A United Front
A man once said that union is not the same as unity. You may tie two cats tails together and hang them over a clothes line. You will have union, but you will not have unity.
Often, Christ's people do not display unity, but they put on a show much like the two cats just mentioned.
Illust.: May 1987 edition of National Geographic includes a feature about the Arctic wolf. Author L. David Mech describes how a seven member pack had targeted several musk-oxen calves who were gaurded by eleven adults. As the wolves approached their quarry, the musk-oxen bunched into an impenetrable semicircle, their deadly rear hooves facing out, and the calves remaining safe during a deadly standoff with the enemy.
But then a single ox broke rank and the herd scattered into nervous little groups. A skirmish ensued, and the adults finally fled in panic, leaving the calves at the mercy of the predators. Not a single calf survived.
Wolves often gather to attack the church today, but they can not penetrate and destroy when unity is maintained. When believers break rank however, they provide easy prey.
In todays scripture passage Paul shows us a proper picture of the body of Christ standing united. Embracing the bonds of unity we share will help to build a strong church.
First of all:
I. We Should Be United In Forgiveness
A. A reciprocating bond (gratitude)
B. An example to follow
Application: Forgive one another
II. We Should Be United In Peace
A. Breaking down the walls (no difference)
B. An attitude of the heart
Application: - Be impartial to one another
III. We Should Be United In Love
A. The bond of perfection
B. The essential element
Application: Love one another
IV. We Should Be United In Gratitude
A. Its importance (3x)
B. As evidence of assurance
Application: Check your thanksgiving meter.
We must share forgiveness, peace, love, worship, and gratitude with one another in Christ, that we may stand strong.
Illust.: Consider if you will an orchestra. In the warm up session each member plays individually in preparation for the performance. The result is a jumble of discord and noise totally unrecognizable as music. When the conductor takes control however, each player is united with the others through the music and the direction of the conductor. The result is a unified expression that was intended by the composer.
If the church is ever to be what it was intended to be, everyone must join the others as they play the part given to them by Christ. It is only as we come together united under His direction that we can do what we were intended. To be an expression of Christ in the world. Are you playing your part?