Ephesians 4:4-6 NIV There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— (5) one Lord, one faith, one baptism; (6) one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Unity in the church is the key to what is possible in the Kingdom of God. Is Christ divided? No. Wherever there are divisions in the church whether they be in thought, interpretation, polity, practice, or tradition, they are man-made. Unity comes in Christ, but division has come through the church.
Division makes things impossible for us. Many make excuses for division like there is nothing wrong with it as long as we all agree on one central belief in Jesus. The demons believe and shudder! Are we unified with them through belief in Jesus? Absolutely NOT! When the early peoples of this earth began to work together in unity they decided to build a tower to the heavens. God looked down from heaven, took note of their unity in language and said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them." (Genesis 11:6 NIV) One people, one language, one motive, one plan, one mission, one task, one heart ... UNITY.
God created the language barrier to keep humanity from accomplishing the impossible while we were in sin. It was never His intent to leave us in a divided state. We are to be one church of people from all races, nations and tongues. The gift of tongues on the day of Pentecost put possibility back into humanity because of the reunification of language. God now wants the language barrier removed so that we can communicate and cooperate as one, so that nothing will be impossible for us. In sin we desired to build a tower to the heavens, with unity in holiness, we desire to build the Kingdom of God on earth.
In regards to post-babel language barriers, today is no different. We all may speak English but we have language barriers between our churches. Truth be told, there are likely language barriers within your church. If pastors were to conduct surveys on differences of theological thought within a congregation, there would likely be as many interpretations as there are people in attendance. Wherever there is disunity there is division... and wherever there is division, there is impossibility. Wherever there is unity in Christ, there is possibility.
As long as people continue to hunger for having church their way instead of God having His way in the world, we will be plagued with impossibility. When we let go and seek common language by all tuning ourselves to Christ, we will find that nothing will be impossible for us! That is what our LORD wants for us.
Ephesians 4:13-16 NIV ...until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (14) Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. (15) Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. (16) From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Brett Heintzman is passionate about the spiritual formation of God's people. These writings are designed to draw us close to God and to help us live out of the riches of His presence. It's all about being in the world but not of the world.
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