Unity in the Godhead and in the Church
Unity in the Godhead and in the Church
What would happen if the Redwings played hockey like this. Every time any player got the puck, they would shoot for the goal. Over here, over here, I’m open, I’m open. There would be such frenzy, each time the Redwings got the puck: but unfortunately there would be very little scoring, if any. They would be defeated. Yes, any time there is disunity, a lack of team spirit, there is failure to accomplish the goal set before us. The result of any team playing like this is failure.
This is the way some children play, when they are first introduced to team play. But as we grow up and mature, we see that “team play” wins and self-centered players weaken teams to the point that they cannot maintain a winning attitude.
And when fights break out on the field of play, that is bad enough, but what would we say about a team that was fighting amongst itself? What craziness; what madness; what utter foolishness.
No team, no company, no marriage and no church can survive with an attitude or a plan like this. Unity of purpose must be active in order to be a winner.
The Triune God is a prime example of unity. God the Father, God the Son and God the HS are in complete unity as to their goals and actions.
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit were united in the creation of the universe and all that is in it.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Elohim, the triune God was the author of all that we see). Elohim is the plural form of the word for God.
Genesis 1:2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
In the NT, we see that the Word of God, the very Son of God, Himself was also involved in the creation of the universe.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.
John 1:3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
John 1:4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Then going down to verse 14, we get a better glimpse of who this is:
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
We also learn that all things visible and invisible were created by Jesus Christ and for Jesus Christ in Col 1:16-17.
Colossians 1:16 For by him (Jesus) all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Yes, all creation was formed in unity, and all was good. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are in complete agreement. That is their nature, God is good, God is light: God is never darkness, nor is He the author of darkness.
Adam and Eve were created and enjoyed fellowship with God and each other. They were in unity. Adam was responsible for the upkeep of the Garden of Eden; Eve was Adam’s helper. They were in unity, all was well, life was good.
But then Satan rebelled and wanted to be his own god, his own boss, make his own destiny.
We learn in the book of Genesis, chapter 3, that Satan tempted Eve by placing doubts into her mind: “Has God really said?” Eve was tempted and eventually fell into sin. Adam soon willingly followed Eve: and as a result this, all creation has been corrupted with sin. Adam and Eve’s fellowship with God was broken. Their unity is broken. They were cast out of the Garden. Now Adam and Eve bring children into the world with Adam’s fallen nature. Now there is No more unity in Adam’s children.
Originally, God created Adam and Eve in His own image, but after the fall, Adam and Eve brought children into the world in Adam’s nature. Now there was sin in the world.
- Adam accused God of giving him an inferior helper.
- Eve blamed the serpent for her sin, not taking the blame herself.
- Adam no longer accepted his servant role under God.
- Eve no longer accepted her helper role under Adam.
- Cain killed Abel.
- Later, Tribe rises up against tribe.
- Nation wars against nation.
- And the world continues its spiraling course, down, down, down.
(This side) Satan divides, his theme “I did it my way, for me”. I do not want God in my life.
(That side) God unites, His theme “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son….”.
Now Adam and Eve do know the difference between good and evil, but are powerless to overcome evil; sin has brought disunity, death, corruption. The unity they had with God is gone. Nature is no longer perfect. We see that nature also suffers because of Adam’s sin. The ground no longer gives its full produce of good fruit. Thorns and thistles begin to grow quickly. This is the world we live in, corrupt, sinful, rejecting God’s guidance. Just as Satan refuses to obey God and rejects His guidance; so our world, as the domain of Satan, rejects God and refuses to obey Him. This is where we live today.
Whatever God touches, He unites. Whatever Satan touches, he divides and destroys. No longer will Adam look forward to communing with God each day. No longer will the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve respect life. Cain killed Abel. Arabs want to kill Jews. Nations fight against nations; ethnic group hates other ethnic group.
Wherever there is disunity, there is the influence of Satan or an influence of our old nature coming from Adam - which ultimately comes from Satan himself. Satan never unites. Satan always destroys: Satan always disrupts. As Satan disrupted God’s creation, he also disrupts God’s plan for marriage, God’s plan for Israel, God’s plan for the Church of Christ, and God’s plan for you. Wherever there is disunity, there is Satan and his influence.
Thank God that we do not have to stop here. The triune Godhead, the 3-in-1, were in complete agreement with creation and were not taken by surprise by what happened with Satan or Adam or Eve. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit had already agreed to the plan of salvation before this act of rebellion happened.
And so the struggle of Satan against God continues, it continued in the garden, it continued as God selected Abraham to bring in the nation Israel, it continues in this Church age.
I want us to look at the Church age, now, because that is where we live. I want us to see God’s vision for His Church, and our responsibility, as Christians in His Church – all based on unity.
On one side is the Triune God, working in unity, to bring about their promise of a Messiah, who would deliver the children of Adam and Eve from their ruined state. On the other side we have Satan, trying to stop the plan of God. On one side we have darkness, on the other side we have light. On one side we have good, and on the other we have evil. On one side we have those who are called by God to do His will to proclaim the good news; on the other we have those who refuse the call of God and team up with Satan to stop the plan of God.
So here we are, in this world still run by Satan; still trying to stop God’s plan. At this time, God’s plan is to continue spreading the Gospel of His Son from His Church. We have the Father Son and HS intimately involved in the Church.
We see the Son and Father activated the Church in Matt 16:15-18
Matthew 16:15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
The Father reveals Christ to each believer: and Jesus activated the Church through His death, burial and resurrection. Jesus then gave power and authority to His followers to go and tell the good news to all the world. (Matt 28:18-20) (Go into all the world and preach the Gospel, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and Lo, I am with you always). Jesus is the head of His church (Col 1:18). Jesus is with us, and Jesus did something even more special for each one of His children.
Jesus sent the HS to reveal Christ to each believer, as recorded in John 16:14. Jesus said that the HS will not speak of Himself, but will speak whatever He hears, and will reveal to us what is to come, and reveal to us those things of Christ, and will glorify Christ.
The Father agrees with the Son and with the HS in all that happens to each Christian. We are back into God’s unity again. God loves us so much He sent His Son to be our Savior. The Son loves us, His Church, so much that He sent the HS to guide us into all truth and to reveal the Son to each of us. We again see unity of the Trinity working in our lives in a visible way.
The Father, Son and HS love the Church so much that the HS gives spiritual gifts to each believer, so that the church, the body of Christ can be built up ( 1 Corinthians 12:3-6). Yes, Jesus is the head of the church (according to Col 1:18), and the HS empowers the member of Jesus’ church so that the church will function as a living organism for God’s glory. These spiritual gifts are given so that the Church of Jesus Christ is built up into a functioning organism that glorifies the Father thru the Son.
The church is to witness of the death, burial and resurrection of JC. Each church is to go forth making disciples, so the next generation can go forth, so the next generation can go forth… etc. This church was formed by Jesus Christ, empowered by the HS, protected by the Father. You can almost see The potter, molding the clay, making images of His Son. The HS working inside each clay piece, with the new nature, causing us to become more like Jesus.
Another aspect of the Triune unity: Each Christian is given a new nature, in which you now begin to know God better, through His Son. Now, you begin to call God “Abbah, Daddy, Father”. Now God the Father begins to transform you into the image of His Son, and to begin your fellowship in His suffering.
Paul wrote to the Philippian Church in Philippians 3:10 ” that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
This is not the thinking of the world. The world is still under the control of Satan; it has Satan’s theme song, “I did it my way”, or “What’s in it for me”.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have the power to think godly, just like Jesus, now that we are Christians and now that we have the new nature. We now are able to fellowship in the sufferings of our Lord. As you are being transformed into the image of the Son, you will suffer as He suffered, in this world. This is foreign to how you were taught in any secular school. That is why Paul wrote Romans 12:1-2 “renew your mind”. “I came to do the Father’s will”. That is the statement of our Lord, that should be your statement and mine as we become more like Jesus.
Now I can live in unity with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Now I yearn for holiness. Now I have power to overcome sin. Now, I have the HS living inside to guide me, illuminate His Word to me, reveal Christ to me, and mold me into the Son’s image. Now, my desire is to do the Father’s will; whereas before, I made decisions based on “Will this be beneficial to my career?”, “I did it my way”. Now I have God as my friend, my guide, my Father; but I now have Satan as my worse enemy.
Whatever God creates, Satan tries to ruin. God is creating you in the image of His Son. God is the potter; I am the clay. Satan is fighting your transformation every step of the way. So we Christians need to renew our minds, so that God’s purpose for our lives will be revealed in us. In order to renew your minds, you must be in God’s Word. God’s Word is the written Words of Life, just as Jesus has the Words of Life.
God has created the Church, for this Age of Grace, to be a witness to the world of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. It is a place of healing and rest; a place of comfort and a place to grow in the Lord. God has given us the plan, written in His Word. We have the blueprint of how to conduct ourselves in the Church. In order for the church to remain strong and united, we have the responsibility to love each other. Love is the glue that binds us together. Jesus told His disciples “the world will know that you are my disciples because you love each other”. God also recorded His definition of love. We find this definition in 1 Cor 13 (love suffers long and is kind, love does not envy, love does not promote yourself, love does not think evil thoughts against anyone, love rejoices in the truth, love does not behave unseemly, is not easily provoke).
Paul wrote to the Romans to tell them of God’s story. Paul wrote to the Ephesians to tell them that now the Jews and Gentiles are welcomed into God’s Church. Paul wrote to Titus and Timothy to encourage them to lead their churches for the glory of God; and to appoint elders and leaders for the local churches, and this was when Paul awaited his own execution. No more hate; only love. Love for God, Love for His Church, embracing the fellowship of the sufferings of our Lord. Paul no longer is the Accuser of the brethren; Paul now sees clearly that he is being formed into the image of His Lord, the Son of God. Paul is the defender of God’s Church. Yes, sometimes he must rebuke those who are not living with a good witness to the world: that is because the Church is so dear to the Lord.
Paul, who used to persecute the church, now defends the church, now establishes churches. Paul was for unity.
What about the Apostle John? John writes to the Church when the 2nd and 3rd generation of Christians were active in the church.
1 John 1:3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. (and remember that we have the indwelling HS, so we have the Holy Triune God working with us, in us and through us) To fellowship, to be together in the same action. You cannot fellowship with other believers outside of the church. When we fellowship with the brethren, we fellowship with the Triune God.
1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. What is he talking about?
1 John 1:6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
There are some things in God’s church which does not reflect God. These dark things are not godly; nor are they from God. We are in a spiritual war of God against Satan; Satan is always tempting us to turn away from our spiritual destiny. Satan wants to destroy this church, your marriage, your witness in this world.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (Christians cannot have fellowship with one another if they are not involved with one another. The Triune God has ordained the church as the place where we should fellowship with other Christians who have problems and blemishes just like each of us). Wherever there is darkness in your life, your fellowship is broken with the Father and the Son.
We just have to look a little further into John’s epistle to see what he is talking about:
1 John 2:7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard.
1 John 2:8 At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.
1 John 2:9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.
1 John 2:10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.
1 John 2:11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Where there is unity, God is there. Where there is unity, there is love. Love suffers long and is kind, love does not envy, love does not promote yourself, love does not think evil thoughts against anyone, love rejoices in the truth, love does not behave unseemly, is not easily provoke
Where there is disunity, hatred, quarrels and divisions, Satan is there. John wrote to the church in his day to show them that their outward actions mirror what their heart condition really is.
No true believer in Christ can continually divide or be involved in dividing God’s Church. We may get tripped up and get involved in this evil action, but down deep we know that we are doing wrong. But those who deliberately come into the Church of God with a new revelation, or a new interpretation, in order to divide the church, are not God’s children. Paul stood for the Church. John stood for the church. Peter stood for the church.
Let us remember that we are in a spiritual war. God the Father sent God the Son to invade Satan’s domain, and to end the power of sin and death upon the sons and daughters of Adam. Jesus came to do the Father’s will, and to suffer, in rejection, then ultimately in death for each of our sins. The Father is molding each of us into the image of His Son. If Christ suffered, we will also suffer. As you grow in Christ, you will grow in your sufferings. The Father Son and HS are in complete agreement with the Church. The church is to be the sounding board of the Gospel of JC. The church is to be united in love, reflecting the unity of the Triune God.
- Remember that the Triune God is united in the purpose of the Church.
- Remember that you are being formed into the image of the Son.
- We have been given a new nature and the power to live like Jesus. So:
- Transform your mind; renew your mind to think like God. Read His Word. Obey His commands.
- Set your mind on the things above, those things that please the Father:
- Have the mind of Christ: “I came to do the Father’s will.
- Hold the Church of Jesus Christ in high regards, just as God does. Ask God how you can serve others in His Church, refusing to think of yourself first
- Accept those who work untiringly for your spiritual good, and thank God for their sacrifice of love.
- Remember: God’s Church should reflect God’s unity.