Summary: How can a church avoid dissension and strife. This "one another" commands tells us to be like-minded, and this sermon discusses to important principles for a church's people to follow to remain united.
Likeminded with One Another
Series: The One Anothers: The Church’s “Body Builders”
August 25, 2019
NOTE: A PowerPoint presentation is available for this sermon by request at email@example.com. Please mention the title of the sermon and the Bible text to help me find the sermon in my archives.
TEXT: Romans 15:5-6 – “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded toward one another according to Christ Jesus. 6 That you may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Our text today tells us that we should be “likeminded with one another.” One of Satan’s primary strategies to combat the effectiveness of local churches involves creating disunity and discord among its members.
Someone has accurately said, “To live above with those we love, oh, that will be Glory. To live below with those we know, now that’s another story.”
One thing that strikes me about the New Testament is that it doesn’t hide the fact that there were problems in the early church. Yes, in the book of Acts we read of one advancement after another.
• Yet hand-in-hand with advancement and victories, there was also CONFLICT:
• In chapter 6, there was conflict over perceived unfair treatment of minorities and neglect of the widows. – This led to the selection of the first deacons.
• In chapter 9 we read of discord over allowing the new convert Saul to minister in the church (Saul, you remember, had previously been a persecutor of the church).
• Acts 11 tells of disunity over Peter winning a gentile to Christ.
• And in chapter 15 there was doctrinal disagreement and later in the chapter, a personal clash between Paul and Barnabas over Barnabas’s nephew, John Mark.
The key thing to see is that disagreements and problems WILL arise in a church. The question is 1) ARE these problems dealt with and resolved? and 2) HOW are they dealt with and resolved?
It’s vitally important that God’s people seek to live together in unity and accord. Discord and disunity will turn the lost away from Christ.
Jesus prayed in John 17:21 – “…that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
What will help the lost to believe that God sent Christ?—Unity among God’s people. So—how can we have unity at Grace Baptist Church? Let me share two steps to being likeminded, or in one accord, in Grace Baptist Church
What I’m about to share with you is one of the most important truths for a local church to hear, so listen very carefully. When someone in a church offends you, generally speaking, God wants you to quickly forgive and let it go, and not be prickly and sensitive.
The writer of Proverbs says, “He who covers a transgression seeks love; but he who repeats a matter separates very friends.” (Proverbs 17:9)
What sometimes happens when someone says or does something that offends us is that we don’t just let it go, but we go and gossip to someone about it. Folks, that’s just plain sin! If you can, just let it go and forgive-and-forget and go on as love demands. There are just too many really important things to be concerned about than to nurse personal offences.
1 Peter 4:8 says, “And above all things have fervent love among yourselves: for love covers a multitude of sins.”
But if someone has unjustly treated you, or you just can’t overlook it, or you feel that it will impugn your testimony in some way, Jesus taught us three steps to follow:
STEP NUMBER 1 is a private meeting to discuss it – Matthew 18:15 – “Now if your brother…sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he…hears you, you have gained your brother.”
Notice the words, “Tell him his fault between you and him ALONE,” not get on the phone and tell Sister Floozy and Brother Scuttlebutt about it! Jesus says, “Go and work things out between you and that person alone.”
STEP 2 is a meeting with the offender and one or two witnesses – Matthew 18:16 – “But if he will not hear thee, then take one or two more with you, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.”
Normally, two believers can come to a loving reconciliation of forgiveness or restoration, but sometimes not. So, Jesus says to go with one or two others to serve as witnesses. Based on Paul’s teaching about confronting a believer in sin in Galatians 6:1, these witnesses should be spiritual people, not just people who’ll take your side.