Sermons

Summary: Discord will destroy a church. Harmony will make it effective in being the Body of Christ.

SERIES: “GOD-GIVEN GUIDELINES FOR GRWOING A GREAT CHURHC”

TEXT: EPHESIANS 4:1-6

TITLE: Guideline #6: “MAINTAIN A SPIRIT OF HARMONY”

(Sermon based on material from Bob Russel’s When God Builds A Church)

INTRODUCTION: A. A preacher went to his high school reunion. One of his friends asked, “How many

active members do you have in your church?” The preacher said, “They’re all active.

Half of them are working with me and the other half are working against me.”

1. One of the saddest things that can happen in a congregation is when people begin

to fight each other instead working together.

2. Instead of being focused on our mission, we’re too busy bickering and fighting.

3. We focus on our own petty desires and become a cancerous growth on the Body of

Christ eating away at its health and effectiveness.

B. The University of Texas and Texas A&M are huge rivals. Every year before their

big football game, Texas A&M has a pep rally with a huge bonfire. Several years ago,

this huge bon fire collapsed and killed a number of Texas A&M students.

As a sign of their support and shared grief at the tragic loss of life, a number of

University of Texas students attended the memorial service at Texas A&M. Listen to

the following article describing the memorial service written by Eric Opiela,

University of Texas Student Body Vice-President:

I had the great privilege of attending the memorial service at A&M tonight and

was deeply moved by the events I experienced. The A&M student body is truly

one of the greatest treasures of our State. As part of the UT delegation, we sat on

the floor of Reed Arena, and immediately following the end of the service, I heard

this rustling sound behind me. I looked over my shoulder and saw the sight of

20,000 students spontaneously putting their arms on their neighbor’s shoulders,

forming a great circle around the arena.

The mass stood there in pin-drop silence for close to five minutes, then, from

somewhere, someone began to hum quietly the hymn “Amazing Grace’. Within

seconds, the whole arena was singing. I tried, too – I choked, I cried. This event

brought me to tears. It was one if not the defining moment of my college career. I

learned something tonight. For all us Longhorns who discount A&M in our never-

ending rivalry, we need to realize one thing. Aggieland is a special place, with

special people. It is infinitely better equipped than us at dealing with a tragedy

such as this for one simple reason. It is a family. It is a family that cares for its

own, a family that reaches out, a family that is unified in the face of adversity; a

family that moved this Longhorn to tears. My heart, my prayers, and the heart of

the UT student body go out tonight to Aggies and their family and friends as they

recover from this great loss. Texas A&M, the eyes of Texas are upon you – and

they look with sincere sympathy upon a family that has bee through so much

tragedy this semester.

1. Too bad more of our churches aren’t described in the same way.

2. Instead, in times of adversity, we’re prone to circle the wagons and then start

shooting each other!

3. In the late 1800’s there were just two deacons in a small Baptist church in

Mayfield, KY. These two deacons hated each other and always opposed one

another.

On one particular Sunday, one deacon put up a small wooden peg in the back

wall so the minister could hang up his hat. When the other deacon discovered the

peg, he was outraged that he had not been consulted. The church took sides and

the church eventually split. To this day, they say you can find in Mayfield, KY,

the Anti-peg Baptist Church.

a. Satan’s plan: Destruction through disunity

b. Concerning the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin said… “We must all

hang together, or we shall all hang separately.”

C. God’s intention is that when conflicts occur, we would follow his instructions to stay

in harmony with His will and with each other.

1. Ps. 133:1 – “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!”

2. 1 Pet. 3:8 – “Live in harmony with one another.”

D. Let’s look at some important principles concerning harmony and make it a paramount

operating principle in our congregation

I. GOD BLESSES HARMONY

A. Togetherness is a concept that is hammered home in the N.T.

--Listen to this list of “one another” passages:

1. Jn. 13:34 – “Love one another…”

2. Rom. 7:4 – “Belong to one another…”

3. Rom. 12:10

a. “Be devoted to one another…”

b. “Honor one another…”

4. Rom. 12:16 – “Live in harmony with one another…”

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