Summary: Sermon speaks about the importance and the right motivation for church unity
Church Unity #1
Text; Philippians 2:1, 2
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
2. Are you Christ-centered or self-centered? If you are self-centered you
will not be drawn to other believers. If you are Christ-centered
will be drawn to other believers because Christ is your magnet.
C. The Love of God motivate us to unify
1. A worldly kind of love will not unify. Worldly love only loves the
lovable and those who love you.
2. God’s love is not a feeling but an act of the will. We are commanded
to show love towards each other especially other believers.
3. God’s love is unconditional. It is not based on how you feel, or how
someone treats you. We are to show acts of kindness even to our
D. The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit motivates us to unify
1. The Spirit of God indwells those have received Christ
2. All believers who have the indwelling Spirit are drawn to Christ
and to other believers.
E. Our Affection and Compassion for each other motivates us to unify
1. Word used here for affection means human emotion coming from the
bowls. Eastern thought viewed emotions as coming from the bowls
rather than from the heart as we think.
2. Compassion is our response to a brothers needs
How strong is your desire for unity with other believers?
Do you consider how your actions and words will affect others in your church?
Have you repented of any gossip of giving evil reports?
How quickly do you try to resolve any dissension with others?