The Importance of Unity
Even though Paul was a controversial figure in the early church, the Jewish church in
Paul was able to maintain unity within the church between the Gentile and Jewish believers without doctrinal compromise. Disrupting unity over central doctrinal issues is valid. There are hills to die on. For example: The authority of Scripture; The Divinity of Christ; How we receive salvation and eternal life…things like these. These are the things that we as a church need to be corporately discovering and defining. Everyone in this church must know what the non-negotiables are and why they are non-negotiable. Charles Spurgeon once said:
Charles H. Spurgeon, The Essence of Separation, quoted in The Berean Call, July, 1992, p. 4.
A.W. Tozer put’s it perhaps more eloquently in this way:
Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers [meeting] together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become 'unity' conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.
A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God.
So we must not make compromises with the Gospel. Otherwise it is not the Good News. There is nothing good about a false Gospel.
However, there are areas in which dividing are not valid. These are matters of personal preferences and comfort and tradition. These are the areas where self-sacrificial compromises must be made for the unity of the church. Possibly, but not necessarily areas like music preference, church building programs, …anything that cannot be clearly argued from the Scriptures. Unity in the Body of Christ is of extreme importance. We, the church, are what the world sees of Jesus. As the bride of Christ we must do everything in our power to promote both doctrinal purity and loving unity. This is a tough battle but one that God has given us all the resources to wage and win. (1 Cor ; II Cor ; Eph. 4:3; Ph ; I Pet 3:8).
Bottom Line: God’s Glory
Paul believed in and knew a God that was so beautiful, amazing and powerful that Paul had no hesitation laying down his own personal preferences and even his own life in order to worship his God. Do you know that God? Do we as a church know that God? If our church is going to be restored and renewed, if it is going to be a thriving, God-honoring, and united family, we MUST unite around a corporate pursuit of growing deeper in our knowledge of who God is and who He has made us to be (the non-negotiables) And this knowledge will produce in us a love for Him and for others that will overpower our personal, A-Biblical preferences and overflow out of our hearts into our relationships with others in the church, both Spanish and English, into our ministries, and even outside of the walls of this church into the streets. And this deep intellectual, relational, and experiental knowledge of God will also give us a courage to live out that love so powerfully that nothing in this world, natural or supernatural can stop it. This is the essence Christian unity.
By His grace, for His glory,