Summary: 1. Don’t slaughter one another (Gal 5:13-15) 2. Don’t be snobby to one another (Gal 5:25-26) 3. Don’t slander one another (James 4:11-12) 4. Don’t sue one another (1 Cor 6:1-7) 5. Don’t speak dishonestly to one another (Col 3:9-14)
Series: God’s Best for One Another
Part 2: Wise Warnings from God
Gal 5:13-26, James 4:11-12, 1 Cor 6:1-7, Col 3:9-14
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - Sept. 6, 2009
*Does God care how we treat one another in His church? -- He most certainly does. We know this because He talks about it over 60 times in His Word.
*Last week we looked at the heart and soul of how we should treat each other.
-It’s all wrapped up in this commandment from the Lord: “Love one another.”
*God wants us to love one another with His kind of unconditional, agape love.
-Loving one another is the core truth for this sermon series, and over the next four Sundays we will look at how to put our love into practice.
*Today we will look at some definite don’ts, -- some things God definitely doesn’t want us to do. Let’s start by reading Gal 5:13-26.
*Would you put poison in a Coke bottle? -- Of course not. You want to warn people about the danger of poison.
*Of course God cares infinitely more about people than we do, so He warns us about some poisonous things.
-God warns Christians about emotional and relational poisons: attitudes and actions that can do great harm to God’s Church, the Body of Christ.
1. The first warning in Gal 5 is this: Don’t slaughter one another.
*It’s incredible to think that Christians could viciously attack each other, but we see this warning in vs. 13-15, where Paul said:
13. For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
14. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’’
15. But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
*Paul used the same Greek words here that they used to talk about wild animals attacking each other. He used those words to warn us against lashing out at each other, wounding each other with vicious words and deeds.
-That kind of behavior has destroyed many churches.
-And it can start with just a little ugliness.
*Scott LeFebvre tells of a church that no longer exists in part because of an incident that took place in the church kitchen one Sunday. A new family had arrived to take part in their first pot-luck luncheon. The wife cheerfully brought her red Jell-o salad to the kitchen. Then she headed to the fellowship hall to join her family.
*Later, when everybody started down the serving line, her husband innocently asked, “Where’s our salad?” -- “There must be some mistake,” she said. “I’ll find out what happened.”
*So, his wife went to the kitchen to check. She got there just in time to see a lady dumping her salad down the garbage disposal.
-“What are you doing?” She shrieked. “That’s my salad!”
*Without batting an eye, the woman looked up and said, “You’re new to this church. You’ll soon learn we use only real whipped cream around here, not Cool Whip.”
*Then she hit the switch and the salad gurgled down the drain. (1)
-Eventually, so did the church.
*That’s why it was necessary for God to warn us: Don’t slaughter one another!
-“If you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!”
*Church, the reason why it’s possible for us to battle with each other is because of the battle within.
-There is great spiritual beauty in every believer, because we are born again with the Spirit and nature of Jesus Christ.
-But there is also a great battle going on in our souls, because the ugliness of our old sinful nature is still in each one of us. The Bible calls our old sinful nature “the flesh,” and it battles for control.
*Paul talked about this battle in vs. 16-17:
16. I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
17. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
*In vs. 19-23, Paul described these two forces battling in our souls. Listen to these verses from the New Living Translation:
19. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure,
20. idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group,
21. envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.