by Tony Nester

Tony Nester
ACTS 4:32-35

(Read Acts 4:32-35 NRSV)

They were of one heart and soul.

That's how the Church began, and that's still what the
Church is supposed to be: bound by faith to Christ
and bonded by love to one another.

"Heart" and "soul" are spiritual words, and the unity
of the Church has always been a spiritual unity.
"Heart" and "soul" refer to those parts of us where we
experience our deepest feelings and make our strongest

In the Church God intended that our differences would
be on the surface of our life together, and that
underneath them would be a unity of heart and soul.

The Apostle Paul developed this into the concept that
the Church is the Body of Christ which breathes the
Holy Spirit.

"Now you are the body of Christ and individually
members of it." (1 Corinthians 12:27 NRSV)

When we come into the Church we become part of
Christ's Body. There are outward differences - some
of us are hands, some are feet, some are eyes, some
are ears. The body is made up of many different
parts. But inwardly there is one breath by which the
body breathes - one Spirit by which the body lives.

Paul repeatedly called upon believers to guard their

(Ephesians 4:1-6 NRSV) "I... beg you to... make every
effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond
of peace. {4} There is one body and one Spirit, just
as you were called to the one hope of your calling,
{5} one Lord, one faith, one baptism, {6} one God and
Father of all, who is above all and through all and in

Several of us have been studying Rick Warren's new
book, THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE. Chapter 21 is entitled
"Protecting Your Church" and there Rick Warren writes:

"If you are a part of God's family, it is your
responsibility to protect the unity where you
fellowship. You are commissioned by Jesus Christ to
do everything possible to preserve the uni ...

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