by J. Gerald Harris

Walking in the Light
(The Doctrine of Fellowship)
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
I John 1:5-10

I want to speak to you this morning on the doctrine of unity. You may not normally think of unity as one of the doctrines of the church, but the new Holman Bible Dictionary defines doctrine as "the basic body of Christian teaching or understanding." So, Christian doctrine is composed of biblical teachings, which are to be handed on down through instruction and proclamation.

My wife and I went to the "World of Coke" a couple of years ago, and we went into that room where they show all of the former Coca Cola advertisements that have appeared on television. And I think my favorite advertisement is the one that included the song:

"I'd like to serve the world a Coke,
I'd furnish it with love,
With apple trees and honey bees,
And full of turtle doves."

That is a picture of harmony and beauty and love and brotherhood. Unfortunately, the world is just not like that, and all too often the church is not like that.

Because of sin, walls of partition have been put up. We start rumors about each other; we call each other names and colors; we harbor all kinds of suspicions and phobias. The world looks at us and refers to us as "the battling Baptists."

In fact, two ministers were discussing the question of how Baptists originated. The first claimed that it all started with John the Baptist.

The other countered, "You're wrong, brother. We go back a lot farther than that. Don't you remember when Abraham and Lot were surveying the land of Canaan? They walked for a long time over the hills, across the streams and through the valleys. Then Abraham said to Lot, 'All right, you go your way and I'll go mine.' That's when the Baptist denomination got started."

But, ladies and gentlemen, we do not have to be divided. We can live and work together in harmony. Perhaps you heard about the aged couple ... a husband and wife who had lived together for 60 years without a singl ...

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