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Lesson 7: Unity: The Bond of Revival *

Introduction: What does unity mean? Does it mean that we give up personal opinion? Does it mean that we no longer compete with each other? Does it mean that we look, talk and act like other church members? When Jesus prays that we will all be "one," in the same way the Trinity is one ( John 17:21), what does that mean? If unity is essential to revival, and it seems it is, we need to understand what unity means. Our lesson this week is about unity. Let's dive into study of the Bible and learn more!

  1. Unity with God

    1. Let's read part of a prayer of Jesus in John 17:11-12. What do you think Jesus means by "I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave Me?"

      1. Read Philippians 2:9-11 and Revelation 19:12. What do these suggest about the "name?" (A name identifies a person. God and Jesus agreed upon His mission to save us. That is an important part of Jesus' identity. Being with Jesus on His mission protected the disciples while Jesus was with them.)

    2. Look again at John 17:11 and read John 17:20-21. Twice Jesus refers to His disciples becoming "one" as He is "one" with God. What did it mean for Jesus to be one with God? (The doctrine of the Trinity is that they are literally one.)

      1. What does it mean, then, for us to be one with God? (We need to ask God for help to understand. This means that either the Trinity is a broader definition of "one" than I previously thought, or it means that Christians have a closer identity with God than I previously thought.)

    3. Let's see if we can unravel this. Look again at John 17:21. Jesus notes that the Father is "in" Him and He is "in" the Father. Read 1 Corinthians 6:19. What does this say about the Holy Spirit dwelling in us? (It says the same thing, that the Holy Spirit dwells in those seek that kind of relationship.)

    4. Read Romans 8:5-8. What separates the saved from the unsaved? (Whether we decide to allow the Holy Spirit to control our thinking.)

      1. Read Romans 8:9-11. How do we ask the Holy Spirit to control our thinking? (Notice this - "if the Spirit of God lives in you," then you are saved.)

      2. Let's circle back to this issue about unity within the Trinity, and your unity with God. After reading these verses in Romans 8, how do you understand your unity with God? (Our unity with God is asking the Holy Spirit to live in us, and to guide our thoughts and our actions. If we make the decision to be in unity with God, then we "belong" to Jesus. If we reject that unity and let our minds be "controlled by the sinful nature," then we die as rebels against God. Romans 8:6-8.)

  2. Unity in the Church

    1. Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-13. What does the Bible mean when it says "Christ" is like a body? (It is a reference to Christians. Those who believe in Jesus are like a body.)

      1. Why does a body teach us about unity? (Different parts have to coordinate in order for the body to work properly.)

      2. What does the Holy Spirit have to do with Christians being a body? (The Holy Spirit unifies us! Think again about our discussion of how the Holy Spirit living within us unifies us with God. We now find that the Holy Spirit also unifies us with fellow believers!)

      3. If we want to know exactly what unity in the church means, should we look at how the Holy Spirit works? (Yes!)

    2. Read 1 Corinthians 12:1-3. Where do we obtain "spiritual gifts?" (From the Holy Spirit. The way the Holy Spirit gives gifts gives to us is a picture of what it means to be "one.")

    3. Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-6. What does this reveal about whether unity means we all think and work the same way?

      1. What is different among the united? (Gifts, service and working.)

      2. What do the united hold in common? (Same Spirit, Lord and God.)

    4. Read 1 Corinthians 12:7. Why do we all have different gifts, service and works? (The goal is to promote the "big picture," the common good.)

    5. Read 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. I understand that some have wisdom and some knowledge. Why is "faith" a gift? I thought we all are supposed to have faith?

      1. What about gifts of healing and miracles? Can't we all pray for someone to be healed, or pray for a miracle?

      2. What does this say about a person who has no regular connection to a church? One who does not regularly worship with other believers? (God gives all of us some measure of wisdom, knowledge, faith and healing. The point is that some have special gifts in one area. We only take advantage of special gifts given to others by working together.)

    6. Look again at 1 Corinthians 12:10. What does it mean to be able to "distinguish between spirits?" (This reveals that the Holy Spirit is not alone in trying to influence our actions and deeds.)

    7. Read 1 Corinthians 12:11. Who coordinates these gifts in the church? (The Holy Spirit. Again, this shows how important it is to be part of a Spirit-led church!)

    8. What does unity with God, through a Spirit-led mind, say about unity with fellow Christians? (The Holy Spirit is the coordinator of it all!)

  3. Unity in Action

    1. We skipped over 1 Corinthians 12:3. Let's go back and read it. Why can't we fake praising God? Haven't you heard Christians who you thought were fakes?

      1. Doesn't the gift of "distinguishing between spirits" (1Corinthians 12:10) prove that some are fakes?

    2. Read Luke 11:14-16. Why are these people making these charges against Jesus? (They were testing whether he was a fake or not.)

      1. Why would Satan drive out demons through someone? (So that you would follow a false teacher.)

    3. Read Luke 11:17-20. What does Jesus say about Satan driving out Satan? (He says it is not possible. When Satan starts hurting himself, it is the beginning of the end of his power.)

      1. Re-read 1 Corinthians 12:3. Does Jesus' statement in Luke 11 support this? (Yes.)

      2. What does this teach us about unity? (There are some very basic principles about unity. We are on one side or the other. Good works come from Jesus and bad works come from Satan.)

    4. Read Matthew 7:15. Wait a minute! What is Jesus saying about prophets? (That fake prophets exist.)

      1. How can that be since we just agreed that you are on one side or the other?

    5. Read Matthew 7:17-20. How does this help us with the unity issue? Can someone say, "Jesus is Lord" and be a supporter of Satan? (Matthew 7 supports the unity concepts we have been discussing. It tells us that words and deeds will be consistent. But, it tells us to look closely. Just listening to a few words should not end our investigation.)

    6. Read Matthew 7:21-23. These are "gold standard" deeds. When Jesus says "I never knew you," does he mean they were done by the power of Satan? (Luke 11 taught us that was impossible. These deeds must have been done through the power of God.)

      1. How do you explain this?

    7. Read Matthew 7:24-27. How does this teaching help us to spot fakers? (Jesus tells us that words and deeds must be in unity.)

      1. What does this teach us about unity? (Unity has several layers. Not only is there a unity among believers in the church, but we need to have a unity in our personal life. There must be a unity between our words and our deeds. The whole package distinguishes the fakers (those on Satan's side) from those who are genuine (on God's side).)

      2. Think back to the beginning of our discussion about the Holy Spirit living in us and making us one with God. Can you see how unity with God must be reflected in our works?

    8. Friend, will you commit today to choose to have the Holy Spirit live in you? Will you choose to have unity with God and unity with fellow believers?

  4. Next week: Discernment: The Safeguard of Revival.
* Copr. 2013, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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