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Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. John 17:17.

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Presentation on theme: "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. John 17:17."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. John 17:17

2 Learned that fellowship between two individuals is determined by their mutual fellowship with God also, basis of fellowship with God (and each other) is common understanding of God’s word according to Scriptures, common understanding can and must be found if brethren wish to be unified God B A

3 However, many protest that such unity is impossible believe that instruction of Scriptures is good foundation and profitable in theory, but impossible to put into practice (2 Tim. 3:16-17) appeal, instead, to worldly wisdom and anecdotal evidence of “faithful” and “unified” churches that remained fragmented in doctrine and practice Man’s wisdom will always be shunned in favor of God’s, but with so many obvious examples of brethren disagreeing, is it worthwhile or even possible to come to an agreement on matters of faith?

4 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. Jude 3

5 Would be those things that, unlike opinions, are pertinent to one’s relationship with God and brethren several passages explicitly indicate source of fellowship the apostle’s doctrine (Acts 2:42) the gospel of Christ (Gal. 1:6-9) the doctrine of Christ (2 Jn. 9-11) upon authority of God’s word that we place our salvation Christians, then, should strive to come to agreement only upon what has been revealed (Rom. 10:17) as opposed to what has not (Deut. 29:29)(2 Tim. 2:14)

6 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 1 Corinthians 11:17-18

7 Tendency to overlook differences of faith intentionally sweeping issues under the rug (1 Cor. 5:1-2) wanting to please everyone (Gal. 1:6-10) either way, end result is a deceiving and dangerous tolerance (2 Cor. 11:1-4) Instead of being tolerant, apostles were proactive towards resolving differences exposing works of darkness (Eph. 5:8-14) stopping the spread of false doctrine (Tit. 1:10-11) correcting the honestly mistaken (Acts 18:24-28) did not pay lip-service to the lofty goal of Biblical unity

8 Need not be divisive practice if done with humility and a view towards resolving differences (2 Tim. 2:24-26) Goal of 1 Corinthians was unity (1 Cor. 1:10), but before they could enjoy unity, they had to address… withdrawing from a sinning member (chapter 5) suing one another (chapter 6) engaging in sexual immorality (chapter 6) offending one another’s consciences (chapters 8-9) mingling with pagan idolatries (chapter 10) rebellious dress (chapter 11) abuses of the Lord’s Supper (chapter 11) arguments over spiritual gifts (chapters 12-14) false doctrine concerning the resurrection (chapter 15)

9 With all these problems, one would think they had no hope of unity, but Paul’s persistence (1 Cor. 16:13-14) was rewarded with comfort and joy in their collective obedience to the truth (2 Cor. 7:13-16) Importance of closeness within the congregation besides obvious benefits of friendship, also makes sin more difficult to remain hidden and unaccounted for ultimate show of friendship is restoring one’s fellowship with God (James 5:19-20)

10 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

11 Exposing differences counter-productive if not followed by reflection together on God’s word many Bereans believed because they searched the Scriptures daily for their beliefs (Acts 17:11-12) apostles and elders came together to study and come to a conclusion on the church’s relationship to the Old Law (Acts 15:16-21) without coming to a unified conclusion, churches left in chaos and confusion

12 Only need good hearts, common goal, and Scriptures individuals are promised that with diligent and open- hearted study comes knowledge leading to obedience and salvation (Deut. 4:29)(Mt. 7:7-8)(James 1:5-8) yet, if we trust God’s promises, then why do so many doubt that two or more, or even a church, can come to that same saving knowledge together? discernment should be increased in numbers (Prov. 27:17) good hearts should receive truth (Lk. 8:11-15), and church comprised of good hearts should do the same (1 Cor. 3:9)

13 While many churches are content with peace fostered primarily by tolerance, we must recognize that we are called to a higher goal if we are to be faithful Biblical unity may take time and may involve taking difficult actions along the way, but with good hearts all actively working together towards the same goal, becoming of one mind and one judgment is not only possible, but promised

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