Unity Graphic

Unity of the Spirit VS Unity in Diversity

Understanding Christ and the Church
(Gospel and Doctrine)
Outline of Lesson, December 6, 1998
Forest Hills church of Christ

Intro: "What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder" (Gen. 2; Mt. 19). While this has specific reference to marriage, there is an underlying principle that applies to anything God has seen fit to joint together. Man has no right to loose what God has bound (Mt. 16:19).

We can see this principle in the relationship of the Old Testament to the New Testament. Truth has been revealed through the ages by the same Spirit of God and it is one seamless depository of truth from Genesis to Revelation. Yet God has divided that truth and applied it as it suited His purpose (Heb. 1:1-3). The Jewish nation was bound to the Law of Moses, but all men are now loosed from it (Col. 2:14). We are taught to learn from it (Rom. 15:4) but it has no authority over us as does the law of Christ (Rom. 8:1-3).

There is a Oneness in the relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:1- 3; John 1:1-2; Matt. 3:16-17) that is so complete that the three Personalities that comprise deity can properly be called, "One God" (Dt. 6:4). Jesus said, "The Father and I are one" (Jn. 10:30). We know this is not a contradiction of terms but explains how the Godhead is joined together in perfect unity, inseparable.

The "one flesh" of the marriage relationship is so much a reflection of Christ and the church that God has decreed against separation except in the case of adultery. Only sin or death can break the unity of the marriage bond.

In each of these cases, and more, God has decreed that some things are so intricately linked that they are to be seen as one. Once some things are linked by the power and will of God, only God can separate them and it is a sin for man to attempt such a separation. Yet sadly, as we know too often, men try to separate what God has joined. We see this today in Christ and the church; in the gospel and doctrine of Christ.

I. There are efforts that seek to separate Christ from the church; gospel from doctrine. Though often discussed separately, both of these attacks on our subjects have their root in the same error: a rejection of Christ's authority and a desire to practice lawlessness (Mt. 7:15-23).

II. Calvinism, the handmaiden of change in the denominational world, is making inroads among the Lord's people. It is the vehicle of change as people accept a perverted concept of grace that allows diversity of doctrines.

III. The Answer: Preach the Whole Counsel of God

IV. Need For Today

e-mail this author at tmr1@flash.net

Return to Watchman Front Page

return to February 1999 index