Summary: The Church Needs to be a Place Where We Build Up One Another.
- BUILDING UP ONE ANOTHER -
BE OF THE SAME MIND WITH ONE ANOTHER
The Church Needs to be a Place Where We Build Up One Another. This is essential because: We have a common enemy whom we all battle. We have our own inward temptations we fight against. We have the job of creating new habits of following Jesus. None of us can do this alone we need each other. We need encouragement, strength, camaraderie, fellowship that the church offers. We need the help to get up when we fall. We need key word in our vision statement: to be a church that grows, serves, and loves TOGETHER!
Romans 15:5-6 NASB 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.
This is a prayer that Paul writes for the church. He prays that God give us perseverance & encouragement. He prays that this unites our voice in praise! All of this is centered around the prayer that God would grant the church to be of the same mind with one another. NOT: same opinion, same viewpoints, same approach. To have the ‘same mind’ is to be centered on the Same Savior - Jesus and find unity there. This prayer echoes that of Jesus: “that all of them may be one” (John 17:20).
In our series BUILD UP ONE ANOTHER we have talked about being members of one another, devoted to one another, honoring one another and now being of the same mind. That means keeping UNITY in focus.
1. SATAN’S STRATEGY IS TO CREATE DISUNITY
Getz: Satan’s strategy throughout the ages has been to destroy unity in Christ’s body.
Spurgeon: “Satan always hates Christian fellowship; it is his policy to keep Christians apart. Anything which can divide saints from one another he delights in. ... Since union is strength, he does his best to promote separation.
Barclay: “However ornate a church may be, however perfect its worship and its music, however liberal its giving, it has lost the very first essential of a Christian fellowship if it has lost harmony.”
Many have observed that Christ, who unites us, is greater by far than the differences which may divide us.
When unity is destroyed:
1. We fail to live up to the prayer of Christ
2. We fail to be a living witness to draw others to Christ
3. We fail to keep something the Spirit has given us (Ephesians 4:3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.)
4. We will experience disappointment and hurt instead of the perseverance and encouragement unity brings.
The world is so divided and there is so much hurt and pain and disappointment - when we live together in a faith community in love and unity, it is an amazing testimony to the world around us.
2. THREE KEY CONCERNS FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
Be Concerned About the Faith of Others
Romans 14:13 NRSV Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another.
Getz: “Even if we feel we have freedom to do certain things that do not violate the will of God, the law of love should cause us to avoid any behavior that may cause another brother or sister to stumble and fall into sin.”
Be concerned about being a Peacemaker.
Romans 14:19 NRSV So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.
Pursue unity in every area of life - be a peacemaker at home, community, workplace, school, online, and in the marketplace.
James 3:18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
Be concerned about Impact on those Outside the church.
Even the Jerusalem Church did not do this perfectly. They had a profound unity - a church of people from every nation on earth. Great Joy was evident. But - Certain widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. This had to be addressed - and it was. Afterwards, Acts 6:7 reports that “the number of disciples increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.” The Jerusalem Church worked hard to maintain unity to have the same mind with one another. As a result, outreach was enhanced.
Christian unity is a key to our life together, our life in Christ, and the life of testimony to the lost world.
3. How Can We Be of the Same Mind With One Another?
Realize that unity is possible.
Psalm133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!”