Summary: We have seen where spiritual transformation will make us like Christ, even to other believers. But why should we place so much emphasis on believers getting along with each other?
WHY SHOULD BELIEVERS GET ALONG?
I. Discipleship Demands It (vs. 1-2)
A. An Obligation
1. ‘Ought’ is the past tense of ‘owe’ in Old English. Both words have the spiritual pronunciation.
2. The HCSB renders this “we have an obligation”.
3. It is not something we ‘should’ do; it is something we must do.
B. A Responsibility
1. Pleasing others here is a determined adjustment of our lifestyle to whatever will contribute to the spiritual good of the other person. We are not to cater to the narrowest member of our fellowship, or to allow ourselves to be dominated by disorderly people. But there are times when for the sake of others we forego a course of action to which we are perfectly entitled.
2. “Fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal. Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:2-4 (HCSB)
3. Edification means ‘building up’. It is our responsibility to build disciples of Christ. That is Discipleship.
II. Christ Modeled It (vs. 3-4)
A. Imitating Christ
1. Paul’s quote here is from Psalm 69:9 where King David laments about those who persecute him for being Jehovah’s servant.
2. It was prophetic of how Jesus would and did bear the reproach of many for living the life of God here on earth.
3. Repeatedly we read in the gospels of Christ saying that His desire was to please the Father:
a. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 6:38 (HCSB)
b. “The One who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, because I always do what pleases Him.” John 8:29 (HCSB)
4. Jesus’ greatest desire for us was to be One as He and the Father were and are One.
a. “I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message. May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me.” John 17:20-21 (HCSB)
b. The quality of our unity either attracts or repels the world.
B. Scripture is a Guide
1. Psalm 133
III. True Worship Requires It (vs. 5-7)
A. Unity Affects Our Worship
1. We cannot sound forth His glory amidst discords and contentions.
2. We cannot worship together and be at war with one another!
3. Psalm 133
a. God’s blessing here is pictured two-fold:
b. Aaron’s consecration to God’s service of worship
c. God’s blessing of provision for the land (dew, precipitation)
B. Imitate Christ
1. God is here pictured as the “God of patience and comfort” (vs. 5) and we are to be like Him.
2. “According to” or in the same way as Christ Jesus.
3. “As Christ also received us” (vs. 7)