QUARTERLY JOURNAL
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Unity – Part III

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ”

Ephesians 4:1-7 KJV

When we gave our lives to Jesus Christ, we made a choice to restrict our lifestyles to obeying His commands and his teachings. The Apostle Paul says in Romans 6 that our old sinful life ended when we became one with Jesus. When we were baptized, our old life was buried with Jesus as we took part in his death. We were unified with him. As God raised Jesus Christ from death, we also rose with Him and now live a new life. In the old life we were slaves to sin but in our new life we now want to live as servants to our Lord by depriving ourselves of the liberty to live the way we want to live. We now try to live the way God commands us to live because we have chosen to be wholly subjected to His righteousness. We want to live like Jesus! We want to serve like Jesus! We want to be like Jesus! When Jesus died on the cross, He legally purchased our freedom from sin and we now are in God’s custody; “…no one can take them out of my hand. My Father is the one who gave them to me, and he is greater than all. No one can steal my sheep out of his hand” (John 10:28-29 ERV). As a result of being servants to the Lord, we want to live the way God’s people are supposed to live. We live with an attitude of lowliness in status and importance. We avoid arrogance and pride. We live a lifestyle of gentleness, patient and accept each other with love. God unified us together as His children in peace through the Holy Spirit. When Jesus Christ told us how to pray, His first two words were, ‘Our Father’,  (Matthew 6:9 KJV).

We are one body of people living in ‘UNITY’ with Jesus. God chose us so we honor Him as His children. God told David that he did things that made the Lord’s enemies lose their respect for God. When we disobey God’s commands and do wicked and sinful things people not only condemn us as being God’s children but they also disparage God’s name. We need to do all we can to continue to, live Holy lives, letting peace hold us together in ‘UNITY’. We carry the name of Jesus on our lives and as a result we are one body, one Spirit, and God chose us to have one hope. There is only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. There is only one God and one Father who rules over us all. God works through all His children and in all His children. God told the Prophet Ezekiel that Israel didn’t have respect for His name; “The people of Israel ruined my holy name wherever they went, and I felt sorry for my name…you ruined my holy name…I am going to do something to stop this. I will not do it for your sake…I will do it for my holy name” (Ezekiel 36:21-22 ERV). When we disobey God’s Word, we dishonor Him and we suffer consequences for it. If we know the Lord, then the love of God should be manifested in us by how we obey His Word. Jesus said if we love Him then we must demonstrate that by how we live our lives (John 14:15). Our lifestyle is what draws unbelievers to our Christian family. God’s love in us brings about ‘UNITY’ and oneness among God’s people and activates the fruits of the Holy Spirit which are love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).  If we love our Father, then we will demonstrate that love for Him by obeying His Word, Jesus Christ. Love brings ‘UNITY’ to our family.

Submitted By Trustee Stanley Ridley



Unity – Part II

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ”

Ephesians 4:1-7 KJV

God says that we should love each other in a way that makes us feel close like brothers and sisters while also giving each other more honor than we give ourselves; Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another” (Romans 12:10 KJV).  How we treat one another manifests what is inside us.  We should always treat people the way that we want people to treat us (Matthew 7:12). If we know the Lord, then the love of God should be manifested in us by how we treat one another.  Love is the most important attribute in God’s Kingdom.  Love for one another is the evidence of godliness among God’s people.  God’s love is what draws unbelievers to our Christian family.  God’s love in us brings about ‘UNITY’ and oneness among God’s people and this love that we have for one another activates the fruits of the Holy Spirit which are defined in Galatians 5:22-23.  The fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control.  If we love the Lord then we will demonstrate that love for our Lord by obeying His Word; “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).  If we obey God’s commands then there will be Spiritual fruit in our lives.  Only obedience to God’s Word can result in the experience of these glorious fruits.  Disobedience is what keeps us from activating the potential of doing all the things that our Lord Jesus Christ did when He lived and walked on earth.  We have the potential of being just like Jesus Christ and doing all the things that he did (Johns 14:12).  God wants replicas of His Son Jesus walking on the earth.  God made us in His image and the image that He had in mind for mankind was Jesus Christ (Genesis 1:7).  Human beings were made to be like Jesus.  ‘UNITY’ begins with Jesus.  We are to live like Him.  We are to give like Him.  We are to serve like Him.  We are to be like Jesus.  When we all are striving to be like Jesus, then we will all come together as one body of believers with different responsibilities in the body but still one body; “Oh, how wonderful, how pleasing it is when God’s people all come together as one!” (Psalm 133:1 ERV).  We do not all look, speak and act the same and God gave each of us our own gift.  His gifts were given to us so that we might be properly equipped for His service that the whole body might be built in the ‘UNITY’ of the common faith and common knowledge of Jesus Christ.  The Father expects us to work within Christ’s body, the church, until we are all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful, fully mature, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Jesus Christ.

Submitted By Trustee Stanley Ridley



Unity – Part I

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ”

Ephesians 4:1-7 KJV

How does the spirit of a church family successfully maintain a healthy relationship with each other for 112 years?  The answer is ‘UNITY’. One Body, One Spirit, One Hope, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism and One God. We believe in oneness and Our Lord is our Master and our Owner. Ephesians 4:3 calls us to UNITY. Ephesians 4:4-6 identifies the causes of our UNITY. We have oneness of mind. We offer a place of harmony and agreement for those outside and lost in the world. The obvious question for the outside observer is who is the source of our UNITY? The simple answer is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His sacrifice on the cross nearly 2000 years ago allowed us to be reunited with our Heavenly Father and Creator of all. Over an extended period of time, roughly 1500 years, the Holy Bible became the standard for our living. The Holy Bible tells us about God, Jesus, Salvation, the Holy Spirit, sin, grace and the church. There’s only one message about these topics and one faith that we have. Our faith is the body of revealed truth given to the church by God. What Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 4:5 has to do with what we believe. There is only one living God and He has only one plan of salvation. That plan is Jesus Christ. Although God took care of the biggest part of our UNITY within His kingdom, He tells us that we also have work to do.

As God’s children we are commanded to live the way God’s people should live. We should always be humble and gentle because a broken spirit and a crushed heart are the only ways to get God’s attention (Psalm 51:17). UNITY requires us to be patient and accept each other with love because we are joined together with peace through the Holy Spirit. In order to maintain UNITY we must do all that we can to continue to love and care for one another so that we are letting peace hold us together (Ephesians 4:2). There is one body and one Spirit, and God chose us to have one hope.

The Shiloh Baptist Church family has 112 years that testify to that fact. There is One Lord, One Faith, and One Baptism. There is One God and Father of us all, who rules over everyone. God works through all of us and in all of us. Hebrews 12:1 says that there are witnesses all around us that can attest to the fact that Jesus Christ has given each one of us a special gift to contribute to the body of our fellowship. We see these gifts at work every week during our worship services. Every one of us received what God wanted to give to us. Some keys to successful relationships as explained in the Health Encyclopedia by the University of Rochester Medical Center include communicating clearly and often, showing gratitude and appreciation for those that we love and care about, building trust with each other and being ready to forgive one another; …if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:15 KJV). If we continue to obey and practice these Biblical principles in our daily lives then we can be assured that God our Father will continue to bless our UNITY!