Sulam Ya'aqov Messianic Fellowship (The Fellowship Of Jacob's Ladder) LARGE TITLE
Saturday, 19 September 2020

Maintaining the Bond of Unity and Peace with
one another and before the Lord

Key verse: Ephesians 4:3. Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

We are instructed within the Law of Christ to walk in humility and in brotherly/sisterly love towards one another in the bond of unity of truth and peace to maintain the family unity of ‘born again’ believers before the Lord. This is a very important doctrine within our salvation and sanctification process as we mature in Him.
We have an adversary who has been and still is very adept at using one against another to cause schisms, divisions and separation leading to church splits. I once read that over 20 church or fellowship splits happen on a weekly basis around the world. So this teaching is of great importance to stop this happening and for sense and sensibility to be shown within our walk of holiness and righteousness before the Lord Jesus. We shall all stand before Him and have a review of our lives leading to reward and loss.
We are to contend for the faith as instructed and of course if the error of false doctrine is present then the doctrine of separation is to be practiced and there is a teaching on this on our web site. However, we are not to separate and to come against one another but we are to maintain the bond of peace and unity within the family of God.

In Hebrew there is a maxim or motto – ‘Kadeemah pa’am Kadeemah which means ‘Forward ever Forward’. So unless we look to the commandments, instruction and wisdom of Yeshua/Jesus as Lord we will fail as the enemy and the flesh will interfere in any vision and plan of action that we are about.
In Latin we have another maxim or motto – ‘Semper Aequus’ which means ‘Always Just’. This has the root meaning of having integrity, fairness, and compassion. It also speaks of excellence and so these qualities speak of holiness of life and righteous behaviour by all who profess Jesus as personal Saviour and Lord. This then is to be seen by God and those around us, which includes angels and demons! Our walk and our talk are to be holy, just and true.

Biblical Teaching.

We are warned to avoid the following:-
1) Titus 3:9. But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

2) 2 Timothy 2:23. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strife’s.

3) 1 Timothy 1:4. Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

4) 2 Timothy 2:16. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

Regarding Unity we are taught:-

1) Psalm 133:1. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (This brings blessing from on high).

2) Ephesians 4:1-3. I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love. Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Do we really forbear with one another always?)

3) Ephesians 4:13. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Messiah the Anointed One – Christ. (Being Christ like is a high calling).

Regarding Peace we are taught:-

1) Matthew 5:9. Our Lord Jesus stated – Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

2) Galatians 5:22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.

3) Philippians 4:7. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

4) Colossians 3:15. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

5) James 3:17-18. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

6) 2 Peter 3:14. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

7) 2 Corinthians 13:11. Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

An examination of the Holy Scriptures given by our Lord and His apostles and prophets clearly teach that we are to be a people of unity and peace, to live in spiritual unity and peace with one another and to practice these two very important instructions and saintly attributes.

Therefore we are to mark (by avoiding) those who cause divisions and offences through their personalities. Romans 16:17. A person’s character and conduct says much about a person. We are to be holy, pure and true, we are to practice holiness without which none of us shall see Him. Hebrews 12:14.
The doctrine we have teaches and shows us the light of God, producing life, love and liberty as it did in the beginning of His creation.

We have seen within Church history those who are contentious, causing divisions, factions, invoking party spirit, drawing others to themselves through a different unity which is not according to the doctrine (teachings) we have. Romans 16:17. The minister is not to allow any other doctrine than what we have to come into the church. 1 Timothy 1:3.

How does our unity or our peace come under threat, or where does that threat come from?

A criticising tongue, a gossiping tongue, a condemning tongue, etcetera are not godly traits.
From what other people say (spoken or written) and so often these ‘other people’ are repeating what they heard from someone else – in other words second-hand information. ‘Chinese whispers’ is a great party game but when it’s the personal details of someone in the fellowship the potential for misunderstanding is enormous. Stories can knowingly or unknowingly be added to or embellished, then mis-information can cause all sorts of communication problems until dealt with. We have to learn to test all things, to examine and to check out facts, especially with regard to the internet!

Those who do these things will themselves face judgment through their sinful traits.
‘Judge not lest ye be judged’ is the commandment from our Lord Jesus.
None other than Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10) – who would want, knowingly or unknowingly, to be his mouthpiece!

A good maxim is to strive to only repeat first-hand information i.e. what we have heard directly from the ‘horse’s mouth’ ourselves, and then only when asked and only if appropriate. It is better to say nothing than risk causing irreparable damage to someone’s life or reputation! Much better to lovingly give people the benefit of the doubt and freedom to grow in God’s way and in His timing, than being judged by us.

Matthew 7:1-2. Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

The heart is deceitful above all things as we are taught. How we treat one another is being recorded in the book of works. Our Lord Jesus taught that we will give an account for every idle word spoken.
If we know we have treated a believer wrongly then we should repent and restore the bond of unity and peace between one another. It is no use claiming that we have been faultless in obeying the Word of God and then admit we have not always been gracious in the way we have treated brethren. This is double mindedness and the flesh justifying the flesh which it will always do, but there will be no defence when we stand before the Lord. The Bema Seat will be a very uncomfortable place for a number of leaders and saints that I have come across over the years.
We are going to spend eternity together so better to sort it out now and not stand before the Lord to give an account of why we acted as we did or said what we said. For there will be loss of reward. Holiness is a doctrine given by and from a Holy God.

Jealousy or envy, coveting or whatever are not attributes of a saint but of an un-yielded spirit.

If we cannot agree over certain issues, if we cannot work together then we should part for a season in love and not cast aspersions against one another. The Lord is the judge of all.

With regard to leadership, saints are to obey and make their leaders lives a blessing, otherwise it becomes unprofitable to them. Hebrews 13:17, 24. Elders and Teachers will give a greater accountability to the Lord as James writes. see James 3:1-2.

So dealing with issues is never easy but this is solely the job of elders and not self-appointed judges within the flock. The church is not a co-operative society nor a forum. Saints must guard against party spirit and taking sides over personalities. Where we have people we will have problems but in keeping the bond of unity and peace as instructed we can overcome the flesh and the enemy and walk in harmony. Not every decision will satisfy but it is the Lord who calls and chooses and upholds. Where there is vision there is provision. The church mending is never ending and the church making can be heart breaking!
The Lord raises up and so He can also pull down and I have seen this. Doors that open are of Him. That which is not planted by the Lord will be uprooted. That which is not of the Lord and unto the Lord will fail and fade away.

Unintentional Sin (an extract from the Blue Letter Bible courtesy of Dave Guzik)

In Numbers 15: 22-29 there is mention of ‘unintentional sin‘:

If you sin unintentionally…….‘: Significantly, the Bible talks about sins unintentionally committed. Many today think and live as if an action is unintentional, it cannot be sin. But many of the worst sins are committed with the best of intentions. Intentions matter nothing when the result is sin.

i. Especially in the 20th century, all sorts of horrific atrocities and terror have been committed by those dedicated to honourable causes; Communism sought to establish a just, fair economy where each worked according to his ability and received according to his need – and became the instrument of the genocide of tens of millions of people.

ii. Today, in the church, many a gossip, many a talebearer, many a divisive person will claim the best of intentions. Even if we agree they have the right intentions, they still may be in grievous sin. The same applies for a myriad of other sins we are often ready to ignore or think lightly of, all on the basis of “after all, they had good intentions.”

The answer as always is in the Book – 1 John 1:9. Revelation 3:19.

May we all then keep the bond of unity and peace as it is written for us in Holy Writ. Amen.

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