New Year’s Unity

On January 1, 1865, Charles Spurgeon preached a sermon entitled True Unity Promoted. Given the recent disagreements over signing The Manhattan Declaration this is a very interesting sermon on unity.

In the first paragraph Spurgeon states, “It is an old saying that England never prospers so well as when the Pope curses her. I hope to see a year of great prosperity this year!”

As Christians look forward to the coming year these are good words to consider from Spurgeon on the larger and smaller scales. I’ve taken his main points and put them together with some highlights. I encourage you to read the whole sermon. Ephesians 4:3 (ESV) is the sermon text:

“eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

I. Unity of the Spirit.

This unity of the Spirit is manifested in love. A husband and wife may be, through Providence, cast hundreds of miles from one another—but there is a unity of spirit in them because their hearts are one. We, Brethren, are divided many thousands of miles from the saints in Australia, America and the South Seas—but loving as Brethren—we feel the unity of the Spirit. I was never a member of a Church meeting in the backwoods of America. I never worshipped God with the Samoans, or with my Brethren in New Zealand—but notwithstanding all this, I feel the unity of the Spirit in my soul with them and everything which concerns their spiritual welfare is interesting to me.

The unity of the Spirit is preserved, then, by the Holy Spirit infusing daily life-floods into the one mystical body. And in proportion as the life-floods become more strong, that union becomes more manifest. Let a spirit of prayer be poured out on all our churches and conventionalities will be dashed down—divisions will be forgotten and locked in each others arms—the people of God will show to the world that they are one in Christ Jesus!

II. Keeping this unity.

We must watch—the best of us must watch—lest we fight the Lord’s battles with Satan’s weapons and so even from love to God and His Truth violate the unity of the Spirit. The unity of the Spirit ought to be kept, dear Friends, because Satan is so busy to mar it. He knows that the greatest Glory of Christ will spring from the unity of His Church. “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 have sent Me.”

We must be more diligent in this matter! We must seek to purge out from ourselves everything which would divide and to have in our hearts every holy thought which would tend to unite us with our Brethren. I am not, when I join a Christian Church, to say, “I am quite certain I shall never break its unity.” I am to suspect myself of a liability to that evil and I am to watch with all diligence that I keep the unity of the Spirit.

III. A bond of peace.

Beloved, there should be much peace, perfect peace, unbounded peace between the people of God. We are not aliens. We are “fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God.” Realize your fellow citizenship! Treat not Christian people as foreigners and this bond of fellow citizenship will be one bond of peace. You are not enemies. Men may be fellow citizens and yet hate one another, but you are friends, you are all friends to Christ and in Him you are all friends to one another. Let that be another bond.

But you go farther—you are not mere friends, you are Brethren born of the same parent—filled with the same life. And shall not this be a bond? See that you fall not out by the way. Strive not one with another, for you are Brethren. This is not all. You are closer than this—you are members of the same body. Shall this mysterious union fail to be a bond of peace to you? Will you, being the foot, contend with the eye? Or will you, being the eye, contend with the hand and say, “I have no need of you”?

Spurgeon’s charge for the coming year.

May God give us this and from now on let us endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. I commend the text to all Believers to be practiced through the coming year. And to those who are not Believers, what can I say but that I trust their unity and their peace may be broken forever and that they may be led to Christ Jesus to find peace in His death! May faith be given and then love and every Divine Grace will follow, so that they may be one with us in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

tagged as , , in Church Issues,Culture,Gospel,theology

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Russ December 31, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Mark, I like this.


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