Faithlife Sermons

Part 1: Preserving and Attaining Unity

Unity  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction:
Introduction:
Fellowsville AG
May 20, 2018
The church has a job/calling to do and it is overwhelming not only as a body but as individuals. We don’t do it by our own strength but by the strength of God. And one of the ways God gives us strength is through the unity He provides.
This morning we are beginning a series on unity. This morning we will be talking about what unity is and what it looks like so we can preserve and attain it.
In the weeks to come, we will be talking more about what unity in the Spirit is and means and how to preserve it and attaining unity in the faith and the nuts and bolts/instructions for us.
knowledge of the Son of God
attitudes
the OT
exercising our gifts
knowledge of the Son of God
Let’s turn to first as we get an idea of what unity truly is, what it looks like and its purpose. Then we will turn to as we continue our discussion this morning.
Psalm 133 NLT
A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. A psalm of David. 1 How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! 2 For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. 3 Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting.
AM Service
Psalm 133:1 NLT
1 How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!
Verse 1: unity is good/wonderful and pleasant
The word good is used much stronger in Scripture than we use it today:
Psalm 135:3 NLT
3 Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; celebrate his lovely name with music.
;
Psalm 136:1 NLT
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
The word pleasant is what the Hebrews used to describe music with. It would please you and bring pleasure to you.
The word pleasant is what the Hebrews used to describe music with. It would please you and bring pleasure to you.
Two illustrations in vv 2-3
Psalm 133:2 NLT
2 For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe.
Verse 2: like oil coming down Aaron
To us it sounds like a mess
It comes from regarding the tabernacle and making oil:
Exodus 30:22–33 NLT
22 Then the Lord said to Moses, 23 “Collect choice spices—12½ pounds of pure myrrh, 6¼ pounds of fragrant cinnamon, 6¼ pounds of fragrant calamus, 24 and 12½ pounds of cassia—as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel. Also get one gallon of olive oil. 25 Like a skilled incense maker, blend these ingredients to make a holy anointing oil. 26 Use this sacred oil to anoint the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, 27 the table and all its utensils, the lampstand and all its accessories, the incense altar, 28 the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the washbasin with its stand. 29 Consecrate them to make them absolutely holy. After this, whatever touches them will also become holy. 30 “Anoint Aaron and his sons also, consecrating them to serve me as priests. 31 And say to the people of Israel, ‘This holy anointing oil is reserved for me from generation to generation. 32 It must never be used to anoint anyone else, and you must never make any blend like it for yourselves. It is holy, and you must treat it as holy. 33 Anyone who makes a blend like it or anoints someone other than a priest will be cut off from the community.’ ”
expensive things/best ingredients
expensive things/best ingredients
only for the priests; no one else can use and in no one else’s house
why is unity like that? Beard to hem of garment. Like saying from head to toe and connected by the oil
Psalm 133:3 NLT
3 Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting.
Verse 3: dew of Hermon
Verse 3: dew of Hermon
Hermon is up north and high in elevation
Zion is down south and low in elevation
The last statement of the text: there the lord commanded life forevermore
“there” is the place of unity
real life in Christ Jesus is found with others because God is unity
Is this church Fellowsville AG united? Some would say yes and others would say no. Who would be right? I suggest they both would be right. This church is united but it is not united in all that it should be.

There are two kinds of unity:

There are two kinds of unity

Unity in the Spirit

This is accomplished

Unity in the Faith

This is to be attained

Unity of the Spirit one is accomplished

Unity of the Faith one is to be striven for

Ephesians 4:1–16 NLT
1 Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all. 7 However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. 8 That is why the Scriptures say, “When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.” 9 Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. 10 And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself. 11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
(i.e. 3, 13)
Ephesians 4:3 NLT
3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
V3 be diligent to preserve/keep the unity of the Spirit
V3 be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit
Ephesians 4:13 NLT
13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
V11 the gifts/people (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors/teachers) given are to work towards unity in the faith
V13 the gifts/people given are to work towards unity in the faith
How do we preserve one and attain another?
I believe if the church gets this idea of unity wrong then problems will not only arise, but will also destroy the church.
In verse 3:
Unity in the Spirit is what God HAS done (slave/free, male/female, rich/poor)
In verse 13:
Unity in the Faith is something God is doing and we are accomplishing it with Him
In verse 3:
In verse 3:
Where we came from as Christians
In verse 13:
Where we are going as Christians
Why are these concepts so important?
Why are these concepts so important? Sometimes when we ask people if there is unity in the church, we get two types of answers:
One would say: “United” but don’t talk about meaning of scripture or hard things because it will cause division (missing v13 therefore lazy)
Another would say: “Not united” because we don’t talk about the meaning of Scripture and we haven’t figured things out (missing v3 and forgetting what God has already done)
Where is Fellowsville AG at?
How do we understand these ideas?
Here is another place where these two ideas of unity are mentioned as well together:
Acts 2:37–41 NLT
37 Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” 40 Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” 41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.
Acts 2:41 NLT
41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.
V41 people were united in Christ
V41 people were unified in Christ
Acts 2:42–47 NLT
42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
V42-47 people were continually to be be unitied in the faith
V42-47 people were continually to be be unified in the faith
A church is supposed to dig in, study, ask questions, etc. together.
Modern day illustrations:
Coaching team
-all came together as part of a team (united)
-some didn’t know how to play; others did (mess/disorganized)
-be patient; don’t be unkind; teach them
-don’t hate the good players and be jealous; try to be like them
Biblical Illustration:
God stitches us together in the womb
The body is unified
The parts don’t work together as they are supposed to yet but they outgrow it and learn to use their hands, feet, etc. When they grow they go through the awkward stage and have to relearn how to use their muscles.
Churches go through awkward stages and I believe we are going through that now.
-can’t figure out
-have patience
Conclusion:

What’s your part?

What’s YOUR part?

Love what God has done. Celebrate what He has done in the body of Christ.
Get to work and attain the faith. Figure out what the truth says. Dig in! Listen to the people God has sent to us as teachers, pastors, prophets, etc.
Sometimes we want to fight about things we are struggling to understand.
This morning, you can be united to the body of Christ. You can help one another learn more about the faith.
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