Unity of the Spirit -- Unity of the Faith and Knowledge of Christ

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by skypair, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. skypair

    skypair
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    All,

    "Unity" is a buzzword nowadays but few have good scriptural understanding of how to apply it.

    "Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Eph 4:3-6 These seem to be the foundations of unity, right? This is the unity of the gospel in which we believe and trust, isn't it. Everything we preach and teach ought to come back to these.

    But there's another "unity" the church needs to concern itself with (and that we need to look for in a church) -- "unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God." (Eph 4:11-16) This second unity regards "the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:..." (4:12) The "goal" of the church, then, is to move people from "unity of the Spirit" to "unity of faith and knowledge" ---- from salvation to maturity!

    Paul amplifies this as "conformed to the image of His dear Son so that He might be the firstborn of many brethren." (Rom 8:29) -- or here, "unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:...;" to "...grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:" (Eph 4:13, 15) How should we look for the church accomplish this?

    How: "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;..." (4:11)

    1) "Apostles and prophets" -- God has NOT given them in our day but we have their words, the scriptures. Formost among the ways the church achieves "unity of faith and knowledge" is by having a sound Biblical "foundation" (1Cor 3:10)

    2) "Evangelists" -- God HAS given us evangelists -- and notice, this is one of the "works of the ministry" which the church should prepare ALL the "saints"/members to do! Remember what God's reason for "conforming us the image of His dear Son was?" "...o that He might be the first of many brethren." In fact, I won't join a church that doesn't invite the lost to receive Christ as personal Savior "right up front!" God's heart is "...that ALL should come to eternal life."

    3) "Pastors and teachers" -- Pastors "shepherd" the "sheep." They care for their spiritual and sometimes physical needs. Teachers more specifically feed the "sheep,"
    ....a) raising them to maturity in the word "weaned from the milk, drawn from the breasts ... precept upon precept" (Isa 28:9-12) and
    ....b) "making them partakers of the divine nature ... add[ing] to their faith virtue,... to viture, knowledge,... to knowledge temperance,... to temperance patience,... to patience godliness,... to godliness brotherly kindness,... to brotherly kindness charity." (2Pet 1:3-8) "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God,..."

    Result: "UNITY of FAITH and KNOWLEDGE!!" "From whom [Christ] the WHOLE BODY [church] fitly joined together and compacted by that which EVERY joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of EVERY part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of ITSELF in love." (4:16)

    So some, when they seem disconnected here, need to look back and see if they have unity with others in the "Spirit." Others need to discover whether their "unity of the faith and knowledge" is founded in scripture and built upon with the "wisdom of God" or the "wisdom of men." Primarily, whose words are you "sourcing?"

    skypair
     
    #1 skypair, Sep 13, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2006
  2. skypair

    skypair
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    Corrollary:

    Hey guys,

    I know this didn't provoke much discussion before but there seems to be a "corrollary" --- The Christian "walk" appears to consist of "knowledge of Christ" with one "foot," the "stride" of "obedience" into the "step" of "faith" with the other "foot!" Isn't that what coming into "the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of Christ" is talking about?

    When you got saved, wasn't it knowledge and the stride of obedience that brought you faith? And that "faith" opened up huge "vistas" in your knowledge of God, didn't it? One item of the knowledge was "I oughta be baptized." Ah, another step of faith!

    What about "WALKing through the valley of the shadow of death?" Isn't that "knowledge - faith - knowledge - faith - knowledge...?" Sure it is! You thrive on it! You seek God's face - He gives you knowledge - you have to do something about it, obey - you receive new faith - that's MORE knowledge!

    Look at 2Pet 1:3-8 again -- ""making them partakers of the divine nature ... add[ing] to their faith virtue,... to viture, knowledge,... to knowledge temperance,... to temperance patience,... to patience godliness,... to godliness brotherly kindness,... to brotherly kindness charity." STEP/KNOWLEDGE - STEP/FAITH - STEP/KNOWLEDGE... "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God,...!!" "The whole body fitly joined tigether ... by that which every joint supplieth!"

    skypair
     
  3. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    I liked your post, there’s a lot to consider and think about when reading it which then sends me into thoughts x other thoughts and never ending thoughts of where you are leading.

    So then I looked up “corrollary” being in doubt of the meaning and after finding out that you spelled it wrong! Razzing, I also realized the word would be related to correlation which would be a mutual or complimentary relationship.

    So back to corollary:
    1) A proposition that follows with little or no proof required from one already proven.
    2) A deduction or an inference.
    3) A natural consequence or effect; a result.
    The “Unity” of the Spirit in the church should be a desired outcome of all its members, which makes me think this is what you may be getting at:

    (1Co 12:14) For the body is not one member, but many.

    (1Co 12:15) If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

    (1Co 12:16) And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

    (1Co 12:17) If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

    (1Co 12:18) But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

    (1Co 12:19) And if they were all one member, where were the body?

    (1Co 12:20) But now are they many members, yet but one body.

    (1Co 12:21) And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

    (1Co 12:22) Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

    (1Co 12:23) And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

    (1Co 12:24) For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked:

    (1Co 12:25) That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.


    So we are going to disagree on things but we have need of each other and Paul shows us a better way to communicate with what has been given us while reminding us to covet the best gifts.


    (1Co 12:31) But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.

    If we don’t remember to show love to one another even if we were as Paul said were knowing all things, understanding all mysteries, and having all kinds of faith without love in it we are nothing, or unproductive.

    We actually don’t know all things and shouldn’t get so puffed up about it trying to explain something we only know in part how it is to be true.

    (1Co 13:12) For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    (1Co 13:13) And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

    So how do we want to be known is the question we need to be continually asking ourselves and how might we do better to keep unity by showing love thereby being more productive.

    We all lose sight sometimes in these debates and need to remind each other for edifying purposes to apply it. Humbly.


     

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