Summary: God wants His church to be holy and pure, to be in unity, and to love one another.
I. God wants His church to be holy and pure. 1 Peter 1:14-16, Phil. 2:14-16
1 Peter 1:14–16 (NIV84)
14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Philippians 2:14–16 (NIV84)
14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.
1. To be holy means to be set apart for God’s purposes.
2. That starts with our moral character.
3. That is why God’s word implores us not to conform to our old evil desires.
i. We start with our basic obedience to not doing evil but to do what is good.
ii. This is not the ultimate goal but the first step.
4. Then we move to not only avoiding evil, but doing good for God’s glory.
i. Even this is not the ultimate goal.
5. The ultimate goal of being holy is to be available and identified as a person who belongs to God.
i. Everything you do is worshipful and points people to God – Your work, your family, your hobbies, on and on.
ii. You are seen as a person who is God focused, God driven, and God glorified.
1. The society in Philippi could best be described as a crooked and depraved generation.
i. The root cause of this condition is self centeredness and greed.
ii. Israel had experienced this problem even while Moses was still alive as this is a quote from Deuteronomy. Moses is giving his farewell address and is complaining how the Israelites had become a crooked and depraved generation.
iii. Their problem – always wanted what they wanted instead of what God wanted!
2. Paul was warning the church to be totally different.
i. Purity comes when we deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus.
ii. Purity is seen when we see the church as a place where other people’s needs are met and my purpose for being there is to meet those needs.
3. The difficult part is to be this way in everything!!!
i. For each of us to discern and act on things in the church from a desire of what is best for everyone else.
ii. Arguing and complaining most often arises when we are self centered rather than others focused!!!!
Holiness and purity in our lives will take care of the selfishness and self centeredness.
Let God make you sensitive to every thread of self centeredness in you that keeps you from being holy and pure.
II. God wants His church to display unity. John 17:20-21, 23; 1 Cor. 12:25; Eph. 4:3
John 17:20–21, 23 (NIV84)
Jesus Prays for All Believers
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, 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.
23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
1 Corinthians 12:24b-25 (NIV84)
24 But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
Ephesians 4:3 (NIV84)
3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
A. Jesus Prayer
1. This is the only time in Jesus’ life that we have His perspective on the church that would come as a result of the disciples sharing the gospel.
2. The one thing he prays for is for the church to be in unity.
3. What is this unity?
i. He tells us – for us to be in the same kind of relationship with Him and with one another in the same way that He and His heavenly Father are in relationship together.
ii. THe basis of this relationship between Jesus and the Heavenly Father is obedience. Jesus has done everything exactly the way God wants it done on earth.
iii. He taught us to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. He lived out this prayer!!!