Summary: Unity, oneness, the church, purpose
THE MIRACLE OF UNITY
1 Cor. 1-10 (p807) August 29, 2010
"I APPEAL TO YOU BROTHERS, IN TH ENAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST THAT ALL OF YOU AGREE WITH ONE ANOTHER SO THAT THERE BE NO DIVISIONS AMONG YOU AND THAT YOU MAY BE PERFECTLY UNITED IN MIND AND THOUGHT".
"Do you believe in Miracles? YES!"
That is one of the most famous calls in sports broadcasting history. Announcer Al Micheals yelled it as the U.S. Hockey team pulled off one of the greatest upsets in sports history.
Their defeat of the Soviet Hockey team is referred to as "The Miracle on Ice"
The movie "Miracle" tells the story of the 1980 United States Hockey team that shocked the world. Two days after beating the Russians, the U.S. defeated Finland and won the gold medal.
Why was it such a "Miracle?"
Because the soviet hockey team had held the gold medal for the last 20 years…they were the most dominant hockey team in the world. Shortly before the Olympics they had destroyed an All-Star teams made up of NHL players.
The American team was all amateurs at that time, mostly college kids. They were seeded twelve in the tournament. No one, except them believed they could win.
Herb Brooks was charged with assembling and coaching this group of amateurs. Before the dream of Gold could become a reality, he had to unify a team of guys who came from different backgrounds, different colleges and different parts of the country. He had to maximize their energy knowing they came with their own approaches and styles of play. Unity did not come easily. When they first sat down together he asked them "who do you play for? and each player responded with the name of his college team.
Her Brooks knew that had to change…so after a halfhearted performance in an exhibition game he had them do iron sprints on skates…over and over again until they ere beyond exhaustion. During the brutal workout he yelled "who do you play for?... and one player responded "I play for the United States of American". It was a defining moment…and with that he dismissed them. The group of individual became one. They no longer saw themselves as playing for different schools, but as playing for the U.S.A. They became a team. Each player committed themselves to be unified for a greater cause. The energy and contribution of each individual became maximized. It was beautiful the impact was great…A miracle was accomplished.
If we are to be a church with a powerful purpose we have to believe in miracles…
I. THE MIRACLE OF UNITY
The sacrificed death of Christ makes all believers one with God. It's called atonement. At-One-ment. It’s the miracle of salvation a holy God and sinful man unified.
But God also desires the miracle of Unity for His church and a lot more is at stake than a gold medal…eternity depends on it, lives depend on it. If a church is not unified it divides and ministry suffers and the outside world watches.
In the last days of Jesus life. He ached for this unity to exist. Here's what he prayed.
"Father may they all be one, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me." (John 17:21)
That's a powerful request…"God let my followers be as unified as you and I are".
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are completely one. They are inseparable. Jesus final hours were spent praying that he would be that intimate, that united. Unity reflects the glory and character of God because God is unified.
Jesus ever continues
John 17: 22-23 (p. 766)
Unity not only reflects God's character but it gets the attention of the world…whether it’s a hockey team, a Ryder cup team or a church.
Jesus said people will know that we are hid disciples by the love we have for one another.
Unity is powerful. Its' magnetic--and the impact of unity is great.
A church that is united around the same powerful purpose is an answer to Jesus prayer. That we would be one as He and the Father are ONE.
And Unity is an attitude we choose that becomes an action.
II A UNIFYING ATTITUDE THAT TAKES ACTION
Herb Brooks was a leader that brought individuals to a place in their lives where they had to choose…do I play for myself or do I play for the U.S.A.
The apostle Paul asked the Corinthians in the name of Jesus Christ to agree with one another…why…so there would be no delusions and their would be perfect unity in their minds and thoughts.
Paul had been informed, by some in Chloe's household that there were quarrels among people in the church---these quarrels divided the church. Unity is impossible when you're fighting over selfish stuff…like I follow Peter…I follow Paul… I follow Appollos…