One In Christ
The unity of the church is not organizational, nor is it based on social or economic status or educational background. Men divide themselves over these matters and also attempt to find unity in these, which produces even greater disunity.
Christian unity is founded upon the reality that we have one Savior, and one faith in Him. We have been made a part of His body, the true Church, by the power of the Holy Spirit. We do not find in the New Testament a church for Jews who have accepted Christ and another for gentile believers or a church for slaves and another for free citizens. There is only one Church of Jesus Christ.
As we sadly know we Christians do not always experience this unity. How are we to develop and maintain unity in the Church?
First, we need to realize that unity is not something we produce. When man tries to create unity it is always based on something inadequate. We tend to base our unity on economic status, race, personality, or common interests. To do so is to build on sand.
Secondly, we must eliminate the causes of disunity. The main problem is human pride. The church of Corinth was a very divided church. Some thought they were superior to other Christians because they possess certain spiritual gifts. They had forgotten that the gifts of the Spirit were given to be used to strengthen the whole church and not for individual honor. The humility which we see demonstrated in Christ will keep us united.
Thirdly, we need to recognize that some degree of diversity is not incompatible with unity. In writing to the Corinthians St. Paul compared the Church to the human body.
The various parts of the body, such as eyes, ears, and feet are not identical but they possess a common life due to their connection to the body. A single eye or ear does not make a body.
Finally, we must always remember that our unity as the Church is in Christ. St. Paul did not tell the Corinthians, “I want you to become more united.” Rather he emphasized to them that they were united in the one body of Christ through the one Spirit. We do not need to seek unity with other Christians, for it is already ours. What we must do is live out the implications of the unity that we actually have in Christ. In other words, we are united; now let's live together like we believe it.
The distinctions that so often form barriers among people are irrelevant in the Church of Jesus Christ. For, “In Christ neither circumcision prevaileth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Gal. 6:15) The “new creature” is all that matters.
It is only a united Church that will have an effective ministry. It is only a united Church that will be attractive to other people. And it is only a united Church that will glorify and please our Lord Jesus Christ.
by Rev. F. M. Levi
Classes resume Sunday morning, September 12, at 9:30 a.m. Classes offered for all ages.
Our Rally Day Picnic to help launch the Sunday School year will be held after worship September 12 th . Hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided by St. Andrew's. There is a sign up sheet in the narthex for those coming to bring side dishes. Volunteers are needed. Visitors are encouraged to attend. There will be an evangelistic balloon launch. This will be family fun for all.
50th Wedding Anniversary
Congratulations to Carl & Elaine Spencer on their 50 th wedding anniversary, May 15, 2004 . May they have many more happy years together.
We would like to thank bicyclist Carl Spencer and Elaine for all the bicycle equipment they lent us for VBS. We also thank the moms who provided sports equipment: Maureen Anderson, Sade Adekoya, Elizabeth Kochniarczyk, and Anita Rago.
Missionary of The Month
Sue Brodish, Christian Kindergarten. Schwalmstadt-I, GERMANY .