ.
This is important church family…..

Because it’s not uncommon to hear similar things spoken in ecumenical settings throughout other denominations or religious circles. The difference between the true church and them is what is affirmed as truth and what is man centered/tradition. The bible teaches that it’s…. Christ alone, faith alone, grace alone, Scripture alone, to God be the glory alone. We are called to examine the church, our denomination, and our traditions to make sure that they are in line with Scripture. And we do not divert away from biblical truth to please man. Bryan Chapell said “We are called out of our separateness not to do as we please, but to direct our faith and practice towards the truths given to us by the testimony of Scripture. This calling also causes us to honor brother and sisters of other churches and denominations who unite their thoughts actions to Scripture. In doing so we must affirm that there are differences that are honorable but not vital; there are believers with whom we differ on matters important but not essential; and even as we are correcting ourselves by Scripture, we are called to seek ways to come together with those who are with us in their testimony of one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. What we are not permitted to do is unite ourselves with those who have abandoned these truths affirmed in Scripture.”

We know this by what the Scriptures say……. “And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist…..Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” 2 John 6-11

The church is never to negotiate fundamental and central truths, such as the deity of Christ and the substitutionary atonement. This must not be allowed to happen, for the Bible calls us to “the unity of the faith” A unity based on the truth of God’s Word. Believers who are trying to be faithful to the Scriptures know that the New Testament writers stress the need for us to guard the truth of the faith once delivered. Jude penned “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” Jude 3. Paul warned Timothy of standing strong in this faith “O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called "knowledge," for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.” 1 Tim 6:20-21

There is only one faith
There is only one Savior
Jesus is fully God and fully man
Born of Virgin
Died and Rose again
Ascended to the Heaven
King of Kings
Lord of Lords 
Christ is the one foretold by the prophets
Christ who fulfills the Law
Christ is the essence of our faith and our baptism

Remember what Paul wrote to the Roman believers “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.” Rom 6:4-7. The church is unique because of Christ and the testimony we have in the gospel.
Unity in The Father (v6)

When Paul says “one God and Father of all” He is reminding us that despite our differences (social/ethnic), we are all the same family. Because we share the same Father. Eph 2:18-19 reminded us of this truth “For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,” Think about the implications of what Paul is saying this morning. The God of all, who is the Father of all, has given us His Son’s imputed righteousness through the gospel confession. This was shown through the Father’s love and affection when He crushed His Son for our sins. But the beautiful result of this love is that it extends to our love that we should have for one another. Brothers and sisters should have family affection one for another. Knowing this truth that we are of one eternal family should reduce all earthy hatred and give us a desire for unity of one and for others to come to the saving knowledge of Christ through the gospel. Why? For this reason!

God the Father is above all - Who is supreme; who presides over all things.

He is absolute in all His power. No power in Heaven, earth or hell can triumph over Him. He rules the galaxies, from earth to the uttermost stars. No governments on earth can overrule His decrees. “….I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,” Isaiah 46:8-10. Isaiah 45:22-23 says "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: 'To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.”
God the Father is through all - He encompasses universal nature, and His agency is seen everywhere.

Paul penned these words to remind us of this truth “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Rom 1:19-20. God knows what He is doing, where He is going and how He will accomplish His purposes in Heaven and on this earth. Nowhere is this more evident than CalvaryWhere God allowed earth and Hell to unite against Him and have its unregenerate way. Let the scriptures explain what I mean! “…Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, but they kept shouting, "Crucify, crucify him!" A third time he said to them, "Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him." But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will.” Luke 23:18-25. Romans and the Jews joined to endorse this death and Satan thought he won, but this was God working through His purposes and plans for redemption. Our God is absorbed in His purposes and is through all.

God the Father is in you all - There is no one in whose heart He does not dwell.

We have the Father abiding in His presence which denotes the idea of resting and continuance of presence. (1 Cor 3:16) We know that we have the Sprit that indwells us and we know Jesus indwells the believer in John 15:4. But we also need to understand the Father does as well and that he takes up residence in our hearts. Meaning by his powerful presence, which is everywhere supporting us, the church because He loves His children. “Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23. This unity that we have in the church is found in the character of God Himself. This should melt our hearts as brothers and sister in Christ. He loves us so much He is here to guide us through and direct our path as a church family. Don’t take this lightly or brush it off as not important to know. To know that God is supreme over my life and your life and the church is a beautiful picture of God’s love. R C Sproul said this “We speak abstractly, perhaps loosely, about God as supreme Being. But if ever those words meant anything, they certainly capture what is stated in verse six. This is absolutely supremacy. God is over everything. He permeates all things. He is in all things. All of these characteristics spell out for us the basis of unity in the body of Christ.

What does that mean for you and me as a body of Christ; as a local body of believers?

Answer: Paul’s letter points us to the glorious divine, eternal unity that the Farther gives to us by His Spirit and through the Son. 

What does that look like so that you and I understand?

We are God created
We are God loved
We are God saved
We are God Fathered
We are God controlled
We are God sustained
We are God filled
We are God blessed

We are a church united under one sovereign, omnipotent and omnipresent God who is guiding and seeing His church through to the end. This is the hope and faith of the true church. This is what a healthy church is.


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