With Whom are You Unifying?

1 Peter 3:8-9 ESV

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.”

False Unity

We hear a lot about unity these days, some of it coming from government heads, and some of it coming from the gatherings of what is called “church.” But much of that unity has nothing to do with unity with God but everything to do with unity with other humans and with humanistic philosophy and with false faith and false religion and with marketing goals and schemes. And some of that has to do with unity with a new world order beast, too.

And if you do not unify with the market-driven and flesh-driven “church” of today here in America, and if you do not unite with the physical nation of Israel, and if you do not unite with the goals and plans and practices of our federal government, or of a particular political party, then you are considered a disunifier and an outcast. And you may even have other Christians hate and persecute you and “defriend” you on social media.

And especially if you stand for truth and righteousness, and if you stand on the word of God and on the gospel as Jesus taught it and as his New Testament apostles taught it, you may be hated, persecuted, rejected, ignored, cast aside, banned, falsely accused, and have evil spoken against you, and by others who call themselves Christians, and even by pastors and elders of “churches.” And this is because you are not united with them.

My husband and I had a couple we were friends with for a while. And I was on Facebook and they were on Facebook, and I was confronting lies and speaking truth. And then we were in a Christian group together, and we were studying a particular book (not the Bible), and I was seeing and I was pointing out the lies in that and the manipulations of truth, and the man got so angry with me that he yelled at me in my own living room and he told me that the majority is right but that the minority is wrong, i.e. I was wrong.

But I was on solid ground Scripturally, and the Scriptures did not agree with what these various man-made teachings were teaching. And so this man was angry with me for standing on the truth of God’s word and for exposing the lies of the enemy of our souls for what they are. And he wanted me to unify with them in following after the lies and in not exposing them for what they are. And this is not the only time I have faced something like this. So, unity is not always a good thing. We need to be careful with what we unify.

Unity with God

So, please make sure that what you are uniting with is of God in this present age. For one, we don’t live under the Old Covenant, so we don’t have to follow the Old Covenant liturgical, ceremonial, sacrificial, purification, and dietary laws and restrictions the Jews used to have to follow. And we are now in the Messianic age, so we need to interpret last days events in light of the Messianic age and not in light of the times under the Old Covenant.

So, Jews who don’t believe in Jesus are no longer God’s holy people. Only those who believe in Jesus are God’s holy people. And the temple of God is no longer a physical building, but God lives in the hearts and lives of those who are dead to sin and who are living to God and to his righteousness. And the sacrifices we make to Jesus are not with animals on a physical altar but with hearts rendered to Jesus Christ in humble submission to him as Lord of our lives, committed to following the Lord Jesus wherever he leads us.

And the physical city of Jerusalem is no longer the Holy City. We who believe in Jesus Christ with our lives are that city. And the physical nation of Israel is not true Israel. For not all who are descended from physical Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his physical offspring. So it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise. And the promises were spoken to Abraham and his seed (singular), that is Christ, and we are his descendants.

[Gal 3:16, 26-29; Rom 9:4-8; Gal 4:22-31; Eph 2:14-18; 1 Jn 2:22; 1 Co 3:9, 16-17; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:1; 2 Co 6:14-16; Eph 2:19-22; Eph 4:11-16; Rom 12:4-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Col 1:24; Jude 1:20-21; Rom 6:1-23]

So, again, make sure that you are first of all united with the Lord in heart, mind, purpose, and will, via genuine God-given faith in Jesus Christ whereby you are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and you are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, and where you now walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit in holiness and in righteousness and in obedience to the Lord Jesus.

And then make sure that you are learning the truth of the Scriptures by committing yourselves to read (to study) the Scriptures in their full context and by putting them into practice in your lives. And then be those who are testing the spirits to see if they are of God by testing what people are teaching and how they are living, in practice, against what the Scriptures teach. For there are many liars and deceivers out there convincing many people to follow the lies and to reject the truth. So don’t be deceived!

And it is indeed brotherly love to speak the truth in love to one another if we see a fellow Christian (or professing Christian) straying from God’s word to follow after the lies of Satan. For this is what the Scriptures teach we ought to do, to exhort one another daily so that not one of us is hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. And it takes a tender heart and a humble mind to do this in love, for we know that we are likely to be rejected and mistreated in return.

No Tit for Tat

And if we are mistreated for righteousness’ sake because we are living and teaching the truth, and because we are pointing out the lies of the enemy, then we are not to trade tit for tat. We are not to injure someone else just because that person inflicted injury on us. But we are to forgive those who mistreat us and who speak evil against us and who turn against us just because we are following the Scriptures and because we are exposing the lies for what they are. And we are to do good to our enemies.

And to bless others is not to tell lies. It is not to say things we don’t mean or that are not true just to make others feel good, or just so they will like us and think we are nice people. For this word “bless” means to speak reason which confers benefit. So if you are speaking the truth in love for the good of others you are blessing them, for you are doing for them what is for their good, for their well-being, something that will help them and not harm them. And then you will be blessed by God.

I Need Thee Every Hour

Hymn lyrics by Annie S. Hawks, 1872
Ref. by Robert Lowry, 1872
Music by Robert Lowry, 1872

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.

I need Thee every hour; stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is vain.

I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.

I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.

I need Thee, O I need Thee; every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.

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