Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Walk in Unity

Ephesians 4:1-3:  I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

God desires to see His people united.   He also desires to see them separated from sin.  Satan’s desire is to see God’s people separated from each other and united to the world controlled by self-will and sin.  I believe that people who are unified are  people who understand each other because they speak the same language.

Man’s Problem
Back in Genesis 11, the people that populated the earth at that time decided to build a tower to God.  Apparently this was their own way of approaching God which involved worship of the sun, moon, and stars.  God put a stop to it by confusing their language so that they could no longer be unified in what they were doing.  This caused them to be scattered so that each language group could live in isolation from other language groups.  Genesis 11 tells the story of why there are different language groups while Genesis 10 shows that as people populated the earth, the different languages were already in place.  It is quite clear that people that spoke the same language  lived together.  It is obvious that Genesis 11 had to occur before Genesis 10 which means that the Bible story is not always written chronologically.  Sometimes a story is developed and later details of the original story are explained. 

Today, we who are saved should all be speaking the same language.  According to 1 Corinthians 1:10 that would eliminate divisions and would unify us.  When people speak different languages, they tend to misunderstand each other and that leads to mistrust.  In the natural world ethnic differences and prejudices arise.  In the spiritual world a similar thing happens when we don’t all find the Bible (and thus God) communicating to us in the same way.  For example, some people who read the Bible see all of man’s actions to be predetermined by God.  Others see everything resulting from man’s free will.  In addition, some people think that Christians are just a replacement for the Israel of the old testament.  Others see believers today as new and distinct from old testament Israel. 

Because of the way words are understood in the Bible, there is a distinct difference found in the way the Gospel is preached and in the way Christians are guided in their lives..  There is a difference in the way Bible prophecy is understood and in the way “judgment day” is preached.  In addition, some people want to speak in unknown languages in the church not realizing that Paul actually wants everyone in the church to understand everything that is said if that is at all possible.  In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul says that speaking publicly in languages that are not understood causes confusion.  Paul says speaking five words that can be understood is better than speaking ten thousand words in a language that cannot be understood (1 Corinthians 14:19).

God’s Solution
1 John 1: 6-7 makes it clear that we must be in fellowship with the Father in order to be in fellowship with one another.  I would think that true fellowship would involve true unity.  To obtain that unity,  John says we must walk in the light.  If we walk in darkness we are not practicing the truth.  In chapter 2, walking in darkness is explained (just as Genesis 11 explains Genesis 10).   Hating your brother is walking in darkness.  1 John 3:15 further develops this theme and shows us that those who hate their brothers are murderers and that murderers are not saved.  Thus, in 1st John, walking in the light describes those who are saved and walking in darkness describes those who are not saved.  So to have fellowship one with another and to be speaking the “same thing” we have to be saved or born again.  This makes sense, since the Holy Spirit seals the saved and guides them into all truth (John 16:13). 

Division occurs when we want to worship God our own way.  We speak the same thing and are unified only when we are saved and guided by the Holy Spirit.  I know it is not politically correct to assume that a lot of the messages we are reading and listening to today come from unsaved teachers, but I personally believe that to be true.  We need to be careful.  Just because something appeals to us and “makes sense” doesn’t make it true.  As a matter of fact, that may be  a sign that it is not true.  For example, it doesn’t make sense that God would ask His Son to die for us so that we can have our sins forgiven.  But while it doesn’t make sense, it is the Biblical truth.  Speaking the same language has to start with understanding and accepting that Biblical truth.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of January 5, 2014

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