Summary: Unity in the body of Christ is one of the greatest needs of our day.
UNITED WE STAND
A phrase we have heard a lot since September 11, 2001. A phrase that speaks of looking to what we have in common. As a nation we stand united in our patriotism, liberty, and desire to see a safe place to live.
From that great philosopher Charlie Brown “In a Peanuts cartoon Lucy demanded that Linus change TV channels, threatening him with her fist if he didn’t. “What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?” asks Linus. “These five fingers,” says Lucy. “Individually they’re nothing but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold.” “Which channel do you want?” asks Linus. Turning away, he looks at his fingers and says, “Why can’t you guys get organized like that?” Source unknown
I. BLOOM IN UNITY VS. 1
A) Paul starts with the term “therefore”. Chapter four is built upon the foundation of chapters 1-3. There we found out about the riches we have in Christ
The power of salvation being grace
The purpose of our creation being to serve the Lord.
B) He comes in humility—calls himself a prisoner
You can’t force unity…..we can plead and pray for it.
C) Walk worthy (suitably or in a manner worthy of) your vocation, calling, purpose.
It should not be a prideful thing but it can be a very fulfilling thing to bloom where God has planted us. We must put aside our selfish and sinful motives and surrender to him.
II. BOW IN PREFERENCE. VS. 2
A) Phil 2:1-5
B) I Thes 11:5-13
What is the theme of these passages? Put others first…….Treat others with the love of God.
Lowliness—Having a humble opinion of oneself. You want a challenge? You want to grow? Are you willing to be honest? Ask someone you trust to tell you the truth if you come across as arrogant and proud. Be willing to receive the answer.
Meekness—having a gentle spirit and a gentle way of dealing with others. That’s just the way I am is no excuse for sinful behavior.
Longsuffering—having a patient spirit, being constant in your love for Christ and love for others.
Forbearing one another in love---to hold one another up in love. I John 4:7-8
III. BUILD A HOUSE OF PEACE VS. 3
A) Endeavoring means to exert oneself……It means that we give it our best effort.
Ill. Have you ever seen or heard the stories of people lifting cars or heavy beams in an emergency situation? To endeavor is that idea. With all our strength we are attempting to promote love and peace among God’s children.
B) “of the Spirit” notice the word Spirit is capitalized. When we are in a spirit of unity and love, as God’s children, we are in the spirit of the Spirit. When we are decisive and proud, demanding our own way, we are working in the spirit of Satan.
Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers [meeting] together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God