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The Unity of the Holy Spirit October 15, 2006

Posted by mjtilley in Bible Doctrines, church, Holy Spirit.
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In the next-to-last chapter of the book I’m currently reading (Above All Earthly Pow’rs, Christ in a Postmodern World), the author helps make a point that I was trying to make today in my lesson on the Holy Spirit:

“The Church’s responsibility, therefore, is not to create unity, as the ecumenical movement proposed, but to preserve the unity that God himself has already created in Christ.  What militates against the unity is immaturity of doctrinal understanding (Ephesians 4:14) and immaturity in moral behavior (Ephesians 4:25-32).” (page 296)

Now, David Wells is making the point in the context of taking “seeker-sensitive” churches to task for polluting or ignoring the truth of the revealed Word (often they eschew words like ‘sin’ and ‘propitiation’ and ‘justification’ as being “too religious”).  But the point is valid even in context of our discussion on the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers and in the church as a corporate unit.   

Basically, as I was pointing out, the unity of the Spirit does not come at the expense of truth … in fact, His unity actually demands it.  Further, the unity of the Spirit — while definitely a group- and selfless-focused unity — is a unity that the Spirit creates, not me or any sort of policy or practice of the church. 

Instead of something to be strived for or compromised to attain, this unity is God’s work.  Said another way, this unity is an evidence (that is, result; not a cause) of the Holy Spirit.  Where His unity (this truthful, doctrinal, self-effacing unity) is present, you can rest assured that He is present.  And, if the Bible is to believed (and it is), He’s present in the life of every believer upon salvation. 

So the key question, and one for which I have no satisfactory answer, is “Why, then, don’t we experience more true, Holy-Ghost prompted unity in our churches?”  Could it be that we’re working so hard to manufacture it that we’re missing His leading?  Could it be that we think we’ve got a better solution?

I pray that we all will submit to the Spirit’s work in our individual lives and within the body of Christ so that we can enjoy and experience the precious promised unity of the Holy Spirit.