Lesson 8 for August 23, 2014

 Jesus founded the Church.
 Jesus prayed for the unity of the Church.
 Jesus provided for the unity of the Church.
 Jesus taught us how to keep the unity of the
Church.
 How to avoid disunity.
 How to restore unity.
“And I also say to you that you are
Peter, and on this rock I will build My
church, and the gates of Hades shall not
prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)
Did Jesus say that Peter was the
foundation of His Church?
See 1 Corinthians 3:11 and Ephesians 2:20.
Jesus made a pun. In Greek, the word for Peter
is petros, and it sounds similar to the Rock
(Petra) on which the Church would be founded
on; that is, Jesus.
God is called “Rock” both in the New and Old
Testaments (both the persons of the Father
and Jesus)
Jesus clearly used the symbol of the Rock to
reference Peter’s affirmation: “You are the
Christ.” (Mt. 16:16)
“But his bow remained in strength, and the arms
of his hands were made strong by the hands of
the Mighty God of Jacob (from there is the
Shepherd, the Stone of Israel)” (Genesis 49:24)
“He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for
all His ways are justice, a God of truth
and without injustice; righteous and
upright is He.” (Deuteronomy 32:4)
“The Lord is my rock and
my fortress and my
deliverer.” (2 Samuel 22:2)
“The Lord is my rock and
my fortress and my
deliverer; my God, my
strength, in whom I will
trust; my shield and the
horn of my salvation, my
stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)
“Because you have forgotten the
God of your salvation, and have
not been mindful of the Rock of
your stronghold, therefore you
will plant pleasant plants and set
out foreign seedlings.” (Isaiah 17:10)
“Are You not from everlasting, O
Lord my God, my Holy One? We
shall not die. O Lord, You have
appointed them for judgment;
O Rock, You have marked them
for correction.” (Habakkuk 1:12)
“and all drank the same
spiritual drink. For they drank
of that spiritual Rock that
followed them, and that Rock
was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:4)
“Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to
those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the
builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,’
and ‘A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.’ They
stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they
also were appointed.” (1 Peter 2:7-8)
“I in them, and You in Me; that they
may be made perfect in one, and that
the world may know that You have sent
Me, and have loved them as You have
loved Me.” (John 17:23)
The Father and the Son are different, but they are
one in nature and purpose. We, the believers, have
different temperaments, cultures and skills, but we
must also be a united Church through Jesus Christ,
just like the Father and the Son are.
We must accept Jesus as the
Lord of our lives for that to
happen. He must mold our
character. We must
surrender our will to Him.
The closer to Jesus each one of us is, the
closer we will be to our brothers and sisters.
“Harmony and union existing among men of
varied dispositions is the strongest witness
that can be borne that God has sent His Son
into the world to save sinners. It is our
privilege to bear this witness. But, in order
to do this, we must place ourselves under
Christ’s command. Our characters must be
molded in harmony with His character, our
wills must be surrendered to His will. Then
we shall work together without a thought
of collision.”
E.G.W. (Counsels for the Church, cp. 4, pg. 44)
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship,
in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42)
UNITED IN THE TRUTH
• In order to have unity, we need to agree on
the content of the truth as presented in the
Word of God. Any attempt to attain unity
without adherence to a body of biblical
beliefs is destined to failure.
UNITED IN LOVE
• In order to have true love, we must have
less of self and more of Jesus. Our selfish
pride must die, and Jesus must live in us.
Then we will truly and sincerely love one
another, making possible the perfect
unity that Jesus prayed for.
The believers in the apostles’ time were “perfect in one” (Jn. 17:23) thanks to two gifts
they received from Jesus: Truth and Love (doctrine and fellowship)
We need to remember that love without truth is blind, and truth without
love is fruitless. Mind and heart must work together.
“You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall
you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.”
(Leviticus 19:16)
If you ever think you must speak of someone,
let’s ask yourself the next questions first:
1. Is what I am about to say true (Exodus 20:16)?
2. Is what I am about to say edifying (Ephesians 4:29)?
3. Is it possible to say it in a loving way (Proverbs 25:11)?
Gossip is an infringement of the ninth commandment
and opposes Jesus’ order: “Judge not, that you be not
judged.” (Matthew 7:1)
No one has been called to judge others, or to speak ill
of someone, or to compare himself to others. We
must fix our eyes on Jesus.
“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there
remember that your brother has something against you, leave your
gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled
to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
(Matthew 5:23-24)
If we ever offend anyone or we are
offended by someone, then we should
follow the method Jesus introduced in
Matthew 18:15-18.
1. Talk to your brother or sister alone.
That solves most of the offenses.
2. If you don’t become reconciled, deal
with the issue before two or three
neutral witnesses.
3. If the issue is not solved yet, tell it to
the Church.
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual
restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest
you also be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)
“If matters of difficulty between
brethren were not laid open before
others, but frankly spoken of
between themselves in the spirit of
Christian love, how much evil
might be prevented! How many
roots of bitterness whereby many
are defiled would be destroyed, and
how closely and tenderly might the
followers of Christ be united in His
love!”
E.G.W. (Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, cp. 3, pg. 59)

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