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Summary: In these verses Paul talks about 4 great truths that will unite us. (Ephesians - 4)

"UNITED WE STAND!"

TEXT: EPHESIANS 4:1-16

INTRODUCTION

SO FAR WE HAVE STUDIED THE FIRST 3 CHAPTERS OF EPHESIANS. AND AS IS CUSTOMARY IN PAUL’S WRITINGS IN THE EARLY PART OF THIS LETTER HE DEALT WITH DOCTRINE (TEACHINGS) AND IN THE LATER PART HE WILL MAKE PRACTICAL APPLICATION.... PAUL IS AN EXPERT AT BALANCING BOTH DOCTRINE AND DUTY.

IN THE FIRST 3 CHAPTERS OF EPHESIANS THE KEY WORD HAS BEEN WEALTH AS PAUL TIME AND TIME AGAIN HAS EMPHASIZED OUR RICHES IN CHRIST.... AND TODAY AS WE BEGIN CHAPTER 4 WE WILL SEE THAT PAUL NOW BEGINS TALKING NOT ABOUT OUR RICHES IN CHRIST -- BUT RATHER ABOUT OUR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN CHRIST... THE KEY WORD IN THE LAST 1/2 OF EPHESIANS IS "WALK"....

WE FIND THIS WORD IN EPH 4:1, 4:17, 5:2, 5:8 AND 5:15...

BUT PLEASE NOTE HOWEVER, THAT IN THE NIV THE TRANSLATORS CHOOSE TO USE THE WORD "LIVE" INSTEAD, .... THEY DID THIS BECAUSE THEY FELT IT WOULD MAKE IT EASIER TO UNDERSTAND PAUL’S POINT.... I PREFER THE WORD WALK BECAUSE SCRIPTURE OFTEN DESCRIBES ONE’S RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AS WALK, EVEN AS FAR BACK AS ENOCH IN GENESIS 5....

THE THEME VERSE OF THESE LAST 3 CHAPTERS OF EPHESIANS IS 4:1;

"AS A PRISONER OF THE LORD, THEN, I URGE YOU TO LIVE A LIFE (OR TO WALK) WORTHY OF THE CALLING YOU HAVE RECEIVED...."

THE ADVERB WORTHY COMES FROM AN ADJECTIVE MEANING "HAVING THE SAME WEIGHT; OF LIKE VALUE." IN THE BALANCE OF LIFE OUR WALK (OUR DAILY LIFESTYLE ) SHOULD HAVE "THE SAME WEIGHT/OR VALUE" AS OUR CALLING.

OUR CALLING AS CHRISTIANS; ETERNAL LIFE, BEING CLOTHED WITH CHRIST, ADOPTION AS SONS, FORGIVENESS AND REDEMPTION OF SINS, ETERNAL LIFE, THE INDWELLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT -- IS CERTAINLY OF GREAT VALUE -- AND WE MUST STRIVE TO MAKE OUR DAILY WALK OF THE SAME WT/VALUE ACCORDING TO GOD’S WORD....

AND AFTER MAKING THIS GENERAL PLEA IN EPH 4:1, PAUL IN

EPH 4:2 THROUGH THE END OF THE LETTER GIVES US 4 PRACTICAL WAYS IN WHICH WE CAN MAKE OUR WALK WORTHY.

OUR WALK WILL BE WORTHY:

IF WE WALK IN UNITY - 4:2-16

IF WE WALK IN PURITY - 4:17 - 5:17

IF WE WALK IN HARMONY --- 5:18 - 6:9

IF WE WALK IN VICTORY ------- 6:10 - 24

OUR MESSAGE FOR TODAY IS "UNITED WE STAND" -- AND NO, I DID NOT GET THE IDEA FROM ROSS PEROT, I GOT IT FROM JESUS CHRIST WHO SAYS IN MK 3:25; "A HOUSE DIVIDED AGAINST IT SELF CAN NOT STAND..." TODAY WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT "UNITY."

UNITY IS DEFINED AS FOLLOWS -- "ONENESS, A CONDITION OF HARMONY; ACCORD..BEING IN AGREEMENT, JOINT ACTION.."

UNITY IS IMPORTANT IN HOMES, MARRIAGES, RELATIONSHIPS, BUSINESSES, SPORTS, GOVERNMENT, IN CHURCHES AND IN CHRISTIANITY.... BUT, THOUGH UNITY IS IMPORTANT -- IT SO VERY OFTEN SEEMS OUT OF REACH, HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY?

A VISITOR TO A MENTAL HOSPITAL WAS ASTONISHED TO NOTE THAT THERE ONLY 3 GUARDS WATCHING OVER 100 DANGEROUS INMATES. HE ASKED HIS GUIDE, "DON’T YOU FEAR THAT THESE PEOPLE WILL OVERPOWER THE GUARDS AND ESCAPE?"

"NO," WAS THE REPLY. "LUNATICS NEVER UNITE."

A BRIEF LOOK IN THE YELLOW PAGES UNDER THE HEADING OF CHURCHES OR A MOMENT OF REFLECTION ON OUR INDIVIDUAL EXPERIENCE IN LIFE AND IN THE CHURCH -- WOULD PROBABLY LEAD US TO THE CONCLUSION THAT WE TOO ARE JUST A BUNCH OF LUNATICS.... THERE IS AN OBVIOUS PROBLEM WITH UNITY.... (118 BRAND NAMES IN TAMPA YELLOW PAGES)

IT IS TRUE THAT UNITED WE STAND.... BUT THE TRAGIC OTHER SIDE OF THE CION IS THAT DIVIDED WE FALL..... AND HOMES, RELATIONSHIPS, CHURCHES AND CHRISTIANITY AS A WHOLE ARE FALLING AT AN ALARMING RATE...

PAUL IN OUR TEXT IS TALKING ABOUT THE WALK OF UNITY -- WHICH IS ONE OF THE WALKS THAT ENABLES US TO LIVE A LIFE WORTHY OF THE CALLING WE HAVE RECEIVED. AND IN THESE 15 VERSE PAUL REVEALS 4 TRUTHS THAT IF THEY WERE NOT MERELY UNDERSTOOD BUT LIVED OUT, THEY WOULD LED TO TRUE UNITY IN THE CHURCH AMONG THOSE WHO CALL THEMSELVES CHRISTIANS..

EPHESIANS 4:2-16

TO HAVE UNITY WE MUST BE:

UNITED THROUGH OUR DEVOTION TO A CHRIST-LIKE BEHAVIOR

DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THIS STATEMENT -- IF WE ALL WERE MORE LIKE CHRIST THINGS WOULD GO A WHOLE LOT SMOOTHER AND THEIR WOULD BE GREATER UNITY IN CHURCHES AND IN HOMES?

AS BEGINS THIS DISCUSSION OF THE WALK OF UNITY HE EXHORTS US TO DEMONSTRATE A CHRISTLIKE BEHAVIOR. IN OUR TEXT PAUL LISTS -- SEVERAL BEHAVIORS OR ATTITUDES WE NEED TO BE DEVOTED TO THAT WILL MAKE US MORE LIKE JESUS, AND WE WILL EASILY SEE THAT THESE WILL GO A LONG WAY IN CONTRIBUTING TO UNITY...

THIS FIRST IS HUMILITY....

A. HUMILITY; IS NOT TO THINK LITTLE OF YOURSELF BUT TO NOT THINK OF YOURSELF AT ALL... IT IS TO "CONSIDER OTHERS BETTER THAN YOURSELVES...TO LOOK NOT ONLY TO OUR OWN INTERESTS BUT THE INTEREST OF OTHERS" (PHILIP 2:3,4); IT IS "NOT THINKING MORE HIGHLY OF OURSELVES THAN WE OUGHT...TO HONOR ONE ANOTHER ABOVE OURSELVES..." (RM 12:3,10).

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Jim Grable

commented on Jul 25, 2008

Your sermon is helphull in my studies The defination of denominations I found interesting. THERE IS TO BE ONE BODY NOT MANY....ONE CHURCH NOT MANY... DENOMINATIONS ARE NOT OF GOD.... DID YOU NO THAT THE WORD DENOMINATIONS MEANS, "TO DIVIDE AND NAME" >>> NOW HOW CAN SOMETHING THAT MEANS TO DIVIDE AND NAME PROMOTE UNITY... IT CAN’T -- IT DOESN’T. Denominations do promote unity, but just among there own churches. I guess as long as we are on this earth we will be divided due to our judging one another and finding fault. By the way, you used the wrong word, it is not NO but KNOW. Where''s the door? I am ready to start a new denomination where wrong words are not permited. Be Blessed, Jim

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