Scripture: Romans 12:9-18 (HCSB)
- What is unity?
- Does it mean we always agree?
- Does it mean we do not fight one another?
- Unity is marked by a similar determination.
- How can Christians experience unity?
- Our common goal is to honor God and submit to Him in Christ (1 Cor. 1:4-9)
- Why do we experience disunity in God’s church?
Love must be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Be in agreement with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone.
What does it mean for love to be without hypocrisy?
- What is love?
- Any ‘love’ that is selfish is not love. It is a perversion of love.
- What forms of love might be selfish in nature?
- If I do not honor God in my love, my love is not genuine.
- I must detest evil and cling to what is good
- I must show family affection to my brothers and sisters
- I must work to outdo others in showing honor
- I must not lack diligence and I must show fervor as I serve the Lord
- I must rejoice in hope, be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.
- I must share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality.
- I must bless those who persecute me, not cursing them.
- I must rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.
- This also means that my love should be unconditional.
- How can I have an unconditional love toward others?
How can we experience unity within the Church?
- If I honor God in everything that I do, and others are also working to selflessly honor God, then we are unified.
- How can we fight each other if we are both facing the same direction and pursuing the same outcome?
- Paul commands that we be in agreement with one another.
- Does this mean that we always agree?
- We should always be humble enough that we do not have to have our way. At the same time, we always detest what is evil.
- We should not be proud, or wise in our own estimation.
- Each one should remember that he can always learn more. We should not have a “my way or the highway” mentality, especially when it comes to our own ideas.
- As far as it depends on us, we should always live at peace with everyone.
Questions for class discussion
- How would you describe true fellowship between members of a church?
- Why is fellowship important for your growth as a believer?
- Is Christian fellowship horizontal (with people) or vertical (in pursuit of God)?