Summary: The thought that occurred to me this week is that we as believers are often satisfied flying “coach” when our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died and rose again to offer us a “first class” ticket.
Introduction: Today we are continuing our series of messages on the importance of love and unity in the Church. When we began two weeks ago we saw that the key to unity within the Body of Christ is love. That is why Paul said in Colossians 3:14—“Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity.” The key truth that is guiding our study is:
Love and Unity go “hand-in-hand” without Love there will be no Unity.
Today we are going to build on that theme, and our catch phrase which we put out on the marquee this week is: Upgrade to First Class!
How many of you have ever flown “first class” on an airline? Well, I’ve never flown “first class” but I have flown “business class” which on an International flight is just about as close to “first class” as you can get.
I was returning from the preparation meetings for an evangelistic mission project in Spain, and when we got to the airport we found out that there was an earlier flight leaving for the U.S. and decided to try and get on. One of our associates who traveled all the time said that if the flight didn’t have room, to ask if there was room in “business.” To make a long story short, we got on the flight, got bumped up to “business” and from my perspective, got treated like royalty on that 10 hour flight.
The thought that occurred to me this week is that we as believers are often satisfied flying “coach” when our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died and rose again to offer us a “first class” ticket. Just as it wouldn’t make any sense to sit in the middle seat between two loud obnoxious people in “coach” when you have a “first class” ticket—it is equally silly to settle for “coach” or “second-class” living when we have a “first class” Savior.
Today I want to address to another of the “first class” qualities from this list of unity builders that Paul gave to the Colossian believers. Before we do, let’s take a quick look at the qualities we’ve already addressed. Paul listed 8 important qualities that should be displayed in the lives of those who are followers of Jesus Christ, and so far we’ve looked at: LOVE, COMPASSION, & KINDNESS.
It all begins with LOVE which is the perfect bond on unity. We have identified LOVE with the expression: Give of Yourself like Jesus Gives. And our application challenge is: BE LIKE CHRIST.
The second quality we looked at was COMPASSION. And we saw that COMPASSSION requires us to Feel like Jesus Feels. The application point we made was that we need to: BE SENSITIVE.
The third quality that will build unity in the Church is KINDNESS. To make that a reality we have to Treat Others like Jesus Treats Us. This is where things started getting a little tougher, but we applied this principle to God’s Word: BE NICE!
Today we are going to focus on three more qualities that I believe can build unity within the Church, and can help us move up from a “coach” congregation to a “first class” body of believers sold out to serve our Savior Jesus Christ.
Text: Colossians 3:12-14
Christ-like Qualities that Can Bring Unity in the Church
When I consider the challenge of HUMILITY within the Church the first thing that comes to my mind is that we all need a PERSPECTIVE check. How we “see” something greatly influences our attitude towards it. Let’s use work as an example. If we look at a job as menial, hard, thankless, and low-paying then our attitude about that job will reflect that. The result would probably be that we would consider that job “beneath” us, or not “representative” of our ability. Which means we think somebody else ought to carry the shovel and scoop up the horse poop after the parade because we’re better than that!
There are thousands of highly educated, expertly trained individuals who remain unemployed because they have an inflated image of their own self-worth. I’m not saying that a person shouldn’t look for a job that fits their qualifications, but to go without, even to the point of causing their families to suffer and you and I to foot the bill simply because they’re “too good” for certain jobs is wrong! That is a HUMILITY issue.
It would be great if the only place we had to worry about that was in the workplace, but its not. The same issue is present within the Christ’s workplace—the Church. To use the same illustration, there is some “horse poop” that needs to be shoveled around here. If you aren’t actively serving here in the Church you need to ask yourself: why? Is it a HUMILITY issue?