Day 4: Unity & Love
“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity (or love).” ~ St. Augustine, often quoted by John Wesley
South Ridge Church is a faith community made up of believers from many different Christian backgrounds and upbringings who have been brought together by God to fulfill a unified vision. In order to uphold our core value of unity and love, we live out our beliefs in various “jars”. The jars help us to major on what is major and minor on what is minor, while protecting the church from divisive issues. A brief description of these jars is below.
Jar 1: Cardinal doctrines—The Gospel and what is essential for salvation.
Examples: man’s sin and spiritual depravity; deity of Christ; Jesus’ atonement on the cross; physical resurrection of Jesus Christ; salvation made possible by God’s grace and through faith alone in Jesus Christ, completely apart from human works.
Jar 2: Basic teachings of the Christian faith.
Examples: The Second Coming; heaven and hell; believers’ resurrection, marriage as a one-flesh relationship between one man and one woman
Jar 3: Convictions and practices in a church or group of churches.
Examples: Church governance; only male elder/ pastors; assurance/ eternal security; role of charismatic/ sign gifts in the church today; believer versus infant baptism
Jar 4: Personal beliefs or convictions on various doctrines.
Examples: timing of the rapture, millennial viewpoints, different viewpoints of election
Jar 5: Divisive issues that the Bible spends little to no time talking about so we don’t either.
Examples: party politics, moderation/ social consumption of alcoholic beverages, coffee in the sanctuary, choice of Christian Bible translation, hymns vs. contemporary music, etc.
While we strongly encourage people to study and discuss Scripture and form personal convictions as the Spirit leads, we will not allow items in jars 4 or 5 to divide our church. In fact, we will rarely bring them up unless it is to make the point that we rarely to never talk about them on purpose. Majoring on the majors means we devote most, if not all, of our attention to jars 1-3 in that order!
What thoughts or questions came to mind as you read through the “Jars” examples?
In what ways does SRC’s focus on Jars 1-3 (in that order) help maintain love and unity within the church?
F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)
Read: 2 Kings 2
Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method
PRAYER: On your own, take the opportunity to pray for the a friend or colleague. The following outline may be helpful.
Four Prayers for Your Friend:
- Thank God for the miracle of friendship.
- Thank God for any way in which your friend has changed your life.
- Commit your friend’s future to the Lord.
- Ask God for help in figuring out what your part in that future may be.
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