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By Pastor John Mateos Ong

What is a core value? They are qualities that represent an organization’s highest priorities, deeply held beliefs,and core fundamental guiding forces. They are characteristics that identify an organization. You will not compromise on your core values.

Why is unity so important?

A. We are stronger together.  - When you come together, you are strong and will be able to accomplish many things. It is also happier when people come together to draw strength from each other. When churches come together, they are stronger. In 1941, Winston Churchill said, “United we stand, divided we fall.’ We will succeed when we do thing’s together. Even Abraham Lincoln quoted the Bible and said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Matthew 12:25 says, “Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” It has also been said that, “Even the weak become strong when they are united.

During the Plaza Miranda bombing in 1971, when top leaders were trying to have a change in government, they failed because they did not have the support of the people. They stood together but they only got hurt. But in 1986, during the Edsa Revolution, 2 million people went to the streets to protest and there was a leadership change.

B. Unity is important to Jesus. - It should be important to you too. Before Jesus was captured, He mentioned how important unity was 3 times. John 17:20-23 says, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” But are you truly united? Even the churches Jesus began during His time were divided. It is the same nowadays. Instead of being part of the change, they turn a blind eye and walk away. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth in 1 Corinthians 11:18-19, saying, “In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval.” Romans 16:17 also says, “I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.” Stay away from them. Be part of the solution and not the division. Mahatma Gandhi, the founder of Hinduism, studied about Christian Doctrine and concluded that He liked Jesus, but then again, did not like His followers because they are so unlike their Christ.

C. Unity is good and pleasurable. - these are two different things. Psalms 133:1 says, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” Not all things good are nice. And not all things nice are good. Rarely do these two things go together.

D. Unity is a goal. - it is not just a milestone that you have to achieve. It is a target. Ephesians 4:11-13 says, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Until unity is achieved, that everybody believes in Jesus, pastors will be needed. When everybody has heard about the gospel, Jesus will come.

E. Unity is maturity. - 1 Corinthians 3:1-4 says, “Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?

‭‭How much of Christ have you become? If you are not united as a church, it does not show spiritual maturity.

How do you achieve unity?

  1. Have the kingdom mindset. - Think about what is good for God’s kingdom. Acts 4:32 says, “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.” Many pastors “own” their church. Not only that; they also want to own their members. A church that is owned is a cult. Stay away from it. Christianity is not about the church; it is all about Christ.

  2. Put on love. - Ask yourself if you are a loving person. Unity grows on loving others. Colossians 3:13-14 says, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”  Love is the glue of unity. It keeps people, the church, and families together.

  3. Respect and appreciate differences. - Unity is not uniformity. It does not mean that if you are united, you will be the same. Birds of the same feather, flock together only to a certain extent. Everybody is different. Even churches have different Bible interpretations. Differences need to be respected. Do not be judgmental. Do not play the role of the Holy Spirit convicting people. Let Him do His job. Philippians 1:15-18 says, “It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.” Galatians 3:26-28 says, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” 1 John 4:1-3 says, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” Keep it simple. As long as you believe in the same God, then there should not be a problem.

The body of Christ is most beautiful when the body comes together. Make unity your priority. If you catch the vision of unity, you will make a way.

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