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Summary: We live out oneness by standing firm in the good news about Jesus.

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STUBBORNLY FIRM:

Living the Unity We Have Been Given

Ephesians 4.4-6

S: Doctrine

C: Come ... Together

Th: Living the Unity We Have Been Given

Pr: WE LIVE OUT ONENESS BY STANDING FIRM IN THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT JESUS.

?: How? How is the good news defined?

KW: Ways

TS: We will find in our study of the good news about Jesus three ways it has been defined.

Type: Propositional

The ____ way is…

I. PAULINE THEOLOGY

II. HISTORIC DEFINITION

III. 20TH CENTURY SEPARATION

PA: How is the change to be observed?

• Live the unity we have been given.

• Don’t ever give up on the uniqueness of Jesus.

• Always find God’s Word faithful.

Version: ESV

RMBC 07 January 07 AM

INTRODUCTION:

I think that we would all agree that communicating clearly is important.

When it does not happen, there can be some interesting results.

For example,

Ill Communication (H)

When Raymond Ricci was general manager of a Russian-American radio station in Moscow, they sometimes had to record bilingual commercials for advertisers. Once, when Billy Graham brought his crusade to Russia, they had an ad script that included the phrase "The body is weak, but the spirit is strong."

They wrote the commercial out in Eng¬lish, and Ray’s secretary translated it into Russian. Later Ray asked his program director, Vasily, to review it.

"We have a slight problem," Vasily said, chuck¬ling when he came to that phrase. "In Russian, it says, ’He can’t stand up, but he has good vodka.’"

Well, the translation process broke down there, that is for certain.

We do, though, want to be clear in our communication this morning as we start out 2007.

Hopefully, you will have noticed by now that…

1. Our theme for the year is “Come … Together.”

As a staff, we were driven to this specific theme for two main reasons.

Our latest results from Natural Church Development showed that we still have work to do in the area of worship, so we know we need to work on that some more.

Along with that, we know that a corresponding area that we must grow in is the area of unity, which is a matter of attitude and effort.

Unity does not happen if we possess attitudes that are critical and complaining.

And unity does not happen if we are not willing to work at it.

At Randall, we have two basic philosophies that drive our planning in regard to worship.

The first is that even though the architecture of our room makes it look like that those on the stage are the performers and those in the seats are the audience, there is in reality only an “audience of one.”

It is God who is the audience, and all that we do, whether in our seats or here on the platform, it is to be done in such a way that pleases God, or else we fail in our worship.

The second philosophy is that we purposely design our worship services to be a blend of styles, especially musically, which includes traditional, contemporary and classical elements.

We follow this practice in the belief that no one style should dominate, but rather our worship should reflect the heart-responses of our various generations.

2. Our theme for the month is “Living the Unity We Have Been Given.”

I have developed this theme from the message John Fischer gave us back in September based on the same passage from which today’s study is based.

The church has been given unity.

Randall has been given unity.

We don’t create it.

But what we do or do not do is preserve it.

In other words, unity is like marriage.

It takes work.

It takes active participation on our part.

So, we will either do our part in making it happen, or we will not.

It is a matter of the will.

In the weeks coming, we will be discussing how unity is related to the subjects of love, worship, and attitude.

Today, though, we are speaking of unity around the message.

And here is the proposition of the day…

3. WE LIVE OUT ONENESS BY STANDING FIRM IN THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT JESUS.

John MacArthur has made the point that “practical oneness is based on spiritual oneness.”

I agree with this.

Our first point of unity is the good news about Jesus, the gospel.

This is what drives us here at Randall, and it is why the study of the Bible is an absolute priority for us.

So, today, we are asking the question of how is this good news described and defined?

Well…

4. We will find in our study of the gospel three ways it has been defined.

The message today is slightly different than most that I give, as I will be a bit more doctrinal and historical (not hysterical).

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