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Summary: THE KEY TO HARMONY IN THE BODY OF CHRIST

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BIG IDEA:

THE KEY TO HARMONY IN THE BODY OF CHRIST IS:

- BEING CHRISTLIKE IN OUR CHARACTER AND ATTITUDE TOWARDS ONE ANOTHER

- BEING PRODUCTIVE IN MINISTERING THE WORD TO ONE ANOTHER

- BEING MOTIVATED BY A DESIRE TO PLEASE HIM IN EVERYTHING

(AND BEING THANKFUL THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE PROCESS)

INTRODUCTION

How should we then live with one another? Family relationships can be messy if our attitude is

not right. Coming up on the holiday season … special times of getting together with our extended family ... same types of attitudes of love and rule of peace that make for harmony in our family is needed in the family of God

I. (:12-14) PUT ON CHRISTLIKE ATTRIBUTES (ESPECIALLY LOVE) IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS IN THE BODY OF CHRIST

A. Understand What Makes Christians So Special

1. Elect (Chosen) of God

What makes my little girl so “Precious” to me? = a special gift of God

In what sense did God choose us? We chose Him because He first chose us;

cf. parallel to how Israel was chosen as a special nation

2. Holy – set apart from a sinful world and dedicated to God

God is the one who accomplished this – true of us positionally; becoming true in our experience; will be our nature forever

3. Beloved – objects of God’s matchless agape love

1 John 4:19 “We love, because He first loved us”

Application: if they are so special to God, they should be special to one another also

B. Take Action = Put On

this is not a passive activity; does not happen automatically

C. Specific Christlike Attributes: (Expressions of Love)

1. heart of compassion – opposite of insensitivity, callousness

in ancient thought the viscera were regarded as the seat of the emotional life;

sensitivity to those who are suffering or in need

a heart of pity

2. kindness – opposite of harshness and severity

one’s attitude and actions towards others; sweetness of disposition

Stedman: “Kindness is action that reveals compassion, action that arises out of a sense of sympathy. It can take many different forms—a smile, a kind word a pat

on the shoulder, an invitation to lunch, an offer of help.”

3. humility – opposite of arrogance and pride

one’s attitude towards self

Don’t consider yourself to be superior to others

Stedman: “A modern proverb puts it well, we are to remember that ‘all of us are made in the same mold, only some are moldier than others!’”

4. gentleness – opposite of rough and ungracious; meekness

“meekness under control”

Stedman: “It is real strength, but it does not have to display itself or show off how strong it is”

Vaughan: “delicate consideration for the rights and feelngs of others”

Moule: “willingness to make concessions”

5. patience – opposite of revenge or anger

Stedman: “the enduring of another’s exasperating conduct without flying into a rage” = the negative side of the equation

a. “bearing with one another” – the positive side of the equation

encourage and support each other

b. “forgiving one another”

Scope: “whoever has a complaint against anyone”

Standard: “just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you”

6. love

most important attribute

“perfect bond of unity” = theme Paul is driving at in this section

Thomas: “Love is regarded as the means of uniting and holding together all the elements of the true believer’s life, the various Christian graces already mentioned; and it will lead to the ripeness or maturity which is the invariable meaning of the New Testament word for perfection. Love is thus recognized as supreme, related as it is to everything else in the Christian life.”

II. (:15) PRACTICE CHRISTLIKE ATTITUDES (PEACE AND THANKFULNESS) IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS IN THE BODY OF CHRIST

A. We should be characterized by Peace (The Rule of Peace – Vaughan)

1. Nature and Source of this Peace = “peace of Christ”

2. Function and Benefit of this Peace – let it “rule in your hearts’.act as umpire

Lucas: “Paul is not speaking here of an inner sense of peace as God’s gift to those who are in his will: this would make little sense of the second half of the sentence which must control the interpretation, especially if this interpretation is to be kept in line with the context… It is inconceivable that those who share with one another the benefits of that great peace-making work of the cross (1:20) should live with any hatred or contempt for each other in their hearts.”

3. Unifying Purpose and Effect of this Peace – “to which indeed you were called in one body” – gets back to our divine calling as the elect of God

B. We should be characterized by Thankfulness – “and be thankful”

dominant attitude that pervades this section

III. (:16) PASTOR ONE ANOTHER WITH THE RESOURCES OF THE WORD OF CHRIST

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