God's Standard for Unity

On-Line Correspondence Course #2: Exploring the Reasons and Remedies for Religious Division.

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Please use your Bible to look up the following verses and answer the related questions. You can click on the verses to visit an off-site resource that provides the scripture. Questions without verses should be based on your opinion and common understanding.

Introductory Reflection

  1. What is the "church"?
  2. What do you consider the purpose of the church?
  3. How important is unity for the accomplishment of this purpose?
  4. Do divisions exist? If so please provide examples.
  5. What level of unity do you think is sufficient or satisfactory?
  6. What ideals, attitudes, or standards are essential to achieving this level of unity?

What Is The "Church"?

  1. Who built the church? (Matthew 16:17-18)
  2. How many churches did He promise to build? (Matthew 16:17-18)
  3. Who is the head of the church? (Ephesians 1:22-23)
  4. Which people are members of the church? (Acts 2:41, 47)
  5. When did the church come into existence? (Mark 9:1; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; Acts2:1-4)

How Many Correct Interpretations?

  1. Is it possible for God to lie? (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18)
    YES  NO 
  2. Can God originate confusion? (I Corinthians 14:33)
    YES  NO 
  3. Therefore, can two Bible passages contradict each other?
    YES  NO 
  4. What things are the foundation of unity and any true interpretation? (Ephesians 4:4-6)

The Causes of Division

  1. What is sometimes the source of, and accompanies many divisions? (I Corinthians 3:1-3)
  2. How are people who cause divisions to be treated? (Romans 16:17-18; Titus 3:9-11; I Timothy 6:3-5)
  3. Can true unity be enjoyed in the presence of false teaching, or differing teachings? (James 3:14-17; I Corinthians 1:10; Titus 2:7)
    YES  NO

The Command for Unity

  1. Were the Corinthian Christians to have divisions? (I Corinthians 1:10)
    YES  NO 
  2. In what things were they to be unified? (I Corinthians 1:10-13)
  3. Are divisions among Christians acceptable?
    YES  NO
  4. Will God be pleased if we call ourselves by different men or teach different things?
    YES  NO

The Importance of Unity

  1. For what did Jesus pray? (John 17:20-23)
  2. Jesus prayed that Christians would be unified to what extent? (John 17:21-22)
  3. What would be a result of this unity? (John 17:21, 23)
  4. What will be the result of a divided effort? (Matthew 12:25)

The Power of Unity

  1. Why did God confuse the people who were building the tower of Babel? (Genesis 9:1,11; 11:1-4)
  2. What did God notice about the people that would enable the people to complete the tower? (Genesis 11:5-6)
  3. Can unity be as powerful today?
    YES  NO 
  4. Is the goal of a unified effort important to its success?
    YES  NO 

"What Should I Do?"

  1. For what should we strive? (Ephesians 4:1-3)
  2. Who is the source of all wisdom, knowledge, and understanding? (Proverbs 2:1-6)
  3. What can we do to grow in knowledge and understanding? (James 1:5; II Timothy 2:15; Ephesians 3:3-5; II Timothy 3:16-17)
  4. Do Christians who disagree have the responsibility to discuss their differences? (I Corinthians 13:1-7; Jude 1:3; Galatians 6:1-6)
  5. What will be the result of these discussions? (Proverbs 27:17; James 5:19-20; I Thessalonians 5:23-24)

Comments

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  4. Your feedback is greatly appreciated, because it helps us restructure the format of the lessons to help benefit future students.

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Unless otherwise noted, all quotations are from the New King James Version, copyright © 1994 by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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