Summary: If the church is going to have an impact on the world, it must demonstrate to the world the reality of its faith. It can only do that when Christian virtues are harmoniously lived out daily by the members of the Body of Christ.
Disclaimer: Source material for this sermon has been gleaned from many different sources. I have attempted to acknowledge these sources whenever possible. Please feel free to use this message as God’s Holy Spirit directs your heart.
2 Corinthians 13:11 “Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
(NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Rejoice. Change your ways. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace.
1 Peter 3:8 (NKJV) “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.”
(NASV) “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit.”
Introduction: If the church is going to have an impact on the world, it must demonstrate to the world the reality of its faith. It can only do that when Christian virtues are lived out daily by the members of the Body of Christ. One of the most important and most observable is harmony. Galatians 5:15 states that “…if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” Harmony is critical both to church survival and outreach.
I. What is Harmony?
A. Homophrone - of one mind, concordant (1 Peter 3:8)
B. Harmony is defined as follows: 1- Agreement in feeling or opinion, accord, 2- a pleasing combination of elements in a whole. Harmonious mutual understanding: accord, agreement, concord, concordance, concurrence, consonance, rapport, tune, unity.
C. In music, to understand harmony, you first need to understand melody.
Melody is a group of notes played one after the other. Melody is the tune. It’s often the easiest part of music to remember, the part that you hum. Harmony is also a group of notes, except these notes are played behind, beneath, and around the melody. Harmony supports the melody and gives the music texture or mood.
D. Harmony in the church is when the Body of Christ supports the message and mission of the church with unity and singleness of mind enhancing and deepening the beauty of life in Christ.
E. The purpose of this church is to exalt Christ through discipling men, women, boys and girls. When you are a member of this Church, this should be your purpose. If we’re in harmony, we will all be striving to fulfill that goal. Harmony can never be achieved if only the melody is played. If we are to live in harmony every one of us will help work toward the main focus exalting Christ.
F. Harmony is not every one singing the same note or being identical to the person next to them.
G. 1 Corinthians 12:5-6 “There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
H. Harmony is unity of thought and feeling not the loss of individualism.
II. What hinders Harmony?
1. Acts 15:1 “And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."
2. Legalism is “Taking a commandment or opinion of men, and teaching or promoting it as a doctrine from God. It gives man’s word the same weight as God’s word. If I say, “In my opinion, you should no longer eat hamburgers from MacDonald’s” then you are free to say “That’s a nice opinion, now leave me alone.” But when someone says, “God says you should no longer eat hamburgers from MacDonald’s” then they make it seem like you are opposing God if you don’t do as they say.” – adapted from David Guzik, Study Guide for Mark:
3. We are not alike within the congregation; the fact is that we are very different. God never intended for all of us to be alike doing the same things.
4. Romans 14:5-6 “One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.
1. Romans 14:13 “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.”
2. The critic uses his criticism as a means of raising himself in the eyes of others. Dr. M.R. DeHaan made this statement, "It is a dead giveaway when you meet a person who is always criticizing and finding fault with another brother. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred he’s trying to divert attention from his own sins by pointing an accusing finger at someone else."