Summary: What do we need to do to maintain healthy relationships?
Our relationship with Christ (vertical relationship) is very important . Today we are going to focus on our relationships with others in a family, in a community and in a church.
1. Definition of gear:
A gear or cogwheel is a rotating machine part having cut teeth, or cogs, which mesh with another toothed part to transmit torque, in most cases with teeth on the one gear being of identical shape, and often also with that shape on the other gear. Two or more gears working in a sequence (train) are called a gear train or, in many cases, a transmission; such gear arrangements can produce a mechanical advantage through a gear ratio and thus may be considered a simple machine. Geared devices can change the speed, torque, and direction of a power source.
The gears in a transmission are analogous to the wheels in a crossed belt pulley system. An advantage of gears is that the teeth of a gear prevent slippage.
When two gears mesh, and one gear is bigger than the other (even though the size of the teeth must match), a mechanical advantage is produced, with the rotational speeds and the torques of the two gears differing in an inverse relationship.
There are different types of gears: spur, helical, worm, crown etc. Gears come in different shapes and sizes.
When every gear is properly engaging with other gear, the machine runs smoothly.
2. Analogy of church with gears:
If Apostle Paul would be writing I Corinthian 12 in modern times, he would compare the church of Christ with a big machine made of motor/engine and gears:
a. Every machine needs a motor or engine to generate motion in the gears. The Lord Jesus is like a motor/ engine which give life and motion to the church. (12:12)
b. Gears are many but they all are part of the big machine. The master mechanic has designed and placed each gear in its proper place. (12:18)
b. The members of the church are like gears. Each gear is different in size and shape. The teeth of our gear are our strengths and slots are the weaknesses. We have to compliment with each other with our strength and weaknesses to run the church machine smoothly.
c. Every gear (small or big) has its own place and function in the church machine. No gear can tell to other gears that I don't need you. We are all interdependent on each other. If a gear malfunctions due to worn out teeth, it disturbs other gears coming in contact with him/her. It can also damage the teeth of other gears.
d. Smaller gears are weak but they need the most maintenance and attention.
e. Some gears are closer to the motor shaft and others may be away from the motor shaft but they all get their motion by remaining in contact with each other.
3. What causes friction of the gears?
James 4:1- Desires that battle within us to fight against each other.
Ephesians 4:31-Bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, malice cause friction in the relationships.
Hebrews 12:15- The author of Hebrews warns us not to allow bitterness to take roots in relations.
Galatians 5:20-21- The acts of flesh like hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions. They are the main causes of conflicts and tensions.
Mathew 7:1- Condemning and judging others, finding speck in others' eyes with a plank in our own eyes! It is easy to find faults in others while we neglect bigger faults in ourselves. If we don't want others to judge us, we should not judge and condemn others.
4. Gear Mechanism needs lubrication or oiling:
If gears are not oiled regularly, a lot of friction is created between the teeth of gears, resulting in damage and grinding. It results in to blunt teeth and motion of the gears is affected. The dust particles make the oil thicker and may hinder the smooth functioning of gears. That's the reason we need to change the engine oil and filter in the cars on a regular basis. Similarly, we need to use the following lubricants in our relationships:
John 15:12-13, 17- It's a commandment of the Lord to love one another and it is not an option for believers.
Galatians 5:22- Love is one of the slices of fruit of the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:2- Paul is urding us to walk in love
I John 3:18- We need to show love in action and not just in words
I Corinthians 13 talks about characteristics of the divine (Agape) love. If we have this kind of love in our lives, it will eliminate friction in our gears!
b. Unity of the Spirit:
Ephesians 4:3- It requires some efforts on our part to maintain the unity