C.A.C Sunday School Manual For November 8 & 15, 2020 The Unity Of Brethren. Lesson Nine : Topic – THE REPERCUSSIONS OF DISUNITY
CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH WORLWIDE
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
THEME: THE UNITY OF BRETHREN
UNIT THREE: NOW AND ETERNITY
November 8th & 15th, 2020
TOPIC: THE REPERCUSSIONS OF DISUNITY
So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren”
The end result of disunity includes fighting, quarreling, strife, gossiping, absence of peace, etc. Let us work against disunity wherever God has put us.
At any point in life, not having enough is always a problem. This we saw when Abram was forced to move to Egypt (Gen. 12:10). However, having too much can also be a problem. Abram was now a very wealthy man, with large herds of livestock. His nephew, Lot, had shared in his uncle’s prosperity and had his own flocks and herds and tents. With the Canaanites and Perizzites occupying much of the land, the area that was available to Abram was too small to provide enough food and water for all their livestock. Consequently, quarrels broke out between those who took care of Abram’s livestock and those who took care of Lot’s Livestock. These disputes had the potential to harm the relationship between Abram and Lot. They would also affect Abram’s testimony for the Lord among the local Canaanites and Perizzites. Abram recognised that the continual controversy between the herdsmen could bring contention between him and lot. He did not want that to happen, because they were “brethren,” that is, close relatives. But, since there was not enough for all, he kindly suggested that they separate, each going to different way. Parting company would make it easier for them to find enough grass and water. Abram then told Lot to choose which direction he wanted to go. Abram did not have to do this. As the older of the two, he had the right to make that choice. Abram, who had been worshipping the Lord, was now acting in faith, trusting God. Like the Lord, Abram showed Lot grace, unmerited favour. He did it also in a humble, generous and unselfish way. Sensitivity to happenings within and around the Church and the emotional needs of the brethren is one sure way to ward off disunity in the Church. Let us follow the example of Abram in handling disunity.
Devotional Bible Reading For Week One
Mon. 2: Let Peace Reign Though You’re Offended (Matt. 18:15-18)
Tue. 3: Love Overcomes Multitudes Of Sin (1 Pet. 4:8)
Wed. 4: Loads Of Joy Come With Christ’ Gospel (Act 8:5-8)
Thur. 5: Abstain From All Appearance Of Evil (1 Thess. 5:22)
Fri. 6: Adhere To That Which Is Good (Rom. 12:9)
Sat. 7: Align Not With Rebellious People (Eph. 5:6-7)
1. There is no lifestyle that would not be duly recompensed. Those who cause dissension won’t get away with it, ultimately.
2. There is no loss in life; whatever you sow is what you reap. Remember Judas? (Acts 1:16,18; Gal. 6:7; 2 Tim. 4:14) This calls for caution in how we handle God’s property, the Church, so that we don’t deliberately, or unintentionally become agents of division in the body.
BACKGROUND SCRIPTURES: 2 Samuel 18:8-17
AIM AND OBJECTIVES
AIM: To help readers to see the dangers of disunity, and to decide against it.
OBJECTIVES: At the end of this lesson, readers should be:
i. showing signs of having understood and be able to distinguish between unity and disunity;
ii. able to teach others convincingly that God is the Initiator of unity while Satan is the originator of disunity.
iii. able to show that disunity always leaves bitter after-taste in the mouth ans memories of its victims; and
iv. able to discuss how disunity can be defeated in our midst.
TEXTUAL SOURCE: JOHN 17:21-23; 1 CORINTHIANS 1:10-11; 3:3-4; 12:12-14,25-27; TITUS 3:9
All glory to the Almighty God who has graciously brought us this far in our study series this term. We concluded lesson eight last week. We were really enlightened by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God on the causes of disunity in the church and how to deal with them. May the Spirit of the God of unity help us to continually reap the blessings of unity as we shun all forms of disunity in our churches, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
For the next two weeks, we shall be discussing THE REPERCUSSIONS OF DISUNITY. In this study, the Holy Spirit will take us through the scriptures as we look into the miracle of unity, which reveals God as the source of unity and His greatest desires for the church of Christ to be in unity. We shall also look at how Satan subtly attacks the unity of the church via some irrelevance that we either carelessly or unconsciously allow in the church.
Disunity is so cancerous and has dealt the church a great blow even from the early days; hence, we look at the repercussions of disunity and the necessity of overcoming this terrible Satan-inspired dragon.
May our hearts be opened to comprehend this truth, and humbled enough to take the necessary steps towards getting rid of this terrorist in our churches, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
INTRODUCTION TO EACH DIVISION
This lesson, Repercussions of Disunity, is a two-week lesson. It has two major divisions I and II, which are further subdivided into parts A and B.
DIVISION I: JESUS AND UNITY OF THE CHURCH:
This division shows God as the Author of unity, which actually is an unexplainable miracle, because God did not only initiate it, it is indeed the embodiment of what the Trinity is. Jesus also prayed it for His disciples/church, so that the ministry of reconciliation can be fully accomplished. It also reveals the sources of disunity and recommends the antidote to same.
DIVISION II: JETTISON ALL FORMS OF DISUNITY:
In this division, the evil consequences of disunity is x-rayed and warned against. It also discusses the necessity of overcoming disunity in the Church, so that the Church can have enough impetus to pursue the fulfillment of her mandate.
I. JESUS AND THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH
A. THE MIRACLE OF UNITY
B. THE SOURCES OF DISUNITY
II. JETTISON ALL FORMS OF DISUNITY
A. THE REPERCUSSION OF DISUNITY
B. THE NECESSITY OF OVERCOMING DISUNITY
I. JESUS AND THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH (John 17:21-23; Titus 3:9)
Unity is so paramount in the heart of Christ that He would devote the longest prayer to make sure it is entrenched in the system of His people. If it is as important as that to Him. Should it be less among us?
A. THE MIRACLE OF UNITY (Jhn. 17:21-23)
That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me (v. 21).
i. Through the sacrificial death of Christ, believers are one with God. It is the miracles of salvation. A holy God and sinful man unified! God also desires the miracle of unity for the church; for our church! Without the miracle of unity, churches divide and ministry suffers.
ii. v. 21: That is a huge statement. God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is completely ONE. God is inseparable. Jesus prayed that believers would be that intimate, that united, that aligned. Unity reflects the glory and character of God, because God is unified — God in three Persons but inseparably One in the Godhead.
iii. vv. 22-23: Not only does unity reflect God’s character, but it also gets the attention of the world. People are attracted to unity. Jesus says that all people would know we are His disciples by the love that we have for one another (13:35).
iv. Unity is powerful. It is magnetic. It is a beautiful thing. And the impact it great. A church moving in the same direction, guided by the same process for making disciples, is much more likely to stay focused on their mission, and thus, much more likely to gain traction in their community.
v. Unity bond relationships, repels satanic invasion, eases tension, and helps believers beat the odds.
B. SOURCES OF DISUNITY IN THE CHURCH (Tit. 3:9)
But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless (v. 9).
i. v. 9: Foolish disputes: Foolish disputes are those that arise when we speculate about the truth rather than depend on what God has clearly declared to be true. Such disputes end up breeding envy, dissension, slander, and other ugly fruits (1 Tim. 6:3). They waste our precious times.
ii. Genealogies: These are speculations about the origins and descendants of persons which are erroneously thought to have religious significance. It is reading far too much into simple lists of names. This always breeds division, because instead of being unified over matters of paramount importance, we become divided over matters of personal preference.
iii. Contentions: Contentions are strifes. There are argument that lead to a falling out; it is selfishness instead of love. It is getting into squabbles over matters of faith and doctrine. It is thinking the worst of people instead of the best, permitting division instead of pursuing agreement. It’s a broad category that includes all kinds of pointless disagreements.
iv. Striving about the law is a waste of time. It is an unfitting pursuit for the church as it threatens to undermine the unity of the church and the love among believers. It must be avoided!
v. Proclaiming the truth, not arguing error, it the biblical way to evangelise and sustain the unity of the church.
vi. We must be sensitive to things within and around the Church that either brews or breeds disunity, and deal with it decisively.
1. God started unity and gave us unity, Jesus even prayed for our unity; we must strive towards unity.
2. We must be careful of little things that cause strife and break down our wall of unity.
WORK TO DO
Mention and discuss some other sources of disunity in the church, and how to prevent them.
SUGGESTED ANSWER TO WORK TO DO
a. Other sources of disunity in the Church
* Selfish ambition/quest or fight for position.
* Bad/Mal-administration, etc.
All these are remotely caused either by a lack of salvation experience, immaturity/carnality, lack of sanctification or circumcision of the heart, etc.
b. Preventing them…
These things have been a part of us for a long time, and would not want to go away just like that. Here are some ways to prevent them:
* Genuine Salvation (Jn. 3-7).
* Sanctification experience (Jn. 17:17; 1 Thess. 5:23)
* Daily and consciously appropriating Jesus’ prayer for unity (Jn. 17:20-21).
* Determination to be a peaceful Christian and remaining united with the body, no matter what betides (Heb. 10:25; 12:14-15).
* Address issues promptly, not shying away from the truth – Acts 1:15-26; 6:1-5).
* Encourage unity amongst brethren/members (Phil. 4:2-3)
* Selflessness like that of Christ (Phil. 2:5-11).
* Seek one another’s wellness (Phil. 2:1-4)
* Leaders to shun All of those sources and causes. Apply godly wisdom in leadership.
* Rebuke dissenting members and agent of disunity.
* Pray against disunity.
* Pray for unity.