This following post is adapted from Ps Ryan Smith's message on Sun 30th July, at the C3 Oxford Falls 10am service. 

 

 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body - whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.’ 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 (NKJV)

 

How do we as Christians gain spiritual health and maturity in Christ? How does the church function well and remain unified? Philippians 2:1-4 provides us some answers to these important questions.

 Look at how much encouragement you’ve found in your relationship with the Anointed One! You are filled to overflowing with his comforting love. You have experienced a deepening friendship with the Holy Spirit and have felt his tender affection and mercy. So I’m asking you, my friends, that you be joined together in perfect unity—with one heart, one passion, and united in one love. Walk together with one harmonious purpose and you will fill my heart with unbounded joy. Be free from pride-filled opinions, for they will only harm your cherished unity. Don’t allow self-promotion to hide in your hearts, but in authentic humility put others first and view others as more important than yourselves. Abandon every display of selfishness. Possess a greater concern for what matters to others instead of your own interests. 
Philippians 2:1-4 (TPT)

Let’s look at two words and their meanings that can help us to apply this scripture to our lives:

Differentiation

Defined as ‘Remaining connected to people yet not allowing our responses or behaviours to be determined by them.’ The bible is full of examples of people that were differentiated. These include King David, Daniel, Jesus and Paul. They did not bow to external pressures but stayed true to their God and their calling to be righteous before Him.

Integration

Defined as ‘Making the connection between spiritual health and emotional health as a means of holistic Christian living.’

Spiritual health is found through:

  • Living in committed community that passionately loves Jesus above all else
  • Awakening and surrendering to God’s love in every situation
  • Communing with God and practicing a life of unceasing prayer
  • Finding the true essence of who we are in God
  • Loving others out of a life of love for God

Emotional health is found through:

  • Taking responsibility for ourselves without interfering with other people’s responsibilities
  • Resolving conflict naturally and negotiating solutions that consider the perspective of others
  • Initiating and maintaining close and meaningful relationships
  • Respecting and loving others without having to change them
  • Accurately self-assessing our strengths, limits and weaknesses and freely sharing them with others

Unity is a spirit. Together we have the mind of Christ. We need to stay connected, take time to build relationships and keep trusted companions, pointing one another to Christ, and together, being transformed into the likeness of Christ.

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