Summary: Unity within the church is vital to the success of the church.
Principles to Build Upon: Harmony
The last few weeks we have discussed principles that we must build upon. If we are going to grow as a church there are several pillars that we must build upon. We have talked about the importance of maintaining the Truth, of worshipping in spirit and in truth, of true fellowship with one another, and on the importance of every member being involved in the work of the kingdom. This morning I would like to highlight another vital pillar that we must build upon, and that is a harmony within the church. I believe it is vital that we be working together and working towards the same end.
Most often when we hear the word harmony we think of a musical term, which is defined as “the sound resulting from the simultaneous sounding of two or more tones consonant with each other.” When there is harmony it sounds good. However, the opposite of harmony is dissonance. Dissonance can be defined as a “simultaneous sounding of tones that produces a feeling of tension or unrest and a feeling that further resolution is needed.” When there is dissonance the sound is not good.
When there is harmony in the church it is good and great things can be accomplished because we are on the same page, but when there is dissonance the church is greatly hindered. Psalm 133 says, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.” However, we know that often times seeds of discord are sown and a sense of harmony and unity within the body of Christ is lost. I have to believe that one of the primary ways the Devil attacks the church is in an attempt to disrupt the harmony that is there.
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.”
When this is really the case the church is on dangerous ground and essentially loses her ability to make a difference in the world. Many churches are a picture of discord and dissonance. It isn’t uncommon to hear stories of people within the church seeking to advance their own private agenda, to cause strife, stir up dissension, and attack leaders within the church and to disrupt unity at any cost. I believe when harmony is disturbed in the church it is a serious thing, which should not be taken lightly.
It is my suggestion this morning that in order for the church to grow and for the kingdom to advance we must live in harmony with one another, we must show the world that we are different in how we act and how we treat one another. This living in harmony does not mean that we compromise on matters of faith, but it does mean that we understand that we are not fighting against one another in the church, but that we are on the same team, headed for the same place and working towards the same goal.
Again, we see a great model in the book of Acts about the church living in harmony with one another. I am sure they had disagreements and disputes, but yet they were still of one mind. This does not mean that they were not individuals or that some were simply yes men, but it means that they could humble themselves and not always get their way. It means they understood that the kingdom was bigger and greater than themselves. If the church of today could learn to be of one mind, then I believe it would make a clear impression on the world, but today the church is greatly hindered by partisan spirits, by dissenters and divisive people, by the proud and arrogant who refuse to back down on matters of opinion, and by those who sow seeds of discord within the body of Christ.