Faithlife Sermons

THE CALL FOR CONSISTENT CHRISTIAN UNITY

Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Introduction

; ; ;
Last Sunday I began speaking to you about the need to preserve the atmosphere of peace and unity in the Church. I spoke about the things that bring disunity and destroy the peace of the Church: (i) Negligence Due To Ethnic/Racial/Tribal Inclinations (); (ii)Disagreement on Ministry Methods (); (iii) Holier Than Thou Attitudes (; ); (iv)Arrogance Resulting From Spiritual Gifts; (v) Factions In the Church (,; ; (vi) Carnality Among Believers. Ours is unity in diversity! No one person is more important than the others in body of Christ. We may not perform the same function but we are one. We may not all be visible but we are still part of the body. We may not all be prominent in the body but that does not diminish our importance. We are all serving a purpose in the house of God. We must be united in serving. If one member is suffering, all members suffer with it. We cannot stand aloof when our brethren are in need. We are one body in Christ. And when brethren dwell together in unity, there is plenty of blessing from God!

1. THE SEVEN UNITIES THAT UNITE THE CHURCH

Not only this, ours is unity in diversity! No one person is more important than the others in body of Christ. We may not perform the same function but we are one. We may not all be visible but we are still part of the body. We may not all be prominent in the body but that does not diminish our importance. We are all serving a purpose in the house of God. We must be united in serving. If one member is suffering, all members suffer with it. We cannot stand aloof when our brethren are in need. We are one body in Christ. And when brethren dwell together in unity, there is plenty of blessings poured to them from God!

1. WE BELONG TOGETHER

; ;
Scripture is very exhaustive, very detailed in its teaching about the unity of the body of Christ. We are not left in doubt as to what constitutes Christian unity. There are SEVEN UNITIES that bind the Church inseparably together. We have (1) ONE Body (the Body of Christ/or Believers with Christ), (2) ONE Spirit (the Holy Spirit), (3) ONE Hope (the Hope of our calling, the blessed hope), (4) ONE Lord (the Lord Jesus Christ), (5) ONE Faith (the only true faith of the Gospel), (6) ONE Baptism into the body of Christ), (7) ONE God and Father of all. How can we have all these and still not be united as a body?
The great divide that threatened the first Christians was between Jews and Gentiles but Church was able to unite these two together! The Church transcends all barriers (; ).

One Body

One Body

One Body

The body in reference here is the Body of believers in Christ who are in union with Christ and who are worshipping together here on earth (; ; ). We are one because we are founded on one Gospel. No where does God command us to be united with the world.
1 Corinthians 12:12 KJV 1900
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
Ephesians 4:25 KJV 1900
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
Romans 12:5 KJV 1900
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

One Spirit ()

The Holy Spirit is the Life of the Church, but the unity of the Church is the work of the Trinity (; ). This unity must be preserved. We must endeavour, work hard to preserve it. God will not be happy if we disregard what He wants to achieve in the Church.

One Hope

This is the Hope of the Gospel (; ; ; ; ;). I always tell you that Church is the only body that has hope. None Christians, unbelievers have no hope.
Hebrews 6:18–20 KJV 1900
18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

One Lord

The Head of the Church is our Lord Jesus Christ (). Hardly anyone disputes this. He told Peter, ()
Matthew 16:18 KJV 1900
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

One Faith

This is not talking about the individual faith that moves mountains, but the common faith shared by all believers, we could say, the Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Christian faith) ().

One Baptism

reminds us that our Baptism shows our identification with Christ in His burial and Resurrection. When we are immersed into water, it signifies the death and burial of Christ. And when we come up out of the water, it signifies our identification with His resurrection.

One God

We serve the same God - the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Father. Our functions in the body may differ, our line of service may differ, but we serve the same God ().

2. THE INTERDEPENCE OF MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH

; ;
No Christian should despise a less gifted brother or sister. Those members of the Church we think are less useful than us are given great honour from God.
Let’s read what Paul the apostle wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit (). Be kindly affectioned. Prefer one another. Be fervent in service to the Lord; Rejoice in hope; be patient in tribulation; Fervent in prayer; Distribute to needy saints; Give yourself to hospitality; bless those who curse you; rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep; be of the same mind (be in agreement); do not be high minded; do not repay evil with evil; make honest provision for yourself; live peacefully with all men; do not avenge yourself; care for your enemy…think about this. If you have to care for your enemy, how much more your fellow brother /sister? We are commanded to have the same care for one another.
The great gifts of the Spirit to the Church are meant to build us up, so that we are no longer children tossed here and there by every wind of doctrine devised by men. God gave us apostles and prophets and evangelist and pastors to perfect the saints, to expedite the work of the ministry and to build up the body of Christ. The apostles cannot do it alone, the pastors cannot do it alone. We need each other to succeed in the work.

3. THE EFFECT BELIEVERS ON OTHER BELIEVERS

1Cor.12:26-31
1 Corinthians 12:26–31 KJV 1900
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
1 Corinthians 12:26–31 KJV 1900
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
The one body metaphor is found in Christ’s reference to all believers ( ). In His prayer for His disciples, Jesus included those of us will believe through the preaching of the early apostles. His passion for His Church is that we may be one. When one member of the body is suffering, all the members suffer with it
The one body metaphor is found in Christ’s reference to all believers in His final prayer before He was crucified ( ). In this prayer for His disciples, Jesus included those of us will believe through the preaching of the early apostles and every person that believes through the preaching of the Gospel of Christ through the ages. His passion for His Church is that we may be one. When one member of the body is suffering, all the members suffer with him/her. When on member is promoted other members rejoice with him/her. This kind of unity in perfected in love.
1 Corinthians 13:1–13 KJV 1900
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
The one body metaphor is found in Christ’s reference to all believers in His final prayer before He was crucified ( ). In this prayer for His disciples, Jesus included those of us will believe through the preaching of the early apostles and every person that believes through the preaching of the Gospel of Christ through the ages. His passion for His Church is that we may be one. When one member of the body is suffering, all the members suffer with him/her. When on member is promoted other members rejoice with him/her.
1Cor.13:1-13
Why is love so important in the Church? Why did John write so much about love in the Church? It is because where there is no love there is no unity. Unity brings strength. Unity brings support for each other. Unity brings support and assurance to those who are weak. Unity bring down upon the Church, the fulness of the Holy Spirit. Unity keeps the body of Christ together in times of persecution. Love and unity combine to send a message to the world that Jesus Christ is the Lord.
Therefore let us lay aside those things that bring lack of love and unity into the Church. Deemphasise individualism (we are one body). Reject party spirit (Christ alone is Lord). Come out of worldliness. Come out of carnality (It makes you an enemy of God). Reject holier than thou attitudes (it makes you unacceptable before God).
Pursue peace. Pursue true holiness. Pursue love. Pursue the good of every brother and every sister in the Church family.
Beloved brethren, the final instruction of any father or mother to their children, are taken very seriously. When king David was about to die, he gave instructions to Solomon his son, and Solomon carried it out to the letter.
What was Christ’s final instructions to His Church? To us? (1) He gave us the Great Commission. (2)He commanded us to love one another as He loves us as evidence to the world that we belong to Him. (3) He prayed to the Father very passionately that we all may be one. What will you do with these commands?
Related Media
Related Sermons