New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church Theme for 2020
“UNIFIED BY GRACE IN 2020”
UNIFIED: brought together as one; to make or become a single unit; to unite:
GRACE: a virtue coming from God; unmerited divine assistance and undeserved help that God gives us; the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not necessarily because of anything we have done to earn it
Scriptural reference -- Eph 4:1-7:
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
This passage of scripture in Ephesians 4 focuses on unity and maturity in the body of Christ. The Apostle Paul gives a call to live rightly, but only after explaining what God did for us. When we really understand how much God did for us, we will naturally want to serve and readily obey Him out of gratitude. As Christians, we are to live a life marked by lowliness and gentleness, not a pushy desire to defend our own rights and advance our own agenda. We are to be happy and content following God’s will, and not in trying to control or steer things our way. We must have a forgiving attitude towards our sisters and brothers in Christ, just like God forgives us for the things we do against Him.
God ordained unity for the body of Christ. He sent His only begotten son to a disunited world to promote unity through faith in Jesus. Now, we must strive to preserve and sustain the unity
(as it says in v. 3, “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”). In this passage of scripture, Paul refers to a spiritual unity, not necessarily a structural or denominational unity. Just to be clear, church fellowship or membership is not the same spiritual unity Paul was talking about. This unity of Spirit he mentions is about (first) our union with Christ by faith and (secondly) our union with each other as fellow-members of Christ’s body.
Verse 4 says “There is one body, and one Spirit.” This lets us know we have unity because of what we share in common. In Jesus we share one body, one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one Father. Each of these common areas is greater than any potential difference. And so when people are full of love for our Savior, there is less division in the church. Then, God can better use the church as His instrument of reconciliation to a disunited world. But the only way we’re going to be united in Spirit is if we partake of the privilege of God’s grace. Then, if we abide in grace, we can truly walk in unity.
As we strive to be “UNIFIED BY GRACE” in 2020 we will work together in unity so the unsaved will see us and want to be a part of God’s family. Let’s reset our minds and renew our commitment to Christ above all else (our country, our jobs, material goods, etc.) so that others may see our good works but glorify our Father in heaven.