The Plumb Line Standard
Are standards necessary? Many people don’t think so. How do we know that? Look at:
- Declining or ‘fuzzy’ education standards
- Moral decline (lack of standards)
- Relative Truth (‘truth’ is no longer deemed to be objective)
- Character/Integrity (the biggest liars are admired and applauded)
Did your mom teach you not to follow the crowd? Did she ever say something like, If all your friends jumped off a cliff would you jump off too? Just because the majority seems to have cast off standards doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Scripture says,
There is a way that seems right to men, but the end thereof is destruction. Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25
God’s Plumb Line Applies to All
His standards obviously apply to all people. None of us is perfect. But more particularly, His standards apply to every facet of the lives of His children. His standards are not applied randomly or haphazardly.
Jesus’ own words are a great place to see one of His plumb line standards. Why? They are the words of Jesus’ prayer. Would Jesus pray for something that is in agreement with the will of the Father? Yes. So what did Jesus pray for?
Prayer Identifies God’s Plumb Line
John 17 is referred to as the high priestly prayer of Jesus. What we call the Lord’s prayer was a model of prayer for His disciples. His own great prayer is recorded in John and was prayed in Gethsemane just before He went to the cross. Among other things, Jesus prayed for unity among His followers.
What’s astounding is the degree to which He desires His followers (that’s us!) to be united. He wants us to be as unified as He and His Father are unified. Look it up! Then, read through the teaching outline below and let the Lord speak to you His thoughts on unity in His body.
Unity is God’s Will
And I am no more in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one, even as We are. John 17:11
I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; (That us!) That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that You did send Me. John 17:20-21, (emphasis mine)
If the world is not believing, it probably has something to do with lack of unity among His children.
Unity Signifies a Worthy Walk With Christ
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:1-6, (emphasis mine)
Unity Brings Life
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard, coming down upon the edge of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon, coming down upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing-life forever. Psalm 133
Unity Dispels Unbelief
That the world may believe that You sent Me. John 17:21b
That last one bears repeating, so I did! Think about it. Unity is God’s standard; His plumb line. Are you in line, or out of line?
Soli Deo Gloria!
P.S. – Updated from April 2015 post.