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Summary: Sermon speaks about the importance and the right motivation for church unity

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#13 6-17-07

Church Unity #1

Text; Philippians 2:1, 2

Introduction,

In Dwight Pentecost’s commentary on the book of Philippians he refers to an occurrence of a church split in Dallas Texas. The church split was so bad that it involved a legal suit of one side of the church against the other over who rightfully had the right of ownership of the church property. The case went all the way to the State Supreme Court. The case was a dismissed on the grounds that the State Supreme Court was not going to deal with inner church issues but would have to be dealt with by the denominational church governing body. The matter was finally settled with one side given the ownership rights to the property.

During this period of time a local news paper reporter did some investigating on what was the cause of this church split. He discovered that it all started during a church dinner. Apparently one of the church elders was offended when his portion of food given him was not as large as a young person next to him. Yes you heard correctly. This whole church split started because someone was offended over such a petty thing. It is no wonder that the world looks at churches and never wants to have anything to do with them or Christianity

.

Transitional statement; How can churches have unity within themselves and between other churches?

I The Importance of Church Unity

A. Christ’s prayer (John 17:11)

“keep them in Thy name, the name which Thou hast given Me, that they be one, even as We are one.”

1. The Trinity demonstrates perfect unity

2 The church is to be like the Trinity in its unity

B. Paul’s concern for the churches

1. The Corinthian church (1Corinthians 3:1-4, 2Cor 12:20)

“For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what you wish, that perhaps there is strife, jealousy, anger tempers, debates, slander, gossip, arrogance, disturbances.”

2. The church of Ephesus (Eph. 4:1-6)

3. The church of Philippi (Phil. 4:2) Euodia vs Syntyche

C. Disunity destroys churches

1. Disunity grieves the Holy Spirit

2. Causing disunity is Satan’s major objective

II. The Right Motivation for Church Unity

A. Motivation must come from within

1. Motivation for church unity can not be created by external forces. You

Can not make people love each other.

2. Motivation most come internally. It most be a heartfelt desire.

Illustration: If you have a paper bag of marbles and the bag rips open, the marbles will scatter. They have only an external force containing them. If however you put metal shavings around a magnet, they will be drawn to the magnet. The metal properties within the shavings are attracted to the magnet. The magnet is like Christ, we as believers are attracted to Christ by an internal desire created within us by the Holy Spirit. As we are attracted to Christ we will also be drawn together around Christ.

B. Our Relationship with Christ motivated us to unify

1. A right relationship with Christ will lead to a right relationship with

other believers.

2. Are you Christ-centered or self-centered? If you are self-centered you


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