We finished discussing the Holy Spirit purifying us and being holy and making us a holy nation. Today we will discuss the Holy Spirit bringing unity verses the devil creating division. (Extracts are taken out of Wayne Grudem’s book “Systematic Theology”)
Paul points out so beautifully that in spite of the differences between people and each person having different gifts, we have even more reason to work together as one, rather than separately. He says in 1 Corinthians 12:20-21, 26-27 the following:
“As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you’. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”
He points out that even though each person is valuable and respectable in their own right as individuals, our value and respect becomes even greater and more honourable if we use it alongside those who different and function differently.
Let’s use a music band as an example. You get the drummer, the pianist, the acoustic guitarist and at least two electric guitarist and a bass guitarist, plus the person who plays the special effects sounds (chimes, cymbals, harmonica, etc.), and as has become popular a violinist, and then finally you get the lead singer, who may or may not play one of the instruments. More often than not, a lot of the background vocalists are some of the musicians.
Now, have you ever heard what it sounds like if the drummer is missing? The bass guitar, along with the help of the keyboard player might be able to cover up the fact that the drummer is missing, but still you will say, “Something is not quite right”. What if the lead singer and the back-up singers refused to sing during an entire show? All you will get is an instrumental of the original songs, almost like a sing-along backtrack that you would get for a would-be singer in the making. But still, you would notice that something is missing. If it was a heavy metal band, or even a rock or pop band, you would definitely notice that the electric guitarist was missing, because none of the instruments would be able to cover it up quite as well as when you try to hide the missing drums. And so we can go on forever.
Do you get my point? That is what it means to work together as one and appreciating one another’s unique gifts that we contribute. The Holy Spirit gives us each a unique gift which is meant to be used in unity with other people’s gift (1 Corinthians 12:11).
Now, the Holy Spirit will also be the one who will bring peace between the various individuals so that they can work together in harmony and unity. The devil on the other hand will do anything and everything possible to bring division, to upset people, to tear people away from one another.
Did you know that we as human beings were created to be with people, to socialise and interact – this is part of what it means to be in unity – to be together in spite of the differences. In fact, the Holy Spirit celebrates in the differences and uniqueness of each individual as long as it is used in unity with other unique and different individuals. It is a character trait of God displayed amongst us – the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ and Father God interact with one another – and as a result their union is seen as one.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” – 2 Corinthians 13:14
“And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” – John 8:29
“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’” Genesis 2:18
Ever heard of the saying “opposite attract”? I’ll never forget a piece of biological science I was taught on how the physical bodily chemicals work – if you’re a person with low blood sugar level, your body will easily get attracted someone with a level or high blood sugar level, or if you have a high iron level, your body will easily get attracted to someone with a low iron level. I guess that’s why we should take God seriously when He says that the male and female “complete each other and become one”:
“So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” – Matthew 19:6
The devil, as mentioned above, will do everything in his power and knowledge to separate the individuals from one another, and drive one another as far away as possible until they are in solitude, cut off from the rest of the world.
“We wanted to come to you – I, Paul, again and again – but Satan hindered us.” 1 Thessalonians 2:18
“For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?” – Ecclesiastes 4:10-11
God created us to fight battles together, as one, but never alone. Whereas Satan will do everything to make sure that you are all alone when disaster strikes. After all, it is easier to deceive someone when no one is around to point out the lies involved. It is much easier to make someone blind to the truth, than if other people are able to remind you by showing you the truth.
“And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him – a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:12
Bullies will always gang up and try to separate you from the group, because it is much easier to harm someone when they are alone than if they have someone to back them up and defend them. And that is exactly what Satan is, a bully.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8
So, always ask yourself when you hear a voice talking to you, is this voice telling you to do something that will separate you from God, from your family and friends, from all people and cause you to become alone? Is this voice telling you things that are not in agreement with scripture, telling you lies about the people in your life, and even lies about yourself?
Or does the voice encourage you to build new and healthy relationships and friendships, to stand up and give people and God another chance in your life? Does this voice protect and bring unity to your friendships and marriage, or does the voice cause anger and disunity? Does this voice remind you of the truth in scripture?
God brings people together in unity, whereas Satan will tell lies and separate everyone. To stand strong and remain together while someone is trying to tear you apart and separate you is never easy.