The Importance of Unity
Sabbath School Lesson 2017 Quarter 3 Lesson 3 Sunday
Read first paragraph,
“Having refuted the allegations that his gospel was not God-given, Paul directs his attention in Galatians 2:1, 2 to another charge being made against him. The false teachers in Galatia claimed that Paul’s gospel was not in harmony with what Peter and the other apostles taught. Paul, they were saying, was a renegade.”
Who was saying Paul’s gospel was not in harmony with Peter and the other Apostles?
Was it teachers who knew and practiced God’s love?
And what was it about Paul’s teaching that they used to suggest Paul was a renegade and disagreed with the other Apostles?
- He didn’t require circumcision
- He didn’t require Jewish feast days
- He didn’t require Jewish dress
What did Paul require? That people be reborn with new hearts that love God and others more than self, and that Jesus Christ is the Remedy to sin, and we receive a new heart, i.e. reborn by accepting Jesus into our lives.
Why did Paul require this and not Feast Days, or circumcision, or dress, or any other ritual? Because this is what is necessary to actually heal and fix what is wrong with us and unite us with God’s design for life!
Do such obstacles and difficulties occur today? Are there people today teaching the truth about God’s character and kingdom of love, the importance of being healed in the inner man, having a new heart and right spirit, but who are opposed by others, even church leaders, perhaps even being accused by such people for being renegades and disagreeing with the Apostles?
We have had many friends from around the world contact us and tell us that when they try and tell their church members about God’s character and methods of love they have met opposition, often from the pastor or other church leaders, even accusing them of being heretics and telling them not to come to church any more.
Because the accusers are still stuck in the false law construct, which means they have the wrong diagnosis. They believe falsely that our problem is a legal problem and therefore promote a false legal solution. In such a world the focus is on legality, ensuring the ritual is carried out properly, ensuring the doctrines are properly defined etc.
Imagine scuba diving and you get your foot caught and your tank is running out of air, and another diver comes along with a spare tank and offers it to you, would it matter to you if the other diver was a man or a woman?
Imagine you were dying of an infection and a doctor came along with an antibiotic which would save your life, would it matter to you if the doctor were a man or a woman?
Imagine you are lost in a forest it had been days, you are dehydrated, hungry, weak, frightened, and a forest ranger comes along who can lead you to safety, would it matter if they were a man or a woman?
Why does it not matter in any of these situations if the person who helps you is a man or a woman?
Because the laws in question, which are threatening your life, are design laws.
What about when we take the gospel to the world, why is it the church says only men can be ordained? Because the church is still operating under the false law construct and they wrongly conclude that it really does matter, and sadly they end up making decisions that obstruct the healing gospel.
Jesus gave a parable to illustrate this problem to the church in His day.
The parable of the Good Samaritan: We could give the same parable today and replace the Samaritan with a woman, all the ordained pastors, conference presidents and General Conference committee leaders walk by, while a woman helps the injured man. Hmmm…. Again design law, laws of health as the injured person is helped.
Notice, in the parable of the Good Samaritan who of the actors in the parable kept the Sabbath, ate the right foods, paid tithe, dressed the right way, believed in the Sanctuary and Advent message? The Priest and Levite adhered to all the right doctrines and practiced all the right rituals, but were they commended for being right with God?
Who was commended for being right? What made the difference doctrine or love in the heart? It is a renewed heart that loves like God loves that brings unity and doctrines are only important as they lead us back to the truth about God.
What we are teaching here at the Sabbath School Quarterly additional commentary is healing hearts and minds, they are teaching loyalty to an institution.
When we place doctrines as test of fellowship, separated from what they tell us about God and God’s methods of love, truth and freedom, then we actually create barriers to love!
Read bottom green section, “What are some issues that threaten church unity today? More important, after we define them, how do we deal with them? What issues are more important than unity itself?”
Evidently to many people there seems to be a lot of things more important than unity—such as power, authority, orthodoxy, protecting history, protecting the perceived prestige of the institution, correct definitions of doctrines—others?
But what is another term for unity? At-one-ment and what does the Bible say the outcome of God’s work through Christ will be?
And he made known to us the mystery of his will [why was this a mystery? Was God keeping secrets? What made this difficult to comprehend or understand? It was Satan’s lies about God which caused all kinds of wrong and confused thinking which kept hidden the truth of God’s character and will –notice what is God’s will] according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment— to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. Eph 1:9,10
This is atonement—unity—healing and restoring His universe back to the perfection of love.
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