Many Hearts Made One
There is no difference that Christ cannot sanctify by His presence. There is a oneness of heart that makes us one in Christ. Christ is all and in all.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you. The miles drop away and we’re together again around the Word of God. I treasure these meetings with you as we open up God’s blessed, inerrant, infallible, eternal Word, the Bible. “You can’t understand all of it, you probably won’t understand at all ’til you get to heaven, then shall we know even as also we are known,” says, Paul. But you take by faith the fact that the Bible is the Word of God without error, inspired, and you go on from there. And interestingly enough, if science seems to disagree with some part of the Bible, all you have to do is wait 50 years until science catches up. Those of you who’ve lived a while, smile at the recollection of some of these things that have happened and the archaeologists’ spade has produced evidence that the Bible is telling the exact truth.
I’m so glad we have the written Word of God. Have you ever thanked God for your Bible? God speaking to us in his Word. Spoke to us through His Son, spoke to us through the prophets and the apostles. And now we’ve got his written word, and he speaks to us through that. You’ve been looking at the Ephesians Chapter 4 with me and we’ve come now to Verse 4, of Chapter 4.
Verse 3 said, “Endeavouring… ” that means hurry up, “Exert yourself, work at it to keep the unity of the Spirit. As in the unity of method, always people will do things differently from the way you think they might be done. Not unity of perception even but it’s the unity of the Spirit, the control of the Holy Spirit of God. And when He’s in control, then there’s oneness of heart and there’s also oneness of character as He transforms the believer and produces…what Paul calls in Galatians 5, “the fruit of the Spirit.” Love, joy, peace, and so on.
Now, what is this unity? Paul begins to… He begins to define it, and you have it started there in verse 4. “One body, one spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all. Above all and through all, and in you all.” And then the difference, “unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” And so, you give different gifts to different people. Verse 11, “He gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors, and teachers.” And so on. So as we go on through the chapter, you’ll find that there is a oneness in our relationship with our Lord and there is diversity in the working out of His gracious gifts to the believer. That’s where we’re going now in the next day or so, alright.
He said, “There is one body.” A number of references in the Word of God speak of the body of Christ. Romans 12:5, I’m looking at it now. “So we, being many. See, we have many members in one body and all members have not the same function. So we, being many, are one body in Christ and every one members one of another.” That’s Romans 12:5.
1 Corinthians, 12:27. “Now, ye are the body of Christ and members in particular. Ye are the body of Christ and members in particular.” And then over in Ephesians, it says, “Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and set him in his own right hand in the heavenlies far above all principality and power and so on, and hath put all things under His feet and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church.” Verse 23 of Ephesians 1, “Which is his body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all. One body.
The church, that’s… That’s what he’s referring to. There’s one body, the church, and that’s made up of all those who are born-again believers. All of the believers of every kind and of every origin, and of every color, and of every language; One body.
Now, unity and the Spirit then starts there. What is the Holy Spirit trying to do in this matter of unity? He is bringing together all of the different kinds of human beings under the shadow of the cross of Christ. When… No matter who you are or where you are from, or what your language, or what your culture, the Lord Jesus Christ makes you one with every other believer because of the precious shed blood at Calvary. You see the idea?
So Paul says over in Colossians 3, he said, “You’ve put on the new man, the new nature, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him, the Lord Jesus that created him. Where, “this is verse 11 of Colossians 3, “where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond, nor free but Christ is all and in all.” Now here, you have then the… The points at which the oneness of this one body, the church, shows up. Where? Well, he says, “There’s neither Greek nor Jew.” That’s… Now, that’s national, national divisions. North Korea and South Korea, China and Japan, North America and Central and South America. Yeah, Britain and France and the nations of Europe. Different, different, different.
I recall speaking to somebody who had come from Czechoslovakia, and as they spoke Czech, I recognized some words, some words that I knew. And so I said, “Is your language somewhat similar to German?” Well, they said, “Maybe.” “Is it somewhat similar to Russian?” “Yes.” And so, I used some words that I had learned in my travels and they said, “Yeah, we recognize them.” But they said, “Our language is different.” And they stood a little taller as they said it. See, there’s that national difference. And interestingly enough, God does not destroy those lines of difference. If you are born in Russia and you have a Russian accent, be proud of it. Hold your head high. [laughter] And be what you are because the Lord Jesus beautifies the differences. He beautifies the differences because of His matchless grace. See, oftentimes I’ve said to people, I have an interest in where folk come from. And so I hear a foreign accent and if I’m not able to distinguish it properly, I say, “Where in the world do you come from, my friend?” And they’ll say, “Oh, I come from Great Britain,” or “I come from Scotland,” or “I come from Guatemala,” or “I come from… ” Wherever.
And very frequently, I’ll smile at them and I’ll say, “Don’t lose that accent, it’s part of your own personal charm. It’s your trademark. Don’t lose it.” And they’ll invariably, they’ll be pleased and encouraged. And that’s where it’s at. God beautifies the differences. National differences are beautified and made non-threatening because of the Lord Jesus Christ. So it is that at one of these great conferences called by brother, Billy Graham. You have a Jewish believer and an Arab believer standing side-by-side on the platform with their arms about each others’ shoulders, singing together “How Great Thou Art” as they magnify and praise our blessed Lord. So it is that you have the members of the tribe, of the Auca tribe, that massacred the young missionaries many years ago in the ’50s. Now, you have them standing together with other believers and praising their Lord. God beautifies and makes non-threatening national differences.
Now, then he takes theological difference, circumcision nor uncircumcision. Circumcision is a reference to all of God’s Mosaic Law and the requirements of it before Calvary, and that is especially limited then to the Jewish nation. And then uncircumcision, that takes care all the Gentiles that are before Calvary; were strangers and aliens, Paul says in Ephesians. “But now, God wipes out that difference because of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Then he mentions barbarian and Scythian. And that, of course, is cultural. Barbarians and Scythians. Cultural, different way of life, different cultures. Then he says, “Bond or free.” In those days, they had slaves. Slaves or freemen. And so, that’s societal differences. He said that, “None of those differences make any difference, the ground is level at the cross. Christ is all and in all.”
How beautiful that is. One body, huh? One body. Well, alright. What else is he saying here, then? “One body and one spirit, even as ye are called, and one hope of his calling.” There is no difference that Christ cannot sanctify by His presence. Will you remember that? And like all the rest of us, I tend to forget at times when something seemingly very important is being considered and differences with other people’s perceptions and way of thinking show up. And you think, “Oh boy, this is… If this doesn’t work out, everything is lost.” And you… You get upset about it. Have you gone that route? Just remember, there is no difference between believers, true believers, that God cannot sanctify and make to glorify Him. He wipes these things out in the oneness of the body, one body. And that of course, extends to our experiences. Paul says, “If one member suffer, all the members suffer with it.” He says elsewhere, “Rejoice with them who rejoice and weep with them that weep.”
There is a oneness of perception, there is a oneness of empathy, there is a oneness of heart that transcend the tag we wear, the color that we are or the culture from which we come. A oneness of heart that makes us one in Christ. Christ is all and in all. There’s a great crowd watching the take-off of the space shuttle and you look at the make-up of that crowd. Here are folk from Cuba and other Latin American nations, here are folk whose ancestors came from Europe, and all sorts of folk. And they are different but they’re all looking in the same direction to see that shuttle go off. Christ is all and in all. Everything depends on where you’re looking. Keep your eyes on Jesus.
Dear Father, today, oh, may that oneness in Christ show up in all of our living. I ask in His name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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