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One Unified Body

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Series Review

college students: overwhelmed by choices; choosing a degree isn’t like choosing a flavor of ice cream; imagine getting through 3 years of college and having a change of heart .
Christian book store: woman taking books - God told me that I needed to dig deeper in to the word of God. To study more. God told me that I can take some from here. Employee: He didn’t tell me. How can I know that I am doing the things that God has told me to do? How to discover God’s will.
Christian book store: woman taking books - God told me that I needed to dig deeper in to the word of God. To study more. God told me that I can take some from here. Employee: He didn’t tell me. How can I know that I am doing the things that God has told me to do? How to discover God’s will.
How to discover God’s will.

Sermon Introduction

Sermon Introduction

sermon is unity - important for us all, unless you have shut yourself off from the rest of the world, you have to put up with someone else;
can’t we just get along; if we can’t have unity, let’s just have quiet
you’ve made things even more difficult for yourself if
sermon is unity -
sermon is unity -
compromise in and of itself is not a good thing;
we talk about compromise is needed in a marriage, but a couple can compromise, find a common ground, and make a bad decision;
we talk about compromise is needed in a marriage, but a couple can compromise, find a common ground, and make a bad decision;
bi partisanship
bi partisanship
two politicians of different parties can come together and write some terrible legislation
unity is not meeting in the middle to find the win win - unity is 2 or more people believing they are doing the right thing because they are doing what God has called them to do
Unity in the church, but also unity in the home: unity on a ministry team; unity in the work place:
compromise, these are not necessarily bad, but in and of themselves they are not inherently good either.
Unity in the church, but also unity in the home: unity on a ministry team; unity in the work place:
Annual Conference - UMC is diverse: conservative, liberal, arguing over political issues: at our Annual Conference we emphasize unity in diversity, we celebrate unity in diversity, still divided - over homosexuality, over how we are to interpret the Bible
how does the Bible see unity;
how does the Bible see unity;
how does the Bible see unity
to have unity - not just getting along - in the church, family, relationships we need to leave 3 things at the door: personal agendas, personal egos, apathy
how does the Bible see unity
Unity is when we follow...

God’s Call, not Human Agendas

live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Eph. 4:1
This Ephesians passage is our starting point: one baptism, one faith, one God and Father
Proverbs 16:9 NIV
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Eph. 4:1
God’s call, not our plan.
(e.g. first meeting on sprc - chairperson and pastor each having their own agenda)
already unity was undermined because multiple agendas were brought into the room; family - parents have different parenting styles or different ideas of how often they should go to church; disagreements can undermine unity in the household;
they key to unity starts with the individual:
they key to unity is to make sure that what you are doing is what God has called you to do;
is to make sure that what you are doing is what God has called you to do; sounds more like a question than an answer; “just do what God tells you to do?” or my personal non-favorite: “follow your heart”
It is well known that Christ consistently used the expression “follower.” He never asks for admirers, worshippers, or adherents. No, he calls disciples. - Soren Kierkegaard
last week: it starts with salvation: have we answered God’s call? starts with a decision: Jesus demands a decision: follow me, not just believe in me; follow me, not just worship me;
do I trust Christ as savior and do I follow Him as Lord; get a room full of Christ followers in the same family, committee, church doesn’t give you instant unity, but it is a good foundation
Unity is possible among people who are following Christ as Lord, but one essential ingredient is...
It is well known that Christ consistently used the expression “follower.” He never asks for admirers, worshippers, or adherents. No, he calls disciples. - Soren Kierkegaard

Humility -

Humility - v.2

Be completely humble and gentle;

Not just Attitude or the way you act - word refers to people in lowly circumstances - make yourself low income; make yourself the uneducated; make yourself the inexperienced, make yourself the
Relinquishing Status - true equality; job experience, doesn’t matter; college degrees, income, length of service in the church; a level playing field;
Attitude
early church: the wealthy elite ate with the poor at the same table; they served one another; status was left at the door
ceo comes home from work and becomes the servant of the household;
(mcdonald’s owner, church?)
we need to What we need to get rid of : the importance we place on status;
Philippians 2:5–8 NIV
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
This Ephesians passage is our starting point: one baptism, one faith, one God and Father
Jesus did more than just change his attitude; he lowered his status; want unity? check our status, low or high, at the door;
Philippians 2:

Constant Work

Constant Work

Ephesians 4:3 NIV
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
keep: guard, protect
unity takes constant work, needs to be constantly protected
e.g. Baptist church business meeting: heated arguing, the lead Deacon stands up quietly, address the congregation; corrects the congregation; quiet, then he prays; in about 15 minutes…we were back to arguing again;
pentecostal church: growing, vibrant; building; what we didn’t see was the infighting; the rivalry; just because things are going well doesn’t mean they are well;
just because I’m not arguing with my spouse doesn’t mean I don’t assess the health of my family;
Nicaragua - one of the encouraging signs from Nicaragua Alemania Federal - school building burned, teachers still teaching; churches divide over arguments
how do they do that? unity.
just because everyone’s happy in the church doesn’t mean we don’t assess it’s health;
unity will constantly be threatened - it is where we are most vulnerable - united we stand, divided we fall
doesn’t mean we stop working at unity;

Jesus as the Center

Jesus as the Center

Ephesians 4:5
Ephesians 4:5–6 NIV
one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Romans 10:9 NIV
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
Romans 10:9 NIV
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Nicaragua - one of the encouraging signs from Nicaragua Alemania Federal - school building burned, teachers still teaching; churches divide over arguments
how do they do that? unity.
Why so many different and contradictory directions if we all worship the same Jesus?
tragic: see 2 Christ followers bitter towards one another;
make sure we are a Christ centered church: goes back to the first point I made and last week’s sermon: deciding to follow Jesus
we all want unity: no one wants to belong to a divided family, divided church,
leave personal agendas at the door; leave our egos (status, jobs, accomplishments) at the door; leave behind this mentality that things are always going to be great: unity is always threatened
Romans 10:9–10 NIV
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
believing the claims Christ makes of himself: making a conscious to follow him as Lord
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