- “Church unity comes from corporate humility.”—Leonard Ravenhill
I’m a proud person. I know this for two reasons: 1) I know who I am deep down inside, and 2) The Bible tells me that I have a disease called sin that finds its root in pride. The relationships I’ve had for years and even decades have survived due to humility (not perfect humility, but give and take graciousness on both sides in light of our human imperfections). The fights and conflicts I have had were fueled by pride. Pride is the key ingredient to divorces, abuse, wars, and even church divisions.
Yesterday we discussed church unity. This should be the passion for each of us. We are a family, and families should sacrifice for each other, fight for each other, and love each other with that deep, Christian, sacrificial love that puts each of us before others.
- John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
Are you willing to sacrifice and fight for unity in your church family?
- “Unity without the Gospel is a worthless unity; it is the very unity of Hell.”—J.C. Ryle
- “To pursue union at the expense of truth is treason to the Lord Jesus Christ.”—Charles Spurgeon
- “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”—Matthew 16:18
The foundation of our unity within our church, between our church and other churches, is always around the Gospel and solid doctrine. They are like a poured concrete foundation that is solid and not going anywhere. We all join together in the Spirit as we stand together on His truth. Satan will attack and will try to destroy this unity because he hates our unity in in the Spirit.
Our church has so many strengths, but we can never rest on our laurels. We must continually work, and work can be hard. But as long as we continually put Jesus first, and the family/community of our church in a close second, we will see great things happen in Waikoloa (and tomorrow we will discuss Spiritual Gifts which apply to the Empowered Leadership of the church).
- Loving each other as a family—who have you prayed for in our church this past week? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- If you haven’t been praying, then make sure you start now. Use the Weekly Prayer Emphasis to concentrate on each of our church members and leadership.
- Matthew 5:21-24 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
- Is there anyone in our church body that you need to get reconciled with? __________________________________________________
- Reading this passage, Jesus wants us to fix things with our fellow Christians before even trying to worship Him. What are your thoughts on that? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
- I told you I would provide a link to Rhonda Vincent’s song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR2rpVd5Lwo(it’s Bluegrass, so just imagine a ukulele instead of a mandolin)
- What is the passage (2 verses) from Matthew that Rhonda cites? ________________________________________________________
- Look them up and write down the warning she mentions ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
- How does this song (based on the Bible, of course) help inform the kind of unity we need to have in our church? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Blest be the Tie that Binds Hymn by John Fawcett
1 Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
2 Before our Father’s throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
Our comforts and our cares.
3 We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear,
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.
4 When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.
5 This glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way;
While each in expectation lives
And longs to see the day.
6 From sorrow, toil, and pain,
And sin, we shall be free;
And perfect love and friendship reign
Through all eternity.