Preached by Evan Stewart (00:30)
Before Jesus was crucified he prayed that all of his disciples (then and now) would be sanctified in truth and perfected in unity. He wanted his disciples to be known for truth and be united as a loving family. The combination of truth and perfect unity would show the world that Jesus is the Son of God. Yet, truth and unity is a difficult achieve and can be hard to balance. In the well intended search for truth Christian churches may easily divide by demanding that the everyone must believe in a long list biblical facts in order to maintain Jesus’ desire for truth. On the other hand, through the well intended pursuit of unity a church may water down biblical truth to the point of vague morals in order to avoid disagreements amongst the group. So how can we seek the truth without causing division and how can we stay unified without abandoning truth?
In Romans 12, the Apostle Paul encourages Christians to practice godly principles in all situations: to love enthusiastically, to hate evil but love good, not to think too highly of yourself, to practice hospitality, and pray often. We are to remember that Christians are members of the body of Christ and therefore “individually members of one another”. Christians are a real family and we need to act like it no matter where we are from and no matter the situation. Paul taught that the we are to practice this behavior because of God’s truth and such behavior is the only reasonable way to worship God because of the mercy he has bestowed on us. As we are transformed in the way we think and act by the truth of the gospel, we will act in a way that will create an attitude of unity, but it takes practice and requires patience. To balance truth and unity we must learn to love God with a passion and forgive often.
Scripture references: John 17:11, 14-23 and Romans 12:1-21
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