A Spirit of Unity
Rom 15:5,6 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is a typical example of Paul's prayers found in his letters, of which we can apply directly by emulating. And as is typical of most his prayers, the subject matter is not material but spiritual, being primarily about attitudes. For our concerns should not be primarily about circumstances but about attitudes, just as we find also concerning commands to Christians in the New Testament letters to the churches, which are primarily not about regulations but about attitudes.
While God's gifts are often dependent upon our cooperation, these are things which we do not generate in ourselves. God gives endurance. God gives encouragement. Paul had personal experience with this. “God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus” 2Cor 7:6 God also gives a spirit of unity. One of Jesus' last prayers was, “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me” John 17:23b The spirit of unity is to reckon all believers brethren and of equal value. In contrast is denominational unity which divides Christians based upon denominational affiliation, characteristic of much of the history of Christianity. Denominationalism suppresses Christians from exercising their spiritual gifts, keeping them gagged, immature, feeding them chaff, which accounts for much of the history of Christianity. But the unity Jesus and Paul speak of can only be achieved with the maturity gained through the Word and through the exercise of one's spiritual gifts in service to Christ with a perspective on the value of the members of the body as interdependent.
For “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 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.” Eph 4:11-13 Therefore“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”Eph 4:2,3
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