THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date - 8-10-03

LESSON TITLE: THE SEVEN ONES OF UNITY: “THE ONE GOD”

WELCOME

Thank you for joining us this morning, let me welcome you to the program. The Living Word is a work of our Lord, dedicated to doing God’s Will in His Way! As always, it will be our privilege today to sing songs of praise and to study from His Word. In these acts of worship, may we all be encouraged, but ultimately may we each praise God according to the sacrifices to offer toward His Throne. It will also be our honor this morning to speak with God through prayer. Will you bow with me as we talk to our creator?

(PRAYER)

It’s now time to start our songs of praise. We want to begin by singing a hymn that reminds us of something we often neglect and many times we just plain forget. But as soon as things go bad or wrong this is often the first thing we do. What is this thing which we need to be more diligent in - Prayer! So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “Did You Think to Pray!”

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

Humility is a big topic throughout the Bible. In fact, we always find that those who were living righteously before God were humble people. There is no question as to why this was the case, it is because God requires His servants to be humble. There are many verses we could look at to prove this point, but lets consider one of the clearest on this topic, 1 Peter 5:5-6. There we read, “…be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,” This verse doesn’t say, to think about it or humble yourselves if you want to! It says, “humble yourselves before God!” Notice why we are to humble ourselves. These same verses say, because God “resists the proud,” and because “God’s hand is mighty!” So God doesn’t like the haughty and being a mighty God He can and will punish those who choose to reject humility.

Now I want you to further notice the outcome of a good humble spirit, as God requires. The same verses say that God will “exalt us in due time.” Our creator says if we do our part He will do His and bless us according to His Will. What great incentive this is for the child of God to learn the lesson of humility.

I also wanted to look at one other passage that to me really gives us an example as to why we need to and can be humble. In Mark 10:18, notice what Jesus said, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” Wow, did you catch that. Even Jesus Christ our greatest example showed humility as He was on this earth. In this situation we have Christ, the very son of God and God in the flesh, being approached by a man. The man bows down and calls Jesus good, yet Jesus rejects this. He instead gives the glory to God the Father and assumes His proper roll as the son to humble Himself and give the glory and honor to the Father.

What a great lesson we can learn about humility from those in the Bible like Christ. May we always study this topic and make sure that as followers of God we are doing our best to be humble in this world in which we live. And not just humble at times or when we chose to be, but let’s make it a way of life. So that God and all men can truly see the proper spirit of humility in us as servants of God. Are you humbling yourselves before God and this world? In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. This morning, we will be continuing our study together on Unity. Our specific lesson of the morning is entitled, “The One God.” So please stay with us and after our next song, I will be leading us in this important study from God’s Word. Now let’s join together in our next song of the day. The name of this hymn, “Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand.”

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

Speaker: Ray Sullins

Thank you for continuing with us this morning and now we have an opportunity to continue to go to God’s Word and to learn more about what He wants us to do in our everyday lives to be more pleasing in His sight.

As you well know, last week we began a new series of study on unity. We were able to look there from Ephesians chapter 4 and began really in the first three and at even the first of the fourth verse in relationship to those things that are required for a child of God to be considered as walking worthy before God. We mentioned a lot of things there such as being long-suffering, being gentle, being lowly, different ideas like love were given to us.

But then in verse 3, the writer there, Paul, inspired of the Holy Spirit says is we want to be one who is walking before God, worthy before God, according to what God has called us, then we must endeavor to, as it says there, keep the unity. In other words, the ability to have unity in the proper spirit for unity as the writer tells us there.

Last week, we began in verse 4 to look at the one body. And basically what we find here in this passage here is that there are seven things mentioned as required for proper unity and in relationship to those things each one are singular in nature. So we see the concepts again in verse 4 of the one body, the one spirit, the one hope, the one Lord, the one faith, the one baptism, and then the one God.

Now as we looked at the one body last week, I’d like to actually jump out of line just a bit because as you’ll notice there the next thing mentioned is the one spirit and certainly the spirit of God is of the utmost importance as the spirit of God is God. The Bible tells us in the book of Colossians chapter 1 and verse 2 as well as other places about the spirit, who the spirit is and that the spirit was considered as God. In fact, there was a situation you might remember in the book of Acts with Ananias and Sapphira where they were said to have lied against God and they were asked why they had lied against the Holy Spirit and then it was said that they had lied against God by lying to the Holy Spirit.

You might also know that the Bible tells us clearly that Jesus Christ there in John chapter 1, the first several verses, it tells us that “Jesus Christ was in the beginning as the Word. He was with God and was God.” So in these relationships we see that clearly the Spirit is God, the Son is God and then also as you and I well know the Father is God. And so this day, I think it’s best that we start really with the Father because once we understand unity in relationship to the Father that is mentioned also here in verse 6 of our text, then we can begin to tie in the Son who is sent by the Father, the Spirit who is sent by the Father and the Son and maybe in a little bit better order we are able to put those things together.

So we’ll look first of all today at God. Then we’ll look at the Son, then the Spirit. Then we’ll go on with the last few things in relationship to the hope, the faith and the baptism. But as we look at these things still again they all point back to the same thing, if I want to be worthy before God, doing that which I’ve been called to do, then I need to be unified. I need to have a spirit of unity and to have that spirit of unity, I’ve got to understand that there is only one body. There is only one body as we studied last week and I’ve got to understand that that one body is based on one God. That’s what verse 6 says. It says that “there is one God and Father of all who is above all and through all and in you all.” There is one God that is everywhere. There is only one God. The Old Testament writers talked about that. Paul, in Athens, talked about that and how the unknown God was the one that he wanted to tell them about there and that unknown God was the one, the true and the real God and the only God. Well, here it says that God the Father is not only above all but He is through all and He’s in you all. He indwells. God is everywhere. And so that’s the Father, God, that we’re talking about today. If I want to endeavor to have the Spirit to keep the unity and to have peace that God wants me to have, then I have got to understand, believe in, confess and obey the one God the Father and that’s why we would like to look at that today, because certainly as we consider unity and unity with God, we have to understand who that unity is with. Well that unity is with God the Father, the creator Himself, the giver of all, the one who has provided and cared for and has promised to protect us in all things.

You might also notice with me in relationship to the concept of unity that many in our day and time might say, “Well, unity in God really isn’t based on being alike or the same, it’s really based on just being able to get along or agreeing to disagree. Well I would disagree with that myself not because of what I feel or my own wisdom but because of what the Bible says. What is this Godly wisdom all about? What is this Godly unity that it talks about that we have one God and if I want to be able to be one who is pleasing before Him, walking worthy, then I have to believe and be unified in the concept of the one God. Well what is this unity then based on? I think there are many verses that would help us to see what this is talking about. We won’t take a great deal of time but I will read them quickly if you’ll follow along with me.

In 1 Corinthians chapter 1 and verse 10, Paul very beautifully there says, “Now I plead with you brethren by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you all speak the same thing, that there be no divisions among you but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” He talks there about being perfectly joined together. That’s unity. A perfect joining together. What is that perfect joining together based on? He states clearly here “not division,” but “having the same mind, the same judgment,” and there he adds, “speaking the same thing.” He says that if you are unified in God, before God and of God then you are going to be the same. He doesn’t just stop there. There are several other places that we can look at to find the very same thing.

Again, in 2 Corinthians chapter 13, you might notice with me in that last chapter of the second letter of Corinthians that he says in verse 11 the following, “Finally brethren, farewell, be complete. Be of good comfort. Be of one mind. Live in peace and the God of love and peace will be with you.” If you want God to be with you, if you want to walk worthy of His calling, what must you do? Here again it says, “We must have one mind. We must be perfectly completely together in one mind.” In fact, he even adds here the concept of “peace” again. And if you’ll remember back in our text there as we looked at in verse 3 “to endeavor to keep that proper spirit and unity,” it mentions there “in peace.” Peace is also a part of that. So this unity concept, this sameness, this likeness is based on God and who He is and what He is all about and once we know God, we are like-minded, we are of the same mind and so therefore as He and I are like-minded, then you and I as we follow the same God and we have the same likeness of mind with Him, then we in a similar way must have that same like mind.

The Philippian letter there to the church at Philippi, Paul said the very same things. Again, in Philippians chapter 1 and verse 27, he talks there about our conduct. He says, “Our conduct that is worthy of the gospel,” he says, “whether I come and see you or I am absent,” he goes on to say that “you must stand fast,” notice, “in one spirit,” the same thing that is mentioned in our text in verse 4, “with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” One mind, one spirit. That’s how we’re unified. Not because I think one thing and you think another and we just say, “Oh it doesn’t matter.” It’s one mind. One thing. It says, “speaking the same things.” Do you remember what we read? “Having the same mind. Having the same judgment.” We agree and we get along because we agree based on what God says. We read what God says and we come to the same conclusion because God has said the same thing to you that He has said to me.

Chapter 2 and verse 2 of the same book, Philippians again, tells us that “we must be like-minded.” We must have, it says there, “a mind that is similar, having the same love, being of one accord and being of one mind.” There again, unity, my friend, is based on the concept of likeness. If I’m one with God, if I believe in the one God and I’m of the one body, it’s because of the likeness I have with God, the similarities, not the differences, not the ability again to agree to disagree. It’s because we’re the same with God. That’s what the Bible tells us and that’s what it pleads to us and it encourages us in as we look at all of these texts that deal with this very same concept.

I think that John in 1 John probably helped us to see this concept maybe better than anyone as he talks about our God, the great God. In fact, he mentions there in 1 John chapter 1, the first about four verses that he was an eyewitness. “The things that I’ve seen and I’ve heard and I’ve…” He says, “I’m one that you can count on because I was there with Jesus. I saw it for myself. I heard it with my own ears. I’m an eyewitness of these things.”

Then if you’ll notice with me in verse 5 what he went on to say. He says, “This is the message that we have heard from Him that God is the light and in Him there is no darkness at all.” He says, “God is light and in Him there is no darkness,’ completely no darkness, “none at all.” That means none exists. God is good, righteous and holy. There is no wickedness or sinfulness or anything that would be even maybe dim in any way or dark for certain.

But then he goes on in the next verse to say that “if we have fellowship with Him and we walk in darkness, then we are liars and we don’t practice the truth.” Here this verse is telling us that we can’t have fellowship with God and be in darkness at the same time. We can’t say that we love God and we believe God and we love others who believe in God, but yet we’re all different. We can’t be different. We can’t be in darkness. We have to be in God as God is in the light. You see, similarities again. As God is light, I am light. Therefore, what happens? We have fellowship. That’s what it says in verse 7 as it goes on to say, “But if we walk in the light as God is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sins.” You see, we’re cleansed from the darkness. We stay away from the darkness. We have no part in darkness, those things contrary to God. Why? Because we’re focused on God and in Him and the same as Him. As He is in the light, we are in the light. What is my fellowship with God based on? As I know who He is, it’s my understanding to know and obey Him as He is in the light, my duty and obligation is to be in the light as He is. Thus, I have fellowship with my God. Isn’t that what He’s talking about here? Isn’t that what He’s telling us? Isn’t that why in verse 3 He says, “Look, as we’ve got fellowship with God, we’ve got it with you as well.” Why? Because we are the same. You see, when I know God and I’ve studied His Word and I’ve obeyed it as He has asked me to and I’m, in the light because He is in the light and we’re having that fellowship with our creator in heaven, then automatically you who are doing the same thing, having the same likeness because of your relationship with God based on what God says not what we feel, then you see, we have fellowship. Our fellowship is not based on each other. Our unity is not based on how you and I like each other or how we get along necessarily. It’s really based on how we communicate and get along with and obey God. Because the reality is that when we are Christ-like, when we’re doing what God asks and when we are obeying God, guess what. Then we are people who are going to get along because we are Christ-like, because we are demonstrating ourselves to be as God would have us to be.

So again, let me encourage you to understand that unity is based on our likeness, our likenesses with one another based on the Word of God, our likeness with God because we’re similar in nature with Him. But the sad part is that although God has said all these things about division, all these things about speaking the same thing and having the same mind and working together and being all those that really in everything exemplify God and show ourselves to be disciples because we’re doing what God says and showing love one toward another in the one body, believing in the one God, but yet it is sad because it’s not what we see in the world. There’s great division, many teaching many different things and rather than people having the same mind and the same judgment and speaking the same thing in relationship to what God says, many men are being obeyed and followed.

Many have followed different paths. So sad indeed because there in John chapter 17 Jesus prayed against this very thing. He prayed there in the first part for Himself and said, “I pray there Father that you and I will be one.” He prayed for His disciples there in the second part of this chapter beginning in verse 6 and then in the latter part of the chapter beginning in verse 20, He says, “I pray that all of us may be one.” In fact, if you’ll read with me there, He says He prays for all but in verse 21 He says that “they all may be one as you Father are in Me and I in You, that they may also be one in us that the world may believe that you sent Me.” If we want the world to believe that Jesus sent Him and that we are of God, how do they know that? They know that because we are one here.

Let me ask you a question. Would you say that if you ask Jesus a question and God a question that the answer would be the same? Would you say if you ask Jesus to explain something from the words of God to you and then you ask the Father to explain it and then the Spirit. Would they be the same, speaking the same things, like-minded, the same judgment or would they be different? Now let me ask you what sense does it make today when the religious world says, “We all love God and we’re all the same but you say, ‘What do you believe it takes to become a child of God?’” Then you ask another and they are different. You see, unity. Unity is based in God and His Will, who He is, what He’s all about, His Word and the revelation that He has given to us which completely and thoroughly furnishes us to know all that He wants us to do. He has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness. Our duty is to study it, to know our God, to be unified with Him, and thus because of that unity we share and we have unity with all because of our speaking the same thing, having the same mind, and having the same judgment.

Are you ready and willing to strive to have that unity, that peace that’s found in God? You can if you’ll obey Him and do His Will as we find in the Bible.

CLOSING COMMENTS

Thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in giving this time to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God!

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May we ever understand that an important part of unity is based on the one God. Do you truly know who your God is and all He requires in your life?

(Program closing)