The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
Connected by the Holy Spirit

A man was out on walk when he saw another man about to throw himself from a bridge into the river. He ran over to save him. "Why do you want to kill yourself?" the man asked. "I’ve nothing to live for."

"Don’t you believe in God?" "Yes, I do." "What a coincidence--so do I! Are you a Jew or a Christian?" "A Christian."

"What a coincidence--so am I! Protestant or Catholic?" "Protestant." "What a coincidence--so am I! Anglican or Baptist?" "Baptist."

"What a coincidence--so am I! Southern Baptist or Independent Baptist?" "Southern Baptist."

 "What a coincidence--so am I! Premillennial or a-millennial?" "Premillennial."

"What a coincidence--so am I! Pre-tribulation rapture or mid-tribulation rapture or post-tribulation rapture?" "Mid-tribulation rapture."

At that, the first man pushed the suicidal man into the river shouting "Die heretic, die!"

In the 17th chapter of John, Jesus prayer for his disciples to be as unified with one another as he and the Father are. He even prays for the unity of those who would come to know him through their teaching. That means that he prayed for unity of his followers in our time. Included in that prayer was a large part of his reasoning in verse 23b, “Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Ephesians 4:1-6 is just one place where Scripture explains that the unity we share in Christ comes from the connecting work of the Holy Spirit. He provides that unity through the bond of peace. Sadly, division has become almost a virtue to many who claim purity of doctrine which refuses to embrace other Christ followers who do not agree on every opinion or interpretation with their particular denomination. If you weren’t baptized in their denomination or congregation, you should not be allowed to participate in their observance of The Lord’s Supper. Anyone who thinks differently from them is considered to be an “unbeliever” much like the situation in our opening story.

As mentioned above, unity comes from the Holy Spirit, not agreement on every single detail of opinion or doctrinal perspective. You and I are to keep, or preserve unity, but we do not create it. Since the Holy Spirit provides that unity, we must see it as precious and highly valued.
Human nature divides everyone. We tend to build dividing walls between us to create a space of superiority. This is completely against the nature of Christ. Religious pride has no place in the Lord’s Church. Jesus has an open-door policy for all who will come. Who am I and who are you to slam that door shut?

This Sunday we will continue our series of message titled LIFE IN THE SPIRIT When God Moves in to Stay with the sermon, He Makes Us One based on Ephesians 4:1-6. This should be a powerful opportunity to find better ways to be led by the Spirit. I look forward to seeing you there.

Connected with you by Him,

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