“The Blessing of Unity”, Pastor Tom Holliday (Becoming Grace, The Gift, The Responsibility)

The Blessing of Unity, Pastor Tom Holliday

(Sermon Notes: LW, 7/18/2022, Alexandria Presbyterian Church, Alexandria VA)

Psalm 133

Behold, how good and pleasant it is
    when brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
    running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
    running down on the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon,
    which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
    life forevermore.

There are Ruptures throughout the Old Testament. In Psalm 133, sings a song of worship in what was called The Golden Age. David knew the pain of division well with his son, wives and brother. 

The Gift

Unity is a gift that only God can bring. We don’t get the credit. 

“Behold”. (v.1) 

Stop. Think about it. Worship the God of Unity. 

Spurgeon said, The saints in heaven, though apparently sundered from us, arc in reality one with us; though death seems to have made breaches in the church of God, it is in fact perfect and entire; though the inhabitants of heaven and believers on earth might seem to be two orders of beings, yet in truth they are “one family.”

“Let all the saints terrestrial sing,

With those to glory gone;

For all the servants of our King,

In earth and heaven, are one.”

So sings the poet. The text tells us that there is a “whole family”; it speaks not of a broken family, nor of two families, but of “the whole family in heaven and earth.” 

Pastor Tom continues, We are One Body, God has One Family, One Spirit, One Faith, One Baptism. Look to Ephesians 4:5-6. 

Does our pride divide us with the need to win an argument? Can it become more important than Loving? If God is our Father then our differences need not define us. God preserves the peace of the church. 

Becoming Grace

The Precious oil runs down. (v2)

The oil is the presence of God, the power of God. It is an aroma, a perfume. Grace runs downhill. We live in Grace when we humble ourselves. Look to God everyday. His Grace drips over.

Martin Lloyd Jones, “You cannot dissect an aroma.”

Just smell the sweetness…It is the aroma of God’s love in your life.

The dew of Hermon (v3)

It would be a miracle unless God makes it happen. (Mount Hermon is the highest mountain, the dew could not reach its destination)

The aroma of grace is a miracle. You become that miracle. You become the aroma of God’s grace. (God’s Love) Not because you are “you”. It is not about personality or gifting, It is the Holy Spirit, the Love of Christ. (in us).

The Gospel makes people that we would not normally associate with dear to us. (not because you are you!) Show a believing that God loves the other person. It is more than believing that God loves us.

Ephesians 4 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 

The Responsibility

Pastor Tom emphasizes that the gift of Unity is a responsibility. We are then asked to make every effort to walk with patience, humility and kindness to one another and to maintain unity.

Referring to Galatians 5:16-24 on Keeping in Step with the Spirit, he reminds that dissension, strife, and envy grieve The Lord and are sin. Are we grieved? He asks? Does this lead to new ways of repentance?

Summarizing,

Unity is a Gift from God.

it is a Gift from God, we do not get or take the credit.

Unity is built into a dwelling Place for God, by the Holy Spirit.

Try not to be so easily offended. Be patient and kind. Be a sweet aroma to God.

Unity is a Gift Forever.

It is only going to get better. One day this Unity will be shatterproof. There will be no more divisions. Christ will usher it in. Ask God for the Grace to work through the hard things… Let’s pray.

Source: livestream available on YouTube here