A Unified Front
How do we become of “one heart” and “one soul?” As a church how do we become so like minded that we almost finish each others sentences. No squabbling, no bickering, etc . . .
Today I am going to go straight to the benediction:
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
What does this mean? That God show you again, grace. That he not turn away from you but toward you and his favor and grace be upon you.
As Christians we live daily in God’s grace. Intra personally and interpersonally.
Common Grace and Saving grace.
Satan often attacks the people of God through division. Through disagreement and argument. Satan uses the opposite of grace, he uses a lack of grace to cause division and separation.
The US attacked Syria. What are your opinions?
Being a member of a church (The kingdom of God) means that you are a believer in the gospel. But, it also means much more:
Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.
“those who believed”
Believed in Jesus and the resurrection. This was the culmination of his earthly work and was the pinnacle of his work of reconciliation.
It meant that they were now members of the visible church (historical and real time church) as well as the invisible (past, present and future saints)
Being a member of a church is representative of a grander more broad membership - THE CHURCH
In this we are to live in unity - “one heart and one soul”
Our unification is a spiritual unification
Marriage - We have to be on the same page for it to work. With finances with raising Elsbeth, etc . . .
Spiritually united to Christ
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
It wasn’t long after the church was established that the division started. We see in Acts this unity that is quickly attacked. And, I believe we could say it exists today in many ways.
So, how do we defend against this attack?
Our toys are not our toys - material possessions
Satan causes coveting and jealousy
commercialism and society
Faith is not our own, why do we think anything else is?
Allows God’s grace to be seen in our conduct
We should have a kingdom mentality and not be attached to this world
When we live in the fact that nothing is ours, it is all God’s provisions, then we can begin to deny self
This is with material items as well as thoughts and beliefs
The sacrifice of the people freed the leadership up to minister
Apostles were able to share the message
Leaders - elders were freed up to minister to the church members
When members take care of each other
When they show grace to one another
ARP Polity - it is set up so that people have certain responsibilities within the body are those skillsets are utilized - Elders, Deacons, Minister
People sold their goods to give to the church
The church then managed the needs
We should give humbly and trust our leaders to give to the right causes and needs
Illus: Alana Vines at First Presbyterian Peachtree City. What happens when this gets twisted and how Satan works to divide and attack the church.
Everyone brings valuable service to the kingdom, even leadership
A good leader sets a good example
A good leader in the church is one who serves others. A good member is one who follows well and serves.
To be a good leader you must first be a good follower.
Taking care of each other in the military. The sergeant who takes care of his troops feet and makes them change their socks.
I remember going on many road marches. Once you stop for a break you would remove any weight, sit down and drink water, and then change your socks. On One hike I remember the SGt. telling me to change my socks.
When we stopped again, I would assist in this charge to care for men’s feet.
Being a part of the church is like being a part of this band of brothers.
We are in this together. If we want to ward of the attacks by Satan we will start living in God’s graces and extend those graces to others through Self-denial, sacrifice and service
In the USMC officers eat last. The troops get to eat first.
Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
Jesus obviously can’t work for Satan as they are on opposite sides. Yet, he has won the victory over Satan, yet unrealized. The battle continues.
Will you be one who seeks to be unified with your fellow workers in the body of Christ, or will you help Satan by causing division?
Let us serve our Lord and each other seeking unity in the body.