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Unity in the Spirit

The Holy Spirit  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Intro -

When we think of the mission of the church and the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish our mission, we often think of telling the world that Jesus is Lord, that through Jesus we have been reconciled to God the creator of all. We may even think of the gifts of the Spirit to support that proclamation.
And as we have been discussing, we should. The Spirit is the source of all life. And that includes eternal life.
But we often forget how important UNITY is to the message of reconciliation with God.
Jesus said in
John 17:20–21 NLT
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
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The Problem -

So, we have a problem. Jesus says the world will know Him by our unity but, the current reality seems to point to a disjointed Church.
Maybe you are like me and find yourself struggling at times with UNITY.
It is so easy for my pride, my desires, my will, and even my personal mission to get in the way of UNITY with the Body of Jesus.
Story – 1st Baptist church of Boerne, TX. Church split – back to merger – Pastor and I did not trust one another – refused to build a working relationship – my pride would not allow me to submit to his leadership – The church would not grow – God’s witness would not be seen – If the church was divided! I had to either submit and work in unity or leave – Unfortunately my pride did not give in and I left.
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Disunity is ugly – And the Church is known more for it’s disunity than for it’s unity.
Church splits over carpet/ music, splitting over peripheral issues.
Honestly sometimes it appears we are looking for reasons to break apart rather than looking for reasons to join together.
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How Can We Live In Unity?

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Unity Comes Through The Life Giving Power of the Holy Spirit!

Eph 4:2-3
Ephesians 4:2–3 NLT
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
Unity in the church is only possible when we are living out of our unity with the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit Unifies

The Holy Spirit creates unity from diverse people by -

Breaking down the walls of pride and prejudice.

Joel 2:28–29 NLT
“Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on servants—men and women alike.
Joel 2:
God’s Spirit is not for a class, race or gender.
The Spirit of God is not concerned with age, color of skin, or if you are a male or female.
The Spirit desires to break these walls of pride and bring people together on equal ground.
Galatians 3:26–29 NLT
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.

The Spirit Unifies

The Spirit Makes Us Family - You could say the Spirit is thicker than blood.

1 Corinthians 12:12–14 NLT
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.
1 Cor 12:
In the Spirit you have family members across the world.
You are related through the Spirit to millions of people around the world.

The Spirit Unifies

Finally the Spirit Humbles us -

1 Corinthians 12:21–27 NLT
The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.
In Christ the loud mouths like me are not the most necessary.
Rather those that seem weakest and least important are the most necessary.
The Spirit flips the script in the church / powerful become weak/ weak become powerful/ shy become honored and protected/ loud are not protected.
Each part is needed and each part needs the other to function correctly.
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To Live In Unity With One Another, We Must First Be Willing To Live in Unity with the Holy Spirit!

Three Ways To Unify With the Spirit That Will Lead To Unity in the Church.

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Devotion to Jesus as Lord, over our Devotion to Secondary issues.

John 14:26 NLT
But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
John 15:26 NLT
“But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me.
John 16:13–15 NLT
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’
The Spirit of God is devoted to Jesus over Himself.
Are you devoted to Jesus over your own interests?
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It is the Spirit Who Unifies and We Must Walk in Unity with the Spirit.

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2. Unified in the Mission of the Church, while functioning in your unique mission from God.

Acts 1:8 NLT
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Our mission is obvious - But at times our individual mission can get in the way of the over all mission.
Acts 15:36–41 NLT
After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus. Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care. Then he traveled throughout Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches there.
Acts 15:
Separated due to opposing individual missions and gifting.
Paul and Apostle - Church and Mission starter - Vision casting.
Barnabas - Parental Pastor - Disciple, grow, care for.
Colossians 4:10–11 NLT
Aristarchus, who is in prison with me, sends you his greetings, and so does Mark, Barnabas’s cousin. As you were instructed before, make Mark welcome if he comes your way. Jesus (the one we call Justus) also sends his greetings. These are the only Jewish believers among my co-workers; they are working with me here for the Kingdom of God. And what a comfort they have been!
1 Corinthians 9:3–6 NLT
This is my answer to those who question my authority. Don’t we have the right to live in your homes and share your meals? Don’t we have the right to bring a believing wife with us as the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers do, and as Peter does? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have to work to support ourselves?
While they divided over method, they were all united in God’s Mission.
While they divided over method, they were all united in God’s Mission.
When we get focused on God’s mission over our own, reconciliation is the bi-product.
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It is the Spirit Who Unifies and We Must Walk in Unity with the Spirit.

Unified in the Mission of God, even when our gifting and methods differ.
Acts 2:1 NLT
On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place.
Acts 1:
Acts 1:

It is the Spirit Who Unifies and We Must Walk in Unity with the Spirit.

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Finally,

3. Unified in Corporate Prayer in one accord.

Acts 1:4–5 NLT
Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 1:8 NLT
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:14 NLT
They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.
Corporate prayer is not individuals meeting together and praying their own personal prayers.
Corporate prayer is when individuals meet together and are unified in prayer.
Verse 14 said they were on one accord.
They together were praying about the same thing - The Spirit of God for the Mission of God.
When we come together and center all our prayers on one God given theme - we are drawn together in a mission.
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It is the Spirit Who Unifies and We Must Walk in Unity with the Spirit.

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We cannot fix the worldwide Church but we can commit to living in unity with one another.
Osage needs to see us unified and not divided.
How can we preach reconciliation with God if we ourselves are not reconciled to one another?
Our city, Our families, our Communities need Jesus
And therefore they need us to be UNIFIED.
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It is the Spirit Who Unifies and We Must Walk in Unity with the Spirit.

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Finding Unity in the Lordship of Jesus

Being Unified in God’s Mission to the Church

And through Corporate Prayer

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