C.A.C Sunday School Manual For October 25 & November 1, 2020 The Unity Of Brethren. Lesson Eight : Topic – CAUSES OF DISUNITY IN THE CHURCH
CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH WORLWIDE
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
THEME: THE UNITY OF BRETHREN
UNIT TWO: IN THE CHURCH ERA
October 25 & November 1, 2020.
CAUSES OF DISUNITY IN THE CHURCH
Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?
Disunity is like a broken link in a chain. It is caused by many things in the church, including pride, over-ambition, etc. Don’t be a broken link in the chain of your home, church and society.
The Church is the body of Christ, and must not give room to the deadly and destructive, because it is a tool in the hand of Satan that he uses to destabilise the propagation of the gospel of Christ. It is unfortunate today, that the body of Christ (Christ) has lost its taste, position, goal, purpose and heavenly mandate, due to disunity. The God we serve is not the author of confusion and will never dwell where love fellow brother who offended us, just as Jesus did and has commanded us to do likewise (Jn. 15:12).
To the question or what causes wars and fights, and by implication, disunity among brethren, God’s provision gives the answer in James 4:1. It is as a result of the whole army of evil desires within you (Jas. 4:1b TLB); They come about because you want your own way, fight for it deep inside yourselves (The Message Bible). What leads to strife (discord and feuds) and how do conflicts (quarrels and fightings) originate among you? Do they not arise from your sensual desires that are ever warring in your bodily members? (4:1 AMP). It is because you are full of selfish desires that fight to control your body (CEV). This is not untrue of churches today. Why the unnecessary leadership tussles in assemblies and denominations? Just look at the different kinds of atrocities people engage in to fulfil their godless ambitions, even in the church (Jas. 4:2). This has dealt untold harm on the body of Christ — unanswered prayers, weakness in the things of God, etc. Honestly, we need to repent and return to the Lord. May the Lord help us. Amen.
Devotional Bible Readings For Week One
Mon. 19: Brethren Must Dwell Together In Unity (Psa. 133:1)
Tue. 20: Be Angry, But Settle It Quickly (Eph. 4:25).
Wed. 21: God and Jesus, Kò Separation (Jn. 10:30)
Thur. 22: God’s Belonging, Jesus’, And Vice-Versa (Jn. 17:10)
Fri. 23: Let Them Be One, Jesus Prays (Jn. 17:21)
Sat. 24: Living Together Peacefully: Scripture’s Command (Heb. 12:14)
1. God is not happy toward disunity or separation in His Church.
2. The only weapon that will help the Church to fulfil God’s eternal purpose for her existence and establishment on earth is unity.
3. God can never be happy with the situation of disunity in His Church. Disunity isn’t part of Him. He expects His people to live out the unity exhibited in the Godhead. He is therefore not happy with those who do otherwise because that in itself is rebellion.
BACKGROUND SCRIPTURES : Acts 6:1-7; 7:19-25.
AIM AND OBJECTIVES
AIM: To show the danger of disunity among brethren, and how to prevent it.
OBJECTIVES: At the end of this lesson, the readers should be able to:
i. show how the mission of the Church should engender unity amidst God’s people;
ii. discuss your
iii. point out the root causes of disunity in churches; and
iv. beging to show signs of readiness to be an agent of unity and peace in the Church.
TEXTUAL SOURCE: MATTHEW 28:19-20A; ACTS 1:14; ROMANS 15:6; 1 CORINTHIANS 3:3; EPHESIANS 1:11-12; PHILIPPIANS 4:2; 2 TIMOTHY 2:23-26.
We bless God for the completion of the just-concluded Lesson 7 — UNITY OF THE BELIEVERS. It is believed that we are already moving in the path of achieving Christ-like ans God-glorifying unity. May this become a reality for us, in Jesus’ name.
This is Lesson 8, and here, for the next two weeks, we shall be discussing the topic:
CAUSES OF DISUNITY IN THE CHURCH. Disunity is a cancer that has ravage the church right from her earliest stage. Of course, it has the capacity to tear apart just any organisation, secular or spiritual. The devil is behind disunity in the church; and he does this in order to render ineffective the sacrifice of Christ and to destroy the very purpose for which the church was founded.
In this study, we shall take a scriptural look at the mission of the church, so that we can understand some of the remote reasons behind the devil instigating disunity in the church. We shall also be looking at the place or role of unity in accomplishing this God-ordered mission of the church. Causes of disunity ans how to handle same would also be explained with a view to helping us be on top of the game wherever ans wherever it happens.
As we continue in this study, may the searchlight of God beam on all spots where disunity hibernates in our lives and churches, and embolden us to go for its jugular, in Jesus’ name. Wishing you a happy and enlightening study, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
INTRODUCTION TO EACH DIVISION
As usual, this is a two-week lesson with two major divisions, I and II. Each is further sub-divided into Parts A and B.
DIVISION I: DESCRIPTION OF THE CHURCH
This division describes the Church in terms of its mission, the mission that Jesus commissioned it to accomplish (to make disciples). Its design to represent Christ and its role for the edification of the Saints are the major points of our discussion here. The Church is to showcase God’s family here on earth, for the unbelievers to see how God builds His family around Jesus and for the families to relate with themselves. The second part portrays how God works in, and through the unity of the believers. Here, we see how being in one accord gave birth to the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the upper room. The early Church was able to serve and walk with God in oneness of heart and soul with neither grudges nor hatred, but in love, peace and unity.
DIVISION II: DISUNITY IN THE CHURCH
This division is a discourse from the standpoint of the Scripture about what the causes of disunity in the Church are. The Scripture clearly identifies carnality as the main cause. Identifying the causes is not enough. There should be solution. This is what the second part of this division sets forth. In it, we shall be seeing, by God’s grace, the way to handle disunity in the Body of Christ.
I. DESCRIPTION OF THE CHURCH
A. THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH
B. THE CHURCH IN ONE ACCORD
II. DISUNITY IN THE CHURCH
A. THE CAUSES OF DISUNITY
B. THE WAY TO HANDLE DISUNITY
I. DESCRIPTION OF THE CHURCH (Matthew 28:19-20a; Acts 1:14; Romans 15:6; Ephesians 1:11-12).
What a man does not know the worth of, he tends to abuse, seriously. An understanding of what the Church is, would help us to value it aright. What does Christ intend it to be? What exactly does He want the Church to do for Him? God is never purposeless, just that we need to understand His mind as regards those things He institutes, the Church inclusive.
A. THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH (Matt. 28:19-20a; Eph. 1:11-12)
God therefore and disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19).
i. The church is God’s initiative (Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 3:9), founded and owned by Jesus Christ (Matt. 16:18) and directed and energised by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 10:17). Therefore, it is the church’s joy to look to God to explain His design for the church ans His mission for it. God’s mission for the church proves to have several parts.
ii. Matt. 28:19-20a: The mission of the church is to make disciples. Jesus commissioned His disciples to make disciples. A disciple is a follower; one who attaches himself to his leader. As the church makes disciples, people can admire, worship, trust, follow and obey Jesus as their Saviour and Lord. Our joyful mission is to put Him on display to every nation.
iii. Eph. 1:11-12: The church is to glorify Christ Christ designed His church to represent His supernatural, life-saving work to the world. In His church, Christ shows to the world what a freed ans forgiven people can be — who are satisfied with God as the result of Christ’s self-sacrifice.
iv. 1 Thess. 5:11: The church is also to edify the saints (2 Cor. 13:11; Eph. 2:19-22; 4:4-25). Jesus designed His Church to showcase God’s family on earth, so that the pagan world can see how God builds His family around Jesus Christ and how that family cares for one another (MK. 3:35; Jn. 13:35).
v. With the church united, the above mission would be accomplished without stress; but disunity is a deterrent to its accomplishment; hence, the church must watch out for, and expunge it from her midst.
vii. For God’s purpose, plan and programme for the Church to be accomplished, everyone of us must do away with discord and embrace unity and love, through forgiveness and tolerance in God’s own way.
B. THE CHURCH IN ONE ACCORD (Acts 1:14; Rom. 15:6)
These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women ans Mary the mother of Jesus ans with His brothers (Acts 1:14).
i. The Bible is replete with the idea of oneness. A very practical example is found in Acts 1:14. Being in one accord communicates being one in heart and mind. From its Greek origin, it connotes the inner unity (oneness of heart and mind) of a group of people engaged in a similar action (cf. Rom. 15:6).
ii. When a group of people acts, unanimously in harmony, in unity, and without dissent, they are operating in one accord (cf. Acts 15:22-25).
iii. In the Old Testament, the phrase “in one accord” is always used to describe unanimous participation in a particular action (cf. Josh. 9:2; Zeph. 3:9). But, in the New Testament, “in one accord” is used to emphasise the internal unanimity of a community (cf. Acts 1:14; 2:46; 4:24; 5:12; 12:20).
iv. Unity in the early church is also expressed by the sharing of material possessions (Acts 4:32). The early church, being in one accord, had no schisms, no divided interests, and no discordant purposes. This kind of oneness of heart and soul in the body of Christ in only possible by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:1-6) a gift of God’s grace (Rom. 12:3-13).
v. The Christian community is unique. As the instruments of a great concert under the direction of a concertmaster, so the Holy Spirit blends the lives of members of Christ’s church. This way, the church’s mission is accomplished while disunity remains completely and perfectly banished.
vi. Being in one accord is to get rid of our differences, self-interest, and inordinate ambitions. We must embrace selfless love and seek only the propagation and progress of the gospel of Christ.
vii. When the Church is no longer having the same focus or goal, the devil is at work, and this must not be given any chance.
1. God started the church as a united body in order to reach and unite the world under Christ, through her.
2. The unity of the church is a necessity in achieving the mission of the church; we must pursue it with passion.
WORK TO DO
What are the ways to prevent disunity/separation as a church in this dispensation?
SUGGESTED ANSWER TO WORK TO DO
Disunity is dangerous in the Church as it causes factions and even destroys the entire Church, if it is not properly and promptly handled.
Ways to prevent disunity/separation as a Church in this dispensation include: Let the Church embrace:
1. Love (sacrificial love) (Rom. 12:8)
2. Peace with the brethren (Heb. 12:14)
3. Tolerance (Gal. 15:22)
4. Care for the needy (1 Cor. 12:25)
5. Discipline and correction in love (Rom. 12:10)
6. Support and unity in the Church.
7. Seeing others as blood relation in Christ Jesus (Rom. 12:16)
The Church should avoid:
1. Unforgiving Spirit (Mal 6:14) and keeping records (Prov. 10:12)
2. Envy ans strife (Rom. 13:13)
3. Hatred and fighting (Lev. 19:17)
4. Seeking to attain position by any means.
5. Seeking self-glory (Eph 4:23)
6. Taking vengeance (Rom. 12:19)