As we conclude our fifteen-month study of 2 Corinthians this weekend, we’ll be examining Paul’s closing comments in verses 11-14 of chapter 13. More than just a customary ending, a careful study of Paul’s epistles reveal that he often uses his concluding comments to summarize the main theme of his letters. And what do we see here in verses 11-14? What theme could be more obvious for 2 Corinthians than the need for church unity?
So using the biblical concepts stressed in those four verses, I have drafted a code of conduct for our church regarding unity. When we each assume these responsibilities individually, collectively we will have an environment that best represents Christ, serves as a blessing to those within and makes the church attractive to those without.
In obedience to Christ and by the grace He supplies, may we each strive to promote church unity!
1. I will abide in Christ whereby He fills me with His love and His peace that I will then share with others.
2. I will rejoice in the Lord, creating a wholesome and winsome environment in the church.
3. I will greet others in the church, regardless of their distinctions and my opinion of them, with affection and respect.
4. I will grow in my understanding of Christ’s grace and measure my understanding of His grace by my treatment of others in the church.
5. I will aim to be one with others as the members of the Triune God are one with each other.
6. I will avoid the sinful traits such as gossip, anger, favoritism, arrogance, unforgiveness, strife and selfishness that breed church disunity.
7. I will use my spiritual gifts for the edification of others.
8. I will depend on the strength of the Holy Spirit to love others more than I love myself.
9. I will serve, believe the best about others and deal with offenses promptly and appropriately.
10. I will promote like-mindedness and not be divisive over doctrine, leadership and church direction.
11. I will seek to uphold a unified environment through prayer, forbearance, encouragement and correction when necessary.
Is our Savior’s prayer being answered at Grace Bible Church? “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me” (Jn. 17:20-23).