Monday, November 15, 2010

LET US ALL BE "One in Christ"



I can hardly believe that it has been a whole year now since I was led by the Lord to start up this blog and spread the good news of the gospel. I can honestly say that it has been a very exciting and challenging experience for me. There are so many folks out there with "Christian blogs" that are just as dedicated as I am to reach the lost souls of this world. I want to thank all of my friends that follow and post comments. You have all been an encouragement too me and I consider you all my brothers and sisters in Christ.

The internet is such a blessing from God because it allows us to reach so many folks that are hurting. As Christians, we can let the world know that the only way to have peace, joy and happiness in their lives is to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

The Lord has led me to study and meditate on Ephesians 2:11-13, in which the Apostle Paul teaches us the importance of all believers being "One in Christ". It sometimes breaks my heart to see so many "Christian blogs" that concentrate more on debating and fighting over debatable doctrines instead of focusing on the "Great Commission" that Jesus commanded us to do. All believers in our Lord must come together on a common ground where we can unite as "One in Christ" so the lost world will not be so confused. Our duty as followers of Jesus is to spread the good news, not to confuse people.


Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:11-13)


Because the sign of the Abrahamic covenant was circumcision, the Jews proudly referred to themselves as the Circumcision. Somewhat less kindly, they called Gentiles the Uncircumcision. Pious Jews ("the circumcision") considered all non-Jews (the "uncircumcised") ceremonially unclean. They thought of themselves as pure and clean because of their national heritage and religious ceremonies. Paul pointed out that Jews and Gentiles alike were unclean before God and needed to be cleansed by Christ.

Paul told the Ephesians that Jews and Gentiles alike could be guilty of spiritual pride - Jews for thinking their faith and traditions elevated them above everyone else, and Gentiles for trusting in their achievements, power, or position. Spiritual pride blinds us to our own faults and magnifies the faults of others. We must be careful not to become proud of your salvation. Instead, humbly thank God for what He has done, and encourage others who might be struggling in their faith. In order to realize how great a gift salvation is, we need to remember our former natural, unclean condition. Have you ever felt separate, excluded, and hopeless? These verses are for you. No one is alienated from Christ's love or from the body of believers.

Paul painted vividly the bleak condition of pagans. They had no hope, for God had not reached out to them to establish a covenant relationship. However, the shed blood of Christ could bring the Gentiles back to their Creator. Before Christ's coming, Gentiles and Jews kept apart from one another. Jews considered Gentiles beyond God's saving power and therefore without hope. Gentiles resented Jewish claims. Christ revealed the total sinfulness of both Jews and Gentiles, and then He offered His salvation to both. Only Christ breaks down the walls of prejudice, reconciles all believers to God, and unifies us in one body.

ONE TRUE IDENTITY IN CHRIST

  • No condemnation awaits us. Romans 8:1
  • We are set free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2
  • We are sanctified and made acceptable in Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:2
  • We are righteous and holy in Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:30
  • We will be made alive at the resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:22
  • We are a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • We receive God's righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5:21
  • We are one in Christ with all other believers. Galatians 3:28
  • We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians 1:3
  • We are holy, blameless, and covered with God's love. Ephesians 1:4
  • We are adopted as God's children. Ephesians 1:5, 6
  • Our sins are taken away, and we are forgiven. Ephesians 1:7
  • We will be brought under Christ's headship. Ephesians 1:10, 11
  • We are marked as belonging to god by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13
  • We have been raised up to sit with Christ in glory. Ephesians 2:6
  • We are God's work of art. Ephesians 2:10
  • We have been brought near to God. Ephesians 2:13
  • We share in the promise in Christ. Ephesians 3:6
  • We can come with freedom and confidence into God's presence. Ephesians 3:12
  • We are members of Christ's body, the church. Ephesians 5:29, 30
  • We have been given fullness in Christ. Colossians 2:10
  • We are set free from our sinful nature. Colossians 2:11
  • We will have eternal glory. 2 Timothy 2:10

It is my prayer, that as true believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, that we can all come together as brothers and sisters in the family of God. Let us all put away our pride and have the mind of Christ the next time we witness on our blogs or to our neighbors. Remember, there is only one true God and His Son Jesus paid the ultimate price for us all. God's blessings too each and every one of you.

References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), and Nelson Study Bible.

25 comments:

Barbara said...

Happy blog birthday to you! All the Christian denominations agree on so much more than the few points they disagree upon. It would behoove us to show more love and encouragement one toward another.

One Heart said...

Lloyd, this is perfect and I so agree.

Quoting you, "We must be careful not to become proud of your salvation. Instead, humbly thank God for what He has done, and encourage others who might be struggling in their faith."

My response to that is Father, let it begin by me. Examine me not only daily but with each breath I take.

As far as being one...well, my other name tells you how I feel about that.

Much love and blessings to you my brother,
ONE HEART =D

SweetMother ;) said...

This is such a great post! Oh wouldn't it be so wonderful if we could all unite and work together to bring others to our Lord? Our family would just grow and grow! Thanks so much for the thought on this fine Monday morning!

Melanie said...

YES!!! I completely agree! It is so nice to meet another sister in Christ.

Blessings!
Melanie

Rosemi said...

Amen!

GOD thinker said...

Congratulations and Amen, Amen!!

Seriously Though said...

I really liked this post. I hope you don't mind, I'm going to ask to read it at a fellowship tonight... I liked it that much!

Tracey said...

Wow! thanks for inviting me over here, Lloyd - a place for my soul to get fed. Can't wait till I have time to pour over it slowly. Looks like a lot of good stuff for my bible study!! Can't wait!! :-)

Tracey said...

Wanted to come right back & say OneHeart - your post was beautiful. I need that, too - sometimes I find myself getting overwhelmed with God's grace, then I need to reel myself back in & re-focus.

Again, thanks, Lloyd.

Clint said...

Doesn't satan just LOVE it when Christians fight over small matters of doctrine? For as Paul wrote, (paraphrasing) "Our quarrel is not with flesh and blood, but with the dark forces of this world."

Great post!---thank you.

Lon said...

Beautiful . . . thank you for sharing!

God Bless you, and everyone!!!

Your brother in Christ!

Pumice said...

Glad to see another post. Congratulations on a full year.

I agree about the blessing of the internet, but I don't really mind the arguments. Of course there are arguments that are really discussions that sharpen our faith and there are ARGUMENTS that are nothing but bitterness.

Keep in mind also that there are many "Christian" blogs that would deny much of what you have highlighted.

Anyway, thanks for the reminder that the pull of Jesus is stronger than the push of our opinions.

Grace and Peace.

Lloyd said...

Barbara - Thank you for your kind comments. As long as Christian church's teach the essential doctrines of the Christian faith it is doing well in the sight of the Lord. I agree that as believers in Christ that we need to show more love and encouragement to our fellow believers. Blessings.

One Heart - Your visits and comments are always so encouraging. I echo your response to our Awesome and Holy God...let it begin with me. Examine me, not only daily but with each breath I take. Blessings my sister in Christ.

SweetMother - Thank you for your kind comments. It would be wonderful if all Christian groups could unite to spread the Good News. But, unfortunately there is a BIG problem with PRIDE and the pushing of non-essential doctrines that get into the way. Blessings too you my friend.

Melanie, Rosemi, GOD thinker -- Thank you for your visit and comments. Blessings too each of you.

Seriously Though - I am happy that you enjoyed reading this post. I am humbled that you would want to use this post at your fellowship. You are welcome to use any material on my blog to promote the Glory of our Lord and Savior. Blessings too you.

Tracey and Lon - Thank you for the encouraging comments. Blessings to both of you.

Clint - Thank you for the visit and comments. The devil does love to see God's children fight and bicker over small matters of doctrine that has nothing to do with salvation. Just think of all the lost souls out there that are "turned-off" and walk away from Christ because they become so confused about what Christian group or denomination is telling the TRUTH. Blessings too you my friend.

Pumice - Thank you for your visit and comments. Yes...this blog made it a full year. I agree that it is necessary to have discussions that will sharpen our faith, but the ARGUMENTS on non-essential matters that have nothing to do with salvation usually turn into bitter battles of PRIDE and these are the things that will harm your witness to Christ to the lost and dying world. God bless.

Zimbabwe said...

I wish You all the best and God's blessings on the occasion of Your blog anniversary :)

Tonjia said...

Perhaps our one true identity in Christ, was taught By Christ himself, IN THE FLESH, while he lived, and was the LIFE and walked and talked, and delivered his message to eyewitnesses, who testified:

Blessed are the born again who mourn the death of the savior, and the condition of the people that made a sacrifice of him.

Blessed are the born again, for they are meek and lowly.

Blessed are the born again for they alone hunger and thirst for righteousness and are the merciful, and do not make a sacrifice me.(I will have mercy, and not sacrifice)

Blessed are the born again, who are pure in heart and peacemakers, who see God as I see God, one nature, all light with no darkness/ duality in him. He is all good all the time, and does not Kill steal and destroy.

Blessed are the born again who will be persecuted because they believe ME, and MY WORDS, and no others.

Be ye therefore perfect, as your father in heaven is perfect, for he blesses his enemies and his friends alike, and neither hates nor kills his enemies.

Love your enemies as god loves his enemies. Feed them, clothe them, visit them, care for them, suffer with them.

It never ceases to amaze me how people who profess Christ can have an entire doctrinal discussion about him without ever once quoting a single word he said as SAVIOR of the WORLD, the light, the truth and the way. Jesus is the way. You cannot get there through Paul, who was not an eyewitness of Jesus IN THE FLESH, and does not teach Jesus in the flesh.

Miawa said...

Praise the Lord that you have seen fit to follow Him and continue on this blog, sharing the love of God.
Congrat's on a year of public fellowship and teachings.
This is a wonderful post of the Glory of God and salvation for all.

dfish said...

It's pretty hard to go for a walk with someone without going with the others who walk with him. Thye conflict shows we are more concerned about ourselves than about walking with the Lord.

Thanks for the post.

Ian Curtis said...

Lloyd,
congratulations on your anniversary, and many more to come, I pray. You are one of the least contentious people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, and that to me is a sublime blessing. You stay focused, and you remind others to stay focused, on our Lord. Debatable doctrines do distract. They should not create schism and separation.
We have you in our prayers, brother. Ian.

MTJ said...

Congratulations Lloyd!

In the months that I've been reading your blog, I have found both encouragement and inspiration; this post strikes a familiar chord.

I agree, the Internet is a blessing from God. In this forum, there is no circumcision, uncircumcision, race, ethnicity, or denomination; we are all One in Christ.

"Only Christ breaks down the walls of prejudice, reconciles all believers to God, and unifies us in one body." -- Amen.

Blessings and peace.

MTJ

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your one year blog birthday! May you be blessed with many more years of blessing others with the Word of God!
God bless, Aimee

Lloyd said...

Zimbabwe - Thank you for your visit and kind comments. With the will of God there will be a 2nd anniversary. Blessings.

Tonjia - I want to thank you for taking the time to visit and post your personal beliefs. You are right in saying, "Jesus is the way." May God bless you.

Miawa - I want to personally thank you for your visit and encouraging comments. I always want to give our Lord Jesus Christ all the glory for all things. Blessings.

dfish - How true your words are when it comes to walking with the Lord. There are certain basic Christian doctrines that, as believers, we will rise up and take issue with. However, we should never become a stumbling block for a non-believer or weaker Christian over issues that may have nothing to do with our salvation. Blessings to you my friend.

Ian and MTJ - What friends in Christ the two of you are to me. I must admit that I feel very humble just having both of you as followers and I look forward to the wisdom of your comments.

I want to personally thank you both for your Christian blog ministries that continue to reflect God's glory upon His Son Jesus Christ. Blessings to both of you and may our Lord continue to work through your blogs. God bless.

Aimee - Thank you so much my sister in Christ for your visit and encouraging comments. I know that our Lord will continue to bless you and your Christian blog that I visit so often. Blessings, Lloyd

Amrita said...

Excellent Bible study I will pass it on to a blog friend

Kiran Ignatius said...

Hi Lloyd,
Love this post. Jesus wanted unity and I'm sure it will happen soon. God will bring all his sheep into one flock.
I'm waiting for that day when we will worship God unitedly in our different ways and still be one.
Thanks for visiting my blog. Following you now.
Kiran.

Lloyd said...

Kiran - Thank you so much for your visit and comments. You are right when you say that someday we will worship God unitedly.....there will be no denominations or church groups or organizations.... only ONE IN CHRIST worshiping our Almighty and Holy God. Blessings my friend in Christ.

The Unknowngnome said...

Thank you Lloyd for your visit and thank you for your invitation to follow.

I have spent some time here this morning reading through your postings and you do give meat.

This particular post is so inviting and uniting, a true reflection of how we are to come together.

I like your wording of Eph 2:10, "We are God's work of art". I hadn't thought of God's workmanship of myself as a piece of art, but yes, if I consider all creation as beauty or art then His workmanship of me could be considered as a piece of functional art.

Thank you my friend.