Sermons

Summary: In this message we will look at how to have harmony in the church. (Ephesians - 7)

"THE WALK OF HARMONY PART I"

"HARMONY IN THE CHURCH, WHEN CHRISTIAN DISAGREE"

TEXT: EPHESIANS 5:21-6:4/ROMANS 14 & 15

INTRODUCTION

THE THEME VERSE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF PAUL’S LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN EPHESUS IS EPHESIANS 4:1,

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

WE ARE COMMANDED TO WALK IN A WORTHY MANNER.... WE ARE TO WALK WE ARE TO LIVE OUR LIVES, TO LIVE OUR LIVES IN A WAY THAT BRINGS HONOR TO THE LORD... PAUL IN THE 2ND HALF OF EPHESIANS DESCRIBES IN GRETA DETAIL 4 WALKS WE MUST WALK IF OUR LIVES ARE TO BE LIVED IN A MANNER WORTHY OF THE LORD.

IN EPH 4:1-4:16 -- PAUL EXHORTS US TO WALK IN UNITY... UNITY IS A WALK THAT BRINGS HONOR TO THE LORD. TO WALK IN UNITY IS TO WALK IN A MANNER WORTHY OF THE CALLING WE HAVE RECEIVED...

AND THIS WALK OF UNITY IS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH OUR -- DEVOTION TO A CHRISTLIKE BEHAVIOR (IF WE ARE MORE LIKE JESUS THERE WILL BE GREATER UNITY) -- THROUGH AN AGREEMENT ON ESSENTIAL DOCTRINES (IN ESSENTIAL UNITY -- IN MATTER OF OPINION LIBERTY AND IN ALL THINGS LOVE) -- THROUGH A COMMITMENT TO PERSONAL SERVICE (IF WE EACH ARE BUSY SERVING THE KING, WE WON’T HAVE ANY TIME LEFT TO CRITICIZE HIS SUBJECTS (ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE OR ARE NOT DOING) - AND IF WE ARE EACH COMMITTED TO PERSONAL SERVICE THE FEW WILL NOT BE OVER BURDENED -- "FROM HIM THE WHOLE BODY, JOINED AND HELD TOGETHER BY EVERY SUPPORTING LIGAMENT, GROWS AND BUILDS ITSELF UP IN LOVE, AS EACH PART DOES ITS WORK..")-- EPH 4:16. AND THIS UNITY IS ALSO MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH A DEVOTION TO A COMMON PURPOSE...(TO BRING -- BUILD AND SEND).

THEN IN EPHESIANS 4:17-5:20 PAUL EXHORTS US TO WALK IN PURITY -- TELLING US TO TAKE OFF OUR GRAVECLOTHES.... TO TAKE OFF THOSE ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS THAT ARE INCOMPATIBLE WITH CHRISTIANITY... AFTER WHICH WE NEED TO GET OUR CLOTHES ON --- WE NEED TO CLOTHES OURSELVES WITH THE JESUS CHARACTER OF CHRIST....

IF YOU WERE PRESENT DURING THESE 2 MESSAGES ARE YOU NOW TO A GREATER EXTENT:

STRIVING TO WALK IN UNITY?

STRIVING TO WALK IN PURITY?

TODAY, WE WANT TO TALK ABOUT A 3RD WALK THAT WE MUST WALK, "THE WALK OF HARMONY"...

HARMONY IS DEFINED IN WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY AS: A TUNEFUL SOUND, THE COMBINATION OF SIMULTANEOUS MUSICAL NOTES IN A CHORD, PLEASING OR CONGRUENT ARRANGEMENT OF PARTS, ACCORD (IE LIVING IN HARMONY WITH ONES NEIGHBOR), INTERNAL CALM; TRANQUILITY..

HERE IS MY DEFINITION; HARMONY IS WHEN THINGS ARE RUNNING SMOOTH, WHEN THEY ARE WORKING IN THE WAY THAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO WORK...

AND IN EPHESIANS 5:21-6:9 PAUL EXHORTS US TO WALK IN HARMONY AS HE TALKS ABOUT 2 AREAS OF OUR LIFE WHERE WE NEED TO ENSURE THAT HARMONY REIGNS -- IN THE HOME AND IN THE WORK PLACE...

NOW, THERE IS A 3RD PLACE WHERE HARMONY NEEDS TO ABOUND THAT IS NOT MENTIONED BY PAUL IN THAT PASSAGE, BUT THIS HARMONY IS CERTAINLY ALLUDED TO IN PASSAGES LIKE EPH 4:3; "MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT THROUGH THE BOND OF PEACE..."

THE 3RD PLACE WHERE HARMONY NEEDS TO PREVAIL IS IN THE CHURCH.. PETER THAT GREAT FISHER OF MEN WRITES IN 1 PETER 3:8;

"FINALLY ALL OF YOU, LIVE IN HARMONY WITH ONE ANOTHER...."

THERE IS TO BE HARMONY IN THE LORD’S CHURCH...

THIS IS THE WK OF HARMONY I WANT TO TALK ABOUT TODAY - HARMONY IN THE CHURCH, NEXT WEEK WE WILL TALK ABOUT HARMONY IN THE HOME AND IN THE WORK PLACE....

NOW WHAT IS IT THAT WILL LEAD TO HARMONY (UNITY) IN THE CHURCH, WELL ONE ESSENTIAL KEY WE TALKED ABOUT DURING OUR DISCUSSION OF "THE WALK OF UNITY" -- THERE WILL BE HARMONY IN THE CHURCH WHEN EACH OF US IS DEVOTED TO A CHRISTLIKE BEHAVIOR; PAUL DESCRIBES SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS BEHAVIOR; "BE COMPLETELY HUMBLE AND GENTLE, BE PATIENT, BEARING WITH ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE..."

WHEN WE EACH ARE MORE LIKE JESUS -- THERE WILL BE HARMONY.

BUT THOUGH THIS IS TRUE AND IS A GOOD KEY TO HARMONY, IT HAS ONE BASIC FLAW TO IT; WE ARE NOT LIKE JESUS -- WE DO NOT ALWAYS CLOTH OURSELVES WITH HIS CHARACTER (HIS ACTIONS, ATTITUDES AND MOTIVES).

AND THIS LEADS TO PROBLEMS WITH UNITY BECAUSE ANYTIME IMPERFECT PEOPLE TRY TO WALK TOGETHER -- THERE WILL BE DISAGREEMENTS. DISAGREEMENTS OVER OPINIONS AND DISAGREEMENTS OVER PERSONALITY...

WITH THIS IN MIND I WANT TO TALK ABOUT A SECOND KEY TO ENSURE THAT WE HAVE HARMONY IN THE CHURCH -- THIS KEY IS TO KNOW WHAT WE ARE TO DO WHEN THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH HARMONY -- TO KNOW WHAT WE ARE TO DO AND HOW WE ARE TO WHEN CHRISTIANS DISAGREE...AND WHEN THERE ARE DISAGREEMENTS AMONG CHRISTIANS...

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