Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Power of 'Oneness.'

There are any number of ‘how to’ books on the market offering steps to success. This could be for personal lifestyle, business, church, sport or relationships. Each will have varying degree of usefulness. What they endeavour to do is emulate what the Bible has already outlined. Funny thing is, people would rather spend big sums for conferences, DVD’s etc. than read God’s word.
Whenwe embark upon any ministry adventure as a team of mixed personalities, backgrounds and strengths/weaknesses what principle do we need to grasp? The reading from Philippians offers us some clues. In this letter by Paul from prison he seeks to encourage the church in its mission. In chapter 1:27 he urges them to live their lives in a manner worthy of the Gospel. We may adapt that for our purposes and say ‘let us serve each other and the community in a worthy way for Christ’s honour. The way it begins is in the same verse. Stand in one spirit, strive with one mind.

One-ness is a Biblical principle for effective teamwork, ministry, worship and fellowship. This isn’t easy as we all have our histories, strengths, weakness, pride, prejudices, fears and dreams. Any such gathering is fraught with danger. How does the Holy Spirit take such a diverse group and make us an effective team? By dealing with each of us and drawing our lives into line with His will and our minds focused upon Him as Lord.

Throughout Philippians there is this ‘oneness’ stated and implied. Chapter 2:2 stresses it with ‘be of the same mind, having the same love being in full accord and of one mind.’ Oneness isn’t ‘blandness.’ It is actually refreshing, creative, therapeutic and evangelistic! Oneness gives direction but allows each the privilege of helping the other by endorsing their strengths and compensating for their weakness. Being focused on and obedient to Christ means we esteem the other team members more than we value our egos. Should there be a clash about anything it needs to be faced and remedied. As in the case of Syntyche and Euodia (Philippians 4:2) this may require the wisdom of a third party.

This principle is the outworking of the Lord’s High Priestly prayer in John 17:21 – 23. There He prays for this oneness to be known and shown for it reflects the oneness of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. One of the out-workings of this oneness is to make the world believe the Father sent the Son as Saviour.  What the anti-Christ forces aim to do it cause division and thereby hinder the testimony of the Gospel. Unfortunately the carnal nature of self- intoxicated believers unintentionally offers assistance to Satan's endeavours. That's judgement reserved for a future date unless repented of and restitution made.

In chapter 2:5 Paul puts the onus upon each person to be committed to this principle. How it comes about is reinforced by the word ‘let’. Each of us are accountable for giving the Holy Spirit permission to focus our minds on Christ. The cross should always humble us, thrill us and motivate us. Because of it we by faith proclaim Him Lord. One glorious day we will join with all the redeemed and holy angels and liberated creation and proclaim Jesus as Lord to the glory of God the Father.

Therefore, within ministry and cogreational worship we have the privilege and challenge to live out the oneness the Holy Spirit has worked in. Amen!

©Ray Hawkins Oct 9th 2016.

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