Living Together without partiality
Living together is not always easy, not everyone agrees on everything and gets along in everything. In our series Living Together we are being reminded of some tools, promises, corrections that can help us in our living together as a forever family in Christ.
(In Christ Picture)
Expand on each of these, slowly, methodically, emphatically
In Christ, we became a family
In Christ we are to be an intimate family
In Christ the body does the body good
In Christ we are to be a giving family
In Christ we are to fellowship, sup and sing together too.
(Accept one another - no partiality)
Besides all the items above as a family living to together we need to be an accepting fellowship, whose heart is to have new family members. We can only do that by being a fellowship without partiality as is clearly seen throughout the scripture.
Loving the family, for the most part, is pretty easy, but not always for we all come from different places, different backgrounds, socio-economic backgrounds, maybe even cultural differences too. Then add in peoples maturity in Christ, personal choice, hobbies and the like, but we can be all one in Christ and without partiality when we keep Him in the center.
(insert illustration, differences does not equate to division; we are to be unified in Christ, not necessarily uniform)
This morning we are looking at (Slides below will be coming very quick)
Nature of our differences
God’s attitude about impartiality
Application of being impartial
Nature of the differences
Nature of the differences
God did not make us human robots, He made us human being, each different from the other so differences are natural. We need to acknowledge that, but also be careful not to allow differences to bring or allow division.
Now we may not have all of these differences here in Central Iowa at Westside, but there is the potential for these differences, so let’s briefly look.
Ethnicity and nationality
Political ideologies and cultures
Economic status as we ll as lifestyles
Personal hobbies, interests and the like
and even in spiritual understanding and maturity, commitment
Potential division differences for things such as
Prejudice, bigotry, being judgmental
cliques can be very destructive
Knowing that there are differences, identifying some of the differences gives us just a little ground work so we can now look at what God says about being impartial and the importance of being impartial as a family.
God’s Word on impartiality
God’s Word on impartiality
God is not shy in the inspired word about being impartial. And it is good for us to know where God stands, why God stands like that so that we can know where and how we are to stand.
God has show that He is God and shows no partiality (Deu10:17)
17 “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.
Paul, God’s tool speaks extensively about God’s impartiality for there is impartial judgment to come (Rom2:1-11)
In Rom2:1-5 Paul is speaking of the Jews and their high moral standards that they judge the Gentiles, but don’t keep to the standard they set. You cannot escape the judgment of God.
In Rom2:6-10 - well, everyone will be held accountable to the truth,
Glory and honor for doing right, keeping the law, or God’s moral law
Tribulation anguish and wrath is you don’t, for God is impartial, but maybe better give you some of the scripture here.
9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.
12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.
14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
There is no partiality with God so in turn we should not be partial, even in our differences. So, God through Moses, through Paul speak of God’s impartiality, but so does Peter (1Pt1:17-19, Act10:34-35; Act17:7-9; 2Pt3:9)
17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,
19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
God is accepting as shown to Peter in this other passage
Briefly discuss overview of Act10
Act10:1-8 - God hears faithful prayers of a Gentile Centurion named Cornelius and tells him go find Peter and tells him where to go.
Act10:9-16 - God speaks to Peter in a vision while he was praying showing he was not to be partial
Act10:17-23 - Cornelius’s men come and get Peter
Act10:24-33 - Peter meets with Cornelius they talk and Peter acknowledges the impartiality of God even to the Gentiles
34 Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, 35 but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.
Notice not accepting of everything, but of everyone who fears Him and does what is right He welcomes.
Well Act10 ends with the salvation of Cornelius and all his household too!
Peter was amazed, maybe astonished, but without a doubt excited and was quick to defend the gospel to the Gentiles when in Jerusalem and when Paul comes in for what was known as the Jerusalem conference.
7 After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe.
8 “And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; 9 and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.
Take a minute or two expand on impartiality of heart matters for what is God’s desire?
9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
God does not show partiality, God makes no distinction of one who does right, He shows acceptance, so, shouldn’t we? (qualify this by acceptance does not mean accepting sinful behavior, but that is another sermon another day)
God wants us to accept (you know, be impartial) with one another (Rom15:5-7; Gal3:27-28)
5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.
Jesus accepted us, even in our transgressions (Eph2:1), why? for the glory of God, and when we practice this with the perseverance that God gives u and the encouragement we get from him, it is all for His glory when we do it and do it with one accord with one mind! No partiality.
We are able to do this because we are united in Him and clothed with Him.
27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
WE are all one in Christ Jesus, there is no partiality or position, there is just one in Christ!
When we understand God’s desire about impartiality, when we understand God’s accepting love regardless of who we were, who we are that He sent the Christ to set us free, then we are in no better place then to learn, to know, to show, to be impartial towards others as we live as a family desiring for others to join the family.
Application of being impartial
Application of being impartial
All this talk about being impartial, it sounds great, its backed up by the Word, but application may not be so easy. Let this be prefaced that we are equipped for the application by God’s Spirit! So knowing that, how about we look at some things regarding application now?
Show no partiality (Jm2:1-9)
No partiality through personal favoritism (Jm2:1)
1 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.
We all come by obedient faith, so we are all the same, have the same attitude!
No partiality for the rich or the poor (Jm2:2-7)
Look at this passage, James gives illustration of no distinction, so don’t show partiality.
2 For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3 and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,”
4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? 5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court? 7 Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?
May we remember we were a blind beggar at one time, could not see, had nothing and was in need and God sent Jesus to give us eyes to see and to feed us on the Living Water and the Bread of Life, so may we lead others to it too. Don’t be partial, be impartial.
Apply God’s royal law (Jm2:8-9)
8 If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
Since we were blind beggars, not rich, we were in need, Christ met the need so now we need to fulfill the royal law. Don’t be partial for when you are labeling yourself with the transgressors and that is not who we are anymore .
Apply God’s love and put that on first (Col3:9-10)
9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—
Remember you are to be a transformer, not a conformer, Let God through the Word, by the Spirit make you a transformer and not be conformed by the outside, but transformed from the inside so you can help others, so don’t be partial.
No matter the differences, be Christ Like (Col3:11-15)
11 a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. 12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
When we put off the former, then our differences don’t see to have significance anymore.
When we are renewed in Christ we are then, developing Christ like character and His light shines in us and through us!
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
So, bear with one another, in our differences, forgive one another
Most of all, put on love which is the super glue of unity, OK scripture says perfect bond, but superglue is pretty strong stuff.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
When we do the other then the peace of God will rule in our hearts, and we will be one body, without partiality, and we will be thankful for we will know even when there is differences there does not need to be division.
May we remember to have
Heart of compassion not of stone or ice
Be kind to one another not cruel or judgmental
Be humble not proud
Be patient not intolerant
Be loving and not bigoted
We may still have differences and they have the potential for division, but they do not have to when we apply these simple tools we have just looked at. May differences not have significance, may the love of God through Christ Jesus be the significance that will help us in our living together as God’s family.
In the 1st century the Jew was still a Jew, the Gentile was still a Gentile, but when Christ came and the church was born they were united in Christ and there was no division, oh there was some differences and some of them had to be worked out.
(In Christ picture)
The poor are still poor, the rich still rich, but united in Christ
The servant/employee is still servant and must honor the master/employer because united in Christ
The responsibilities and authority in the body (male, female) have differences but we are all one in Christ serving the family of God together.
May we continue to grow in Christ together as we live life together as God’s family ma we remember we are to be an accepting, impartial family
(Invitation slide 1 - Accept one Another)
(invitation) are you in Christ? Are you in Christ and being united as one without partiality in the body? (expand on both)
(invitation slide 2) song; prayer (Exit slides)