Faithlife Sermons

Christ: The way of Unity

Christ: Is the way series  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:00:08
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Unity (noun) the state of being united or joined as a whole. Jesus is the One who brings unity, commands unity, tells us to pursue unity, protect unity and then we can proclaim unity. So guess what, It is Christ, the way of unity that we are looking at today.
In our series thus far we have looked at Christ is the way in several things and we are going to build from those things.
The way to God/ The way to life
He is the way to the Father (Jn14:6)
He is the way to have life, life full (Jn10:10)
The way to truth / The way of love
He is the truth (Jn14:6)
He is the way of love and is love (Jn3:16; 1Jn4:16)
The way of joy / The way of peace
That your joy may be full (Jn14:11)
He gives His peace; makes peace, leaves peace (Jn14:27)
Christ is more than just the Way the Truth and the Life. He provides the way for us to have unity. As Christians we have a responsibility to maintain the unity.
As we go through this lesson this message this morning my aim is for us to understand that Unity comes through Christ. Then unity must be worked for, unity must be protected and unity must be proclaimed. That is the theme, now to the points we will look at today.
Christ attaining unity defined and described
How we as Christians maintain unity

Christ attaining unity

As mentioned Jesus is more more than the way, the life and the truth. He has done more than just be God’s plan to save sinful man. He worked for us to have the unity we have with God through Him, here are some of the things He did.
He foretold of the unity of the believers (Jn10:16)
John 10:16 NASB95
16 “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.
(expand on this, other sheep, Gentiles (i.e. Eph2:13-16 and will get to that passage in few minutes)
He prayed for the unity of the believers (Jn17:20-23)
John 17:20–21 NASB95
20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
John 17:22–23 NASB95
22 “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
(expand) those who would believe because of their word. So we have the unity of the scripture here too.
He died for there to be unity of the believers (Eph2:13-16)
Ephesians 2:13–14 NASB95
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,
Ephesians 2:15–16 NASB95
15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.
(expand) barrier wall, Jews/Gentiles taken out of the way and made into one body, the body of Christ, not Jew nor Gentile as noted in (Gal3:28) - just note that one down in your notes
He sent His Spirit to a be a guide to believers (Jn16:12-13)
John 16:12–13 NASB95
12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
(expand) keep in context spoken to the apostles
He adds the believers to the body, the one body (Act2:38-41, 47; Eph1:22-23, 4:4)
Acts 2:38–39 NASB95
38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
Acts 2:40–41 NASB95
40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.
The what, the how, the why, the when we see and now the who
Acts 2:47 NASB95
47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
The who is the Lord, it is not you adding yourself, it is not any one doing it outside of the Lord.
As a result of being added there is equipping given for the church and to the church.
He gave gifts to the believers (Eph4:11-16)
Ephesians 4:11–12 NASB95
11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
Ephesians 4:13–14 NASB95
13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
Ephesians 4:15–16 NASB95
15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
We have some who were given, and why given and the results when applied.
He warns the believers (Jn15:1-2, 6; Rev2:5)
John 15:1–2 NRSV
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.
(Expand) don’t be taken away!
Revelation 2:10 NASB95
10 ‘Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Revelation 2:5 NASB95
5 ‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.
(Expand) And to the churches that do not remain true, they are removed.
So in summary Jesus Christ the way of unity foretold it, prayed for it, died for it, sent for us to have it, adds us to the body, gave gifts to promote unity, and warns us against not having unity personally and as the church.
(Transition() so from how Christ attains unity for the believer and in turn the church to now how do we maintain what Christ did to give us this unity.

How we as Christians maintain unity

Application, the Bible gives us history, gives us command, gives us example and gives us application. Jesus and the apostles give great tools for application when it comes to the unity of the believers.
How we can maintain Christian unity:
By taking His prayer, heeding his prayer seriously (Jn17:20-23; 1Cor1:10-13)
We read the prayer a few minutes ago, what was Jesus desire was that there would be unity through the words of the apostles through belief of the word
Paul took the prayer seriously, as should we. We should avoid any creeds and traditions of men that divide, but let me give you a piece of the 1Cor passage.
1 Corinthians 1:13 NASB95
13 Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
(Expand) divisions were happening for they were following people not all following Christ.
Our unity is found in Christ!
By abiding in the apostles doctrine (Act2:42; 1The2:13)
Quote Act2:42
1 Thessalonians 2:13 NASB95
13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.
The apostles doctrine is not from them but from the Spirit, it is the Word of God, and it is powerful to perform its work.
By keeping, protecting the unity of the Spirit (Eph4:3-6, 2Tim2:23-26)
A great applicable section we find in Eph4.
Ephesians 4:3–4 NASB95
3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
Ephesians 4:5–6 NASB95
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
when we preserve, protect the unity of the spirit it is done in the bond of Peace and we already know Jesus is the way of peace and to peace.
Unity is found in the One’s as noted here.
Protect the unity by refusing foolish and ignorant speculations that bring division (2Tim2:23)
Be kind, be able (to teach), be patient, be gentle, be correcting for that can bring unity through knowledge of the truth (see 2Tim2:24-26)
By developing the mind of Christ (Php2:1-8)
A mind of humility and respect (vv.1-4)
One that follows the humility of Jesus (vv.5-8)
Now that I gave you a couple of things on the mind of Christ let me put up the scripture for it.
Philippians 2:1–2 NASB95
1 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
Philippians 2:3–4 NASB95
3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Philippians 2:5–6 NASB95
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
Philippians 2:7–8 NASB95
7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
If we are going to have the way of Unity and Christ is the way, we need to see Christs words, the apostles words so we can apply to have the unity that Christ went to the cross for us to have.
By withdrawing from unfaithful (Rom16:17; 1Tim6:3-5; 1Cor5:11-13; 2The3:6-15)
warning, warning, We are talking about unity here, and unity is us working together and let there be no division among us as paul spoke in 1Cor1. The last thing that we want, that Christ wants, that the Apostles want is there to be a withdrawing. When it is done it needs to be purposeful as we will see in one of the passages we are going to get to.
Romans 16:17 NASB95
17 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.
We are not to give audience, attention to those who cause dissensions, hindrances that are contrary to the bible, that which you have been taught and learned.
1 Timothy 6:3–4 NASB95
3 If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions,
1 Timothy 6:5 NASB95
5 and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.
Paul gives Timothy some further definition of those we are to withdraw, avoid. W do need to do our part to protect the unity of the faith, the unity of the body.
In 2The3:6-15 there are some other points we can glean from too.
Keep away from those who lead unruly life (v.6)
Look out for those leading an undisciplined life (v.11)
then I think i need to give a couple of the verses here though
2 Thessalonians 3:14–15 NASB95
14 If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame. 15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
(expand on these two verses)
(Invitation slide - use body of christ slide on other computer)
Christ is the way of unity.
He prayed and died to make unity within the believers, but first for there to be unity between man and God the Father through His own blood.
The Apostles tell us, as well as Christ does, how to be unified to be the body (through, hearing, believing, repenting, confessing, be baptized) and within the body (living obedient to the bible doctrine).
Jesus provided the way, have you accepted His way? If not now is the time, if so may we remember we can and should all live in the unity of the believers.
If you need to respond, if you need prayers for anything troubling you now is the time.
(Song) (Prayer) (Exit)
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