Summary: Unity in Spirit occurs as the whole body matures and disunity happens as we let the immature wreck havoc. Speaking the truth in love means words of exhortation. Unity comes as Christ is exalted. Unity means each member serving the team.
September 24, 2006
New Covenant EPC
“KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT” Part 3
Body Life - The Book of Ephesians
I. The last 2 weeks we have been focusing on this “Keep the Unity of the Spirit”
A. Two weeks ago
1. (vs 1-3) Live up to your calling - humble, gentle, bearing with one another, keep unity of spirit bond of peace
2. (vs 4-6) Unity because of the Reality of our oneness in God
B. Last Week
1. (vs 7-11) Unity with diversity of gifts, talents, experiences.
2. (Display vs 12-13) Purpose of diversity and unity is for the body to do works of service and the building up the body to become the fullness Christ intended.
II. Verse 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
A. Kimberly D. Malkogainnis, Copperton, Utah. Christian Reader, "Lite Fare."
1. It wasn’t until my 14-year-old son, Leon, answered the telephone one afternoon that I realized how quickly he had grown.
2. "Hello?" he said, in his ever-deepening voice.
3. Then he handed the receiver to me. "Who is it?" "Someone ..." Leon replied matter-of-factly, "... who wants to talk to my wife."
B. (vs 14) Warning - do not be infants - “I want my own way” and being easily swayed and deceived.
1. Besides being cute, what to infants really act like?
a. They want diaper changed for them, they want to be held, they want to be played with, they want to be fed when they want to be fed, they like being a mess.
b. You get the picture. As infants, they want what they want.
2. Infant believers are tossed back and forth by their own desires and impulses.
a. Their focus is upon themselves and not the betterment of the church.
b. Those who try to splinter the church are themselves full of splinters.
c. Those who gossip, slander and use pronouns like, “him” “her” “you” “them” are hurting spiritually and mentally.
d. They are immature thinking that the church ought to revolve around their views and their opinions and their wants.
3. A self centered person has only themselves as a rock and fortress.
a. It is when we set our personal wants and desires down and submit to the Lord in all things that we find the rock to stabilize our lives.
b. Our lives no longer revolve around us but Christ.
c. His wants and desires become preeminent.
d. We want to serve our Master who is the Groom and His bride the Church. We have a submissive spirit.
4. Roberta Hestenes in Leadership, Vol. 9, no. 4. “Maturity is pressing toward the mark; immaturity is complacency and self-satisfaction.”
C. Leroy Eims in The Lost Art of Disciple Making. Leadership, Vol. 5, no.
1. One spring our family was driving from Fort Lauderdale to Tampa, Florida.
a. As far as the eye could see, orange trees were loaded with fruit.
b. When we stopped for breakfast, I ordered orange juice with my eggs.
c. "I’m sorry," the waitress said. "I can’t bring you orange juice. Our machine is broken."
2. At first I was dumbfounded.
a. We were surrounded by millions of oranges, and I knew they had oranges in the kitchen--orange slices garnished our plates. What was the problem? No juice? Hardly.
b. We were surrounded by thousands of gallons of juice.
c. The problem was they had become dependent on a machine to get it.
3. Christians are sometimes like that.
a. They may be surrounded by Bibles in their homes, but if something should happen to the Sunday morning preaching service, they would have no nourishment for their souls.
b. The problem is not a lack of spiritual food--but that many Christians haven’t grown enough to know how to get it for themselves.
D. Unity in Spirit occurs as the whole body matures and disunity happens as we let the immature wreck havoc with the selfish behavior
III. Verse 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
A. “rather speak the truth in love and so we will grow into Christ”
1. Vicki Edwards, St. Charles, Missouri “It’s nice to talk with people who can make a point without impaling anyone on it.”
2. Speaking the truth in love - Boy that phrase has been used to unload a lot of unloving words on fellow Christians.
a. “I love you so much I have to tell you what is wrong with you.”
b. Speaking the truth in love has been used to blast others with our anger and resentment.