I was led by the Holy Spirit to start this project. The objective is to improve the “Unity of the Spirit” in the Body of Christ.
Is it still a book?
When I was first inspired about this project. I honestly saw it as a book most likely because I had always wanted to write a book. Perhaps it will end up being a book. I however wonder how many people still read books.
If a billion people, or a million, or 100 or 10 or maybe 1 person is impacted positively by this work then God be praised. For now, my focus is on helping that one person. May be it is you, the person reading this piece right now.
What is UNITED?
This is a collaborative book (or research paper, or long blog post, or online newsletter) being compiled by Bade Adesemowo based on insights as regards, the Christian , the Church , Its Local Assemblies and Unity. The objective is to improve the “Unity of the Spirit” in the Body of Christ. You can see a long version of the introduction to the project written sometime in 2016 at badesemowo.com/united/projectbackground.
What Research have you done so far?
As at this moment, absolutely not much. Part of what I intend to do is to go through at least 10 books on the same subject besides learnings by the Holy Spirit from the Bible. I also wanted the project to be data driven and not just based on my perception or speculation.
We intend to explore the following themes in no particular order in the project:
1. Ephesians 4 — Church Life Guide
The general core framework will be Ephesians 4 — Paul’s writing to the people of Ephesus. Bible Scholars call this the Church Life Guide. Some of the key point in the section will include:
· Uniting in Love
· Exploring the Unity of Faith versus Unity of the Spirit.
· The concept of “One God, One Church “
· The concept of “One Church, Different Gifts “
2. Genesis 11 — Power of Unity
Another major book of the scripture on Unity and its power is the story about the Tower of Babel
· How God said in the book that “ … then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them …” all because of Unity.
3. Conflict in Church
It is almost impossible not to have conflict where we have a gathering of people. The Bible is so complete that it offers instructions and guidelines as to handling these conflicts. We will spend some time taking a look at biblical guidelines including Luke 17 from verse 1.
Also taking a look at Genesis 13 where it was recorded that there was strive between the children of God and that unbelievers were watching them. Interestingly, it was not until Lot was separated from Abram before God spoke to him again.
Resolving Conflicts with Wisdom is a key issue we would need to deal with. Read Joshua 22 — the story of the 2.5 tribes of Israel and the misunderstanding. To summarise, the tribe decided to build a memorial stone… The others misunderstood it as an ALTAR … they heard it was an Altar… and they prepared for War… with their brothers … over a rumour … Righteous Indignation …
How does the church handle this conflict today? How should the church handle it ?
4. Doctrines and Denominations in Bible Days.
In this section, we will start from the idea that there were different doctrines even in the bible. From the Jewish Jews, to the Jewish Gentile to the Gentile Jews. Each of these “levels of faith” had a representation in the bible.
You can take a guess which category Paul and Peter falls. Of course based on background, experience, and perspective, each of these people had a slightly different interpretation of the gospel. It never took away from the central message. It never affected the growth of the church as it has today.
5. Seeing in Part, Never the full picture
We will then move to the idea of seeing in part and understanding in part. The bible puts it this way “we prophesy in part” — 1 Cor 13:9. The bigger picture for the church is for us to put together the various pieces each one thriving in their domain not as individuals but as a key part of something bigger.
6. Unity not Uniformity
Ephesians 4:11. Something will need to be said on how Unity is not the same thing as Uniformity –The Gifts of the Spirit (Romans 12, 1 Cor 12, 1 Peter 4) should not be the only examples.
7. Case Study: Division in the Church in Corinth — 1 Cor 1–4
The writings in this part of the scripture, shows us some of the issue resolution requirement of the early church. This would then tie into 1 Corinthians 3:11 — “For no one lays a foundation other than that which has been laid”
8. Esau’s Syndrome (Hebrews 12: 14–17 MSG)
Are we trading God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite? Are we trading the Power in United Body for an Individualist agenda?
9. Who is not part of this Body of Christ?
So the assumption so far is that everyone who calls themselves Christians is actually one. Are we forgetting the wrong doctrines highlighted in the scriptures , like the Nicolaitans of Revelation 2:6, or those following Balaam in 2 Peter 2:15 ?
I believe there has to be some fundamental baseline that everyone must subscribe to. These fundamentals would be such that without them we would not be on the same side.
My prior research tells me this was why the Nicene Creed was invented some years back, perhaps that work has already been done? More study is required.
What is the difference between Unity of Faith & Unity of Spirit?
I believe Unity of Faith is us all (Christians) believing the exact same things as regards every piece of doctrine. The Unity of Spirit is summed up in the phrase “with one Spirit, together in Love”. I believe the Unity of Spirit is what we can strive for. Unity of Faith will only happen at rapture. 2 keywords for Unity of Spirit would be “Together” and “One”.
When will this be done?
Honestly, the plan was to launch the book in time for my 34th birthday (November 13th, 2017). I hadn’t however started writing as at the first week of November 2017. 2017 was one of those years that was so distracting. More importantly, I am wondering if a book is the best way to achieve my objective which is Improving the Unity of Spirit in the Body of Christ.
Perhaps a blog would be better? Perhaps the solution is technology that does not yet exist. I really don’t know! I am praying that the Holy Spirit will open the eyes of my understanding to see the “How?”, at least now we know the “What!”.
In the spirit of setting a goal, on or before my 35th birthday, November 13, 2018, it will be out. (if Jesus Christ tarries).
What we are doing now (November 13, 2017)?
We are conducting a short survey around some of the key points of the project. You can complete the survey at www.badesemowo.com/united
Why the Survey?
Is there even a problem? I perceive there is a major one. A problem that many of us are not even talking about. However, is there truly a serious problem of Unity in the Body of Christ? I hope the survey will be able to show some additional information about this from across the world not just Nigeria. The target is 1,000 respondents with 50% from outside Nigeria.
What you can do right now?
You can contribute to this project right now by taking the pre-project survey at www.badesemowo.com/united .
If you have ideas, insights, comments, constructive criticism, suggestions, inspiration and the like that you believe may be useful for the objective of the project, do not hesitate to contact Bade (+2348023223796 on WhatsApp) or members of the United team directly.
You can also let us know if you would like to be kept informed of the progress of this project.
November 13th , 2017
Complete the 2 minute Survey now, visit www.badesemowo.com/united to get started.