Kingdom Principle: The Kingdom is advanced through the unity and fellowship of the Church. Unity is the fruit (outcome) and fellowship is the process.
It is often referenced in relationships that opposites attract. The power in this attraction draw is a compounding unity found in matching and blessing of gifts such that the two unique become one unified. With this truth, it is no wonder that I have been blessed with such an amazing wife… opposites attract. God in His Holiness pursues humanity to be His bride.(Rev.19:7-9, Isaiah 62:5, Matt 25:1-13, Jer. 2:2, Eph 5:25-27) Opposites attract. The focus here is not how needy humanity is, nor that God has low standards, rather we must overcome our need for unity prior to enjoying fellowship. Unity is the fruit of fellowship, not the foundation of fellowship.
Unity is not the foundation of fellowship in the same way that not until we come into relationship and fellowship with God do we have any awareness of the possibility of being one with Him. In coming into relationship with God, I for the first time discovery my true identity with paves the way for unity. This is why Jesus prays for our unity, as this is yet before us. (John 17:20-23) God desires and pursues fellowship with us, prior to having unity with us… For while we were still sinners – God loved us. (Romans 5:8) This is why God has a thing for ugly people…
The fruit of unity is discovered in the process of fellowship, but unity is lost when it is sought in the absence of fellowship. When two or more make the pursuit of unity their goal, compromise and conformity often lay the foundation. When our goal is to enjoy of the process of fellowship the foundation is communication and celebration. The key element of communication in the process of fellowship belongs to the Spirit of God. In this process the Holy Spirit creates the bond of peace (Eph 4:3) and cleanses the sin (John 6:63,Titus 3:5) that so easily divides. Our calling as the church in fellowship is to be quick to confess our impure ways and to contribute to the needs of others. This process demonstrates how good and pleasant it is when the people of God live together in unity speaking truth in love.
In the Scriptures this week – we see the power of opposing ideas, people and places being brought together in unity. We also see that Unity is not tolerance or compromise as in the understanding of how Light and Darkness interact. Thomas does not agree or stand in unity with the other 10 disciples who saw Jesus with their own eyes, yet we find him in fellowship 7 days later being locked in the same room. Thomas’ stubborn doubt and unresolved ability to believe what the others believe, does not cause him to be considered darkness. How often do we break fellowship the moment we find an impasse or disagreement? Could there be any greater disagreement between the disciples at this point? Judas is dead, Thomas is resolved not to believe, and they are locked in a room for fear of what might happen to them. This is the process of fellowship. Jesus returns for Thomas, as he remains in fellowship to bring unity to the surface.
Are you in the process for unity. Who is in this process with you? Are you the person “ahead” or “behind” on the road to unity? The “ahead” person embraces the person without demand for compromise or conformity. The “behind” person continue to communicate and celebrate in fellowship even as they hold contrary views. The emphasis is on our belonging as being more important or primary to our believing. For those who are “ahead” be quick to confess your impure ways and on-going need for forgiveness, further seek ways to contribute to the other person’s needs. The “behind” person is to reach out to the Spirit of God, seeking the bond of peace in order to build a new bridges of reconciliation between one another.(2 Cor. 5:16-18) In this you will deepen your fellowship with your brother or sister to whom you are in relationship.
How can there be unity with those who you are not in fellowship with? It begins with having peace in your heart that overflows to whomever you do come in contact with. Are you at peace with yourself? Do you have passions or dreams which you have given up and it plagues you? Do you have addictions or impulses of which you are ashamed? Are their people whom you are avoiding – if so what feelings are evoked in you which are not pleasing unto the Lord? These are places where there is not pure fellowship within your own body, soul and spirit. Spend time here, before you begin to seek out fellowship with those whom you know;
Unity is the outcome and fellowship is the process and it is all, both are:
- A work of the Holy Spirit
- Worked out in the Physical/Practical
- Expressed in Community not in Conformity
- Already complete and always expanding
Therefore – How do we participate in the work of the Holy Spirit for the physical/practical expressions of our community to enjoy that which is complete and to expand the unity of all?
Pursue Fellowship by a means of: