All for one and one for allWhere's the Faith?, Bottom Highlights Thursday, August 4th, 2011
Social Chaos: Where's the Faith?
Of course you remember the Three Musketeers, with the motto “All for one and one for all.” Each member of that group would be there for the group or for any of the others. In other words, they were vowing to stand together.
There’s a writing where the Apostle Paul is trying to get the Ephesian church to adopt the Three Musketeers saying as their motto. Let me take it a step farther than that; I believe that God wants us as a community and specifically The Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego to adopt as its motto the phrase “All for one and one for all!”
I want to take this passage (Ephesians 4) and talk to you on the Three Musketeer motto: “All For One And One For All.” I want us to see that unity is God’s will for the community and God’s people. Is it possible? Yes!
First, we share common ground. The night before Jesus was crucified, He prayed for His people. In John 17, one of the things Jesus prayed for us was that people would be “one”. To ensure that we would have the foundation upon which to build in unity, this scripture reminds us of seven great possessions that every person in this has in common.
One body, one Spirit, one hope, one Savior, one faith, one baptism, one God and creator of all.
Did you notice that everything is about God? When our lives, our desires, our will and our interests stop being about God and start to focus on us, we’re headed for trouble! As believers, we may come from different places, but we stand on common ground!
Second, we share common grace. Paul talks of the spiritual gifts that are given to the ministers of the church to profit the church. Remember, and it’s good to remind ourselves that every person possesses at least one spiritual gift (1 Cor. 12:4-27).
That gift that you have been given was given to you to use for the glory of God and to be a blessing to someone else! As each person uses the gifts they have been given, the unity of the community is strengthened and the community is helped!
Now, the sad part is when people fail to exercise their spiritual gifts, or, when they use them to tear down instead of build up!
So, you may ask, how are we going to go about the business of practicing, protecting and strengthening our unity? I’m so glad you asked!
We exercise the right walk. Notice that Paul doesn’t tell us to “make” unity! Unity already exists, our duty is to manifest it and maintain it! Every recipe needs certain ingredients. Here are some ingredients for unity.
Treating one another with love. Remember the golden rule: Treat one another as you would have them treat you. This isn’t always easy, but it always gets the best results.
Selflessness. This word means, “Humility.” Now, humility is not about total self abasement, but it means you realize your own significance while you see the worth of others. Paul says in the book of Philippians, “I am what I am by the grace of God!” It’s not “How great I am!” It’s about us getting off our pedestal and recognizing God’s grace and faithfulness.
Meekness. This word means “gentleness; power under control.” It refers to having the power to react against others, but refusing to for the sake of unity! Sometimes, it means keeping your mouth shut, instead of giving them the best speech that you’d ever regret. Sometimes it means reacting with honey when you want to react with vinegar! It means being sweet toward others!
Longsuffering – This word means “patience, endurance”. It literally means “to be long tempered.” It refers to having a long fuse! Do you have a long fuse or a short fuse? What does it take to get you riled up? If we are going to promote unity, then we must learn to be long tempered!
Forbearing in love. The word “forbearing” means “to endure, or to put up with”. It means giving people space to be themselves. You see, the word “love” refers to God’s kind of love. It’s a love that is unconditional and eternal. It doesn’t end based on what others do, but it remains constant and strong in spite of injury! Basically, this phrase calls on us to give one another the right to be different, to hold different opinions, and generally, to be themselves!
Deciding to live in unity has a wonderful pay off.
Being united brings honor to the Spirit. United we stand – divided we fall. “All for one and one for all!”
I invite you to The Met on Saturday, Aug. 13, 7 p.m. to a concert by Jane and Camille. Together, they bring the joyful message of God’s love and grace though song, word and testimony. They sing a progressive message of hope and justice, and speak of how God has changed their lives and given them a reason to sing. Rev. Dan Koeshall is the Senior Pastor at The Metropolitan Community Church (The Met) in San Diego, California, themetchurch.org.
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