The Major Things: Seven Non-negotiables of unity

Pastor James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel gave a sermon on June 4, 2006 about Ephesians 4:1-6.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.–Ephesians 4:1-6 (bolding is mine)

The sermon was titled “Convicted About Unity” (that is unity in the Church of Christ). Point 2A of the sermon was entitled “Unity is based upon doctrinal agreement” (based on verses 4-6 of Ephesians 4). As part of this point Pastor James included this list:
The Major Things: Seven Non-negotiables of unity

    1) One body
    Not several groups. Just one body who believes in Christ as substitutionary atonement. It’s not just a teeny tiny group that just has it.

    2) One spirit
    You have to have the HS (you get that conversion) 1 Cor 12:13

    3) One hope
    The great hope of the church is the bodily return of Jesus Christ
    2 Peter 3:1 Some people will want Christ to not come, they think they have a good thing here on earth. If you don’t have one hope, then you are not on the team.

    4) One Lord
    Authoritative head–nobody else.
    John 8:24 Jesus is Lord, not just man
    Christology says Christ is not a person, but an idea
    Mormons says Christ is just man
    Jehovah’s Witness says Christ is just man–but a higher degree man.
    No way. Christ is God and man.

    5) One faith
    One faith is in the gospel itself. i.e. Jude says body of truth (as in it being the doctrines)

    6) One baptism
    (Pastor James said it means just one believer baptism and not infant baptism, which I disagree with)

    7) One God and Father of all

In case you’re curious, here’s the entire outline of the sermon

    1A) The heart of Jesus longs for UNITY in His body. (John 17:20-23)
    2A) Unity is based upon DOCTRINAL agreement. (Ephesians 4:4-6) (see above for detailed notes)
    3A) Unity is built upon PERSONAL sacrifice. (Ephesians 4:2,3)
    1b) Humility means giving up my OPINIONS for unity.
    2b) Gentleness means giving up my PERSONAL RIGHTS for unity.
    3b) Patience means giving up my sense of TIMING for unity.
    4b) Forbearance means giving up my CONCLUSIONS about people for unity.

Conviction: I will sacrifice MYSELF for the unity of our body.

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