Do Christians Need Relationships
Do Christians Need Relationships?
Pastor E. Keith Hassell
I. Are relationships worth it?
A. Why should we have to put up with other people’s “stuff”?
B. Why should we have to keep looking for ways to stay in unity?
C. Wouldn’t we be better off by ourselves?
D. Couldn’t we get more done by going our separate ways?
E. Wouldn’t starting over somewhere else be better?
F. Wouldn’t everyone be happier?
G. It doesn’t take God’s help for us to live alone. It takes God’s help to live in love and unity with each other.
H. The question is not “What is easier for me?” but “What does God want?” and “What will glorify God?”
II. The church is the BODY OF CHRIST
A. “Body of Christ” is unique to the New Testament
a 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 (NKJV) “12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.”
B. The Body of Christ is an organism not an organization
1. Those with an organization mindset say, “Ministry would be great if it wasn’t for people.”
2. Those with a Body of Christ mindset say, “People are our ministry.”
3. Building the church is not an organizational project to be accomplished. Building the church means nurturing and fostering growth and maturity in every relationship.
4. Our goal: To grow up in all things into Him who is the Head—Christ.
C. Every member is special and needed
1. 1 Corinthians 12:15-27 (NKJV) “15 If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”
2. What God is doing in our lives is connected to what He is doing in the lives of others in the Body
D. The Body is growing toward maturity
1. Ephesians 4:11-16 (NKJV) “11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”
2. The problems in relationships are evidences of immaturity
III. The church is a FAMILY
A. Ephesians 3:14-15 (NKJV) “14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,”
B. We have one God and Father
C. We are “brothers” and “sisters” in a FOREVER FAMILY
IV. The church is a COVENANT COMMUNITY
A. Ephesians 4:1-6 (NKJV) “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
B. The Godhead is a covenant community (One God in three Persons)
C. We are a covenant community through the New Covenant
1. We are a covenant community under one Lord Jesus Christ
2. We are a covenant community of brothers
3. We are a covenant community of sisters
4. We are a covenant community of brothers and sisters
D. Covenant community involves covenant relationships
E. How do we walk in covenant relationships?
1. Recognize your calling into covenant community
2. Walk worthy of that calling
3. Walk in lowliness (humility)
4. Walk in gentleness (soft rather than rough, scolding, and cutting)
5. Walk in longsuffering (patient endurance in difficult times)
6. Walk in unconditional love (bearing with one another in love)
7. Walk in the unity of the Spirit
8. Walk in a bond (covenant) of peace
V. Communion and Covenant Community (1 Corinthians 11:23-34)
A. Communion is a celebration of covenant community
B. Communion is a time to reinforce our relationship in covenant community
C. Communion is a time to judge our heart
D. Enemies of covenant community
1. Independence hinders bonding
2. Pride breeds superiority
3. Selfishness undermines love
4. Sin destroys fellowship
5. Judgment poisons goodwill
6. Offense builds walls
7. Unforgiveness prevents reconciliation
8. Hate creates enemies