The High Priority of Unity

Chloe told Paul of the church divisions in Corinth. Unity is an important thing. The Holy Spirit draws together. Many differences exist between us. How close can we be to being divisive? Minister according to your gift in fervent love. (Ecclesiastes 7:21-22; 1 Corinthians 1:11-14, Ephesians 4:3, 2 Samuel 1:20-23)

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11467
6:30 PM on 5/6/2018

 

 

P. Schaller

The youth had a great weekend. (Testimonies). What is it we are looking for with young people? What would we like them to know and experience and discover? What I think about is they would experience God. When you experience God, it helps you with temptations. God, I can sense the love, the peace, the joy, – maybe we could say spiritual fire, interest, hunger and when it happens to a young person and they know it’s real, it may go away but they always remember that’s real and I’d like to have it all the time in my life. When young people find Christ and they are moving in faith, it’s so awesome. All these old guys up here have to be replaced one day. That the generations coming up would have a spiritual life and find Christ and in the Bible. That is so good (music). Uplifting, a lot of H.S. energy. He shouted it out; gave it a kick. I’m so happy to be here tonight. I have a few things to share with you. This will be a very good message. Very good message.

Ec. 7, I am blessed in many ways. We had a beautiful service this morning. And following up on it on unity in the Body and how we see each other. We had to build a little bit. I don’t feel like going over it again but I am crucified with Christ, now I live but not I. Christ lives in me and the life I live I live by the faith of the Son of God who loves me and died for me. Now I have a picture of me. Very comely picture. A picture of you and me. Here’s my brother or sister. How do we see each other?

Ec. 7:21, my son Justin is over here. My other son Kyle is over here. That’s amazing. I have two sons. Am I a blessed man? No, I got two daughters, too. Seven grandchildren and my lovely wife is over here. I am blessed. Do you listen to every word that is spoken? No, because people are crazy. They say things they don’t mean. They say things out of jealousy or envy. They say things that maybe they just had a bad day or ate too much pizza and say something they shouldn’t have said.

vs. 21-22. Practical word that is. Have you been perfect with your speech? Have you always said things edifying or expressed your opinion out of order, pride in your heart, put your foot in your heart. Made any mistakes in your judgments or evaluations? Turn to your neighbor and ask those serious questions. Remember I’m finishing up. Don’t take over.

1 Cor 1, I feel like talking to you heart to heart and we’ll get something covered.

vs. 11. There are contentions among you. Where did Paul hear it from? Chloe. She told Paul the church is divided into groups. I want you to do a little exercise now and think of how we can be divided and say unwise things about each other. We could have an opinion that would actually divide us. During the presidential elections, we made efforts to not bring up certain words in the pulpit. We do it now. We aren’t saying words to push buttons in the hearts and minds of people that we lose them to the way we want to say. Not provoke people unto reaction. “I don’t agree with that.” Well, we want you sometimes to say that in your heart. The church is here for our edification and learning. God wants to speak to me by the H.S.

2 Tim 2 if I despise, I despise not man but I despise God. I want to say unity amongst the brethren is high priority.

Eph 4:3, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Is it important to have the unity of the Spirit? In our diagram, what is really the issue in our fellowship is the umbrella of the unity of the H.S. This is where we live drinking the same spirit. There are many differences amongst us. We are not emphasizing them. We overlook them in many cases. There are many differences in your cultural or religious orientation. Maybe you are Baptist and saying why aren’t we baptizing more people? Baptism by water is important but we are also endeavoring for unity in the Body and believing something about each other. One man is from China and one is from the States…one is young and another part of the congregation is older. Some like the music this way and some like it that way. Some that come to the church might be racist and have some opinion and God needs to deal with it in their heart. It happens by the unity of the Spirit, endeavoring for the unity of the Spirit. Don’t you think you could walk into a room with a whole bunch of different people and be critical and talk about weight, height, age, color, accent, religious orientation and opinion on this and that and politics and everything else in the world. It is so. This particular brother or sister is filled with himself and he’s in the church. He is able to be divisive. Intellectual and filled with himself. He can talk about many things to say. In Corinth, Paul saw this.

1 Cor 1:11 contentions among you. Of course there are. Ever been in a non-Spirit filled assembly, non-Spirit filled party of some kind. Ever sat with a group of people looking down their noses at others or saying unkind things behind their back or judgmental or opinionated or selfish or proud? This cannot happen. This isn’t happening with us. It can happen. How close we are to being divisive. How close we can be to going away angry from each other.

vs. 12. I am of Paul and Cephas and Christ. Our tone of voice is kind of firm right now, but it’s fun …there is something that relates to our morning message. I’m not to know anybody after the flesh. This brother in the fellowship let’s say has a disability of some kind or a personality malfunction or criminal background of some kind but he is my brother. He is my brother. Jesus died for him. He is my brother. How do I know him?

1 Peter 4:9-10, let every man minister according to the gift as a good steward of the manifold grace of God. Have fervent love for one another. Love covers a multitude of sins. It’s kind of radical to talk about the guy being a criminal. In this congregation it isn’t! I’m joking, maybe I guess. That’s my point. I don’t know. We don’t hang around talking about those things. We are not investigating those things. We are looking for a fellowship in the Holy Spirit. God died for the guilty people and loves guilty people. He came to save the world. In the last day, my word will judge you.

Jn 12:47 judgment is not here. We are not in this world to judge one another. We are in the world to discern, love, invest, to cover, to edify and encourage and to find the fellowship that is in Christ.

vs. 13. Is Christ divided? What a profound word. I will divide the Body. I will divide myself from my brother. I will not accept him. I will reject him as my brother.

When a brother sins or fails we have Gal 6:1. We walk in the light but this is not saying. Brothers are to be restored in love. Those who are spiritual go to a brother. But I find the carnal go to the brother and judge the brother. “This is what I heard you did.” I don’t do that. “What is your problem?” That’s a carnal man going to another who has a problem and with judgmental attitude and not restoring the brother. I’m out of here. You take your Christianity good bye. I have a problem gambling and then the brother says I can’t believe you are doing that to your family. That is not love. A spiritual brother will say I will pray about it. I don’t know if I talk to him or not. It’s not my place to go to my brother who has a sin problem and put it in his face. A spiritual man may be led. He may be watching and caring for him and praying for him. Is there anything you want to bring up to me? Then he that is spiritual goes to him knowing he has the same capacity and in the spirit of meekness he restores him. I want to carry this with you. I understand it. I am so sorry about that. I believe God will take this away from you. I’m with you. I’ll pray with you on it. I’m with you as your servant. Here’s some things I had to deal with in my life. Do not draw away or leave the church. Draw near. God will deliver you from this thing. I believe it. There is no judgment in that. That is caring about my brother and edifying my brother and sister.

vs. 13. I need to make sure my lousy, stinky, selfish opinions about things need to be couched in a Spirit-filling and I am creative and loving in how I minister to people because Christ is not divided. This hand is not an enemy to this hand. When this hand gets burned, this hand takes ointment and puts it on gently to see it healed. The Body is not divided. We are not enemies of each other. If someone falls into sin, it is a ministry of God to see their restoration. Sometimes problems are not going away immediately. We are looking to Christ with the same love he is loving me with. He’s forgiving me and….why can’t I do that with my brother or sister who is different than me? Why can’t I lay down my life the way he laid down my life for me? Why do I have to be so sensitive about everything? Someone dresses this way and someone that way. Someone has a weird personality of some kind. You’re saying that isn’t right. That shouldn’t be. Have you ever looked in the mirror? We’ve all got crazy things going on in life. We are all upside down. I need to be loved the way God loved us by sending his Son and his Son tolerating our craziness and putting up with us and hitting the big target. I need you. I love you. I send you. I equip you. I ask you to forgive 70 X 7 in one day for the same thing. I’m asking you to be a human being in the midst of human beings and you think you are the only one not crazy. You could be drinking of my spirit and endeavoring for the unity.

vs. 13. 2 Sam. 1, David and Jonathan. The story of how David loved Jonathan and David lamented over Saul. They were both killed in battle. They had a military suicide. Everything around them was closing in. Saul fell on his sword. Jonathan died in the battle also.

vs. 17….how are the mighty fallen. This is what David said about Saul. The beauty of Israel. We heard it from Dr. Stevens years ago. David could talk about Saul his enemy. He hunted me seven years but I forgive him. He was the anointed of God. He was the beauty of Israel. That’s what I remember about Saul. Didn’t he throw a javelin at you twice? I’m not counting. Something deeper here. He was of God. God anointed him. He sowed and reaped and suffered. I didn’t suffer like he did. What God is doing in Israel is important to me. Do not tell it in Gath. When a mighty man of God falls – Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggart – these men of God who have fallen in sin, everybody was all over it. Tell it in Gath. Tell the enemies. Tell it in the church. Tell it not in Gath he said. I’m not gloating in it. I’m not glorying in it. I’m sorry about it. Those men are suffering in their sin and shame. They bring reproach on the name of Christ but they are my brothers. We endeavor for unity. We cover with love. I am not happy about it. I’m sorry about it. Don’t tell it in the streets of Ashkelon….they mock God when the mighty fall. They mock God when the television evangelist falls. They love it. They rub it in our face. It reinforces their attitude, and some cases demonic mentality against the church. But not you and me. I know about those things because all through history. I just pray for my brothers and sisters because the Body is not divided. They are not someone I am ashamed of in that sense. They are my brother and sister who Christ died for. There has to be something higher than our opinion and judgments. Christ was judged so we would be given grace, we could receive a ministry of grace from God that’s from the Body of Christ.

vs. 21. As though not been anointed with oil. He had been but he died as if he had not been anointed. He died like a dog. I’m so sorry about it because he was anointed of oil. Which do I emphasize? He was anointed of oil. The same blood that washed our sins away washed the sins that had fallen. It’s the same Christ on the throne making intercession for you and me.

vs. 22. Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives. Jonathan loved David so much. David goes and kills Goliath and Jonathan saw a hero. The heart of Jonathan was knit to the heart of David. When one hero meets another, their hearts are knit together. They are so knit together like Seal Team 6, like these military teams wedded together in the heat of battle and they love each other a lot. They mourn when one of their hero friends die. It’s the hardest thing in war we are told. David said Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives. In their death not divided…lions. This is poetry. David was the sweet psalmist of Israel and he could say it with passion. Weep over Saul….how are the mighty fallen! Oh Jonathan. I am distressed for thee my brother Jonathan. A man willing to lose his life and paid his price. He’s with another man that gave him the kingdom. Jonathan said you be the next king. No problem with me. I know the heart of a hero when I see one. You and I are knit together. That’s amazing. In the Body of Christ it happens to us. Let’s not forget the other guy in this story. That’s Saul. The kind of guy not so classy. Has problems of jealousy. Becomes my enemy and speaks against you behind your back. Wants to take you back. It’s eating him up at night thinking of your blessing and how he doesn’t have your blessing. Saul is saying I don’t have David’s blessing and it’s killing me. I’ve killed thousands and he’s killed ten thousands and it’s eating me up. Saul, it would be great if you can get your theology right. In the mind of God you’re just like Christ. You died and it’s not you but Christ in you. You have killed your ten thousands. Who cares anyway? Once the life of Christ is reverberating in your soul and spirit. We need a thousand David’s. I’m so glad I’m part of it. David’s mind in this text is Saul, I love the guy. It’s that simple. He was a great guy and I’m distressed for my brother Jonathan. Your love to me was wonderful passing the love of women. This is the spiritual love of the Body of Christ. The temptations with women are very real for men. When you find spiritual life, spiritual love and encouragement and connection with people there is something amazing about it, satisfying and encouraging and building you up. By the Spirit of God it’s his will we would be one with each other as Christ was one with the Father. Don’t divide the Body. When you find someone you are disappointed with in the Body, – they are not doing or living the way you prefer. Someone disappointing to you, you probably can’t correct them anyway. It’s not going to work. You have your serious talk with them and you come away saying, I had my serious talk and they agree and I go away and they don’t change. I go and I have a serious talk with them and they look at you like I have no idea what you are talking about. I kind of don’t care what you are saying. You don’t have a huddle with a group of people to talk about a person and have a serious talk with them and think that is God’s way of ministering in the Body. Ministering in the Body is a mystery. God does things in people’s lives without our flesh. When you find a piece of saw dust in their eye, be sure to remove the Sequoia tree out of yours! Unless you are perfect you can, and even the perfect man said I’m here to love not judge. I’m here to serve and lay down my life. When that happens, young people see Christ, – old, black, white, these people see Christ. The person who never changes may see Christ or may not. This is a story about Saul who did not change and David said nothing but good things about him.

When people hear good things are said about us, they are drawn to it. I went to work, home, to my girlfriend and they told me something bad. I went on social media and they are always saying dislike, dislike. Where can I go to be loved as I am? Where can I be told I’m okay in God? Where can I be told I’m a new creation in God on this side of heaven? We are as he is even in this present evil world. That’s an amazing finished work message. That’s all I experience around here. I’ve been in the ministry and in times when we had problems, 18 months I had it blocked off, hell on earth. I know when people are in that mode of operating. Endless talking. Many times in the flesh of man. I’m so thankful we have moved on.

We have found something in the cross of Christ we glory in. Drinking the Spirit of God we are fellowshipping with. Knowing no man after the flesh, not even Christ. You ask an opinion about a brother or sister. I say God bless them. I endeavor for unity. I know nothing about them except they are precious people. May God pour a blessing out on them. Halleluiah! What a way to live.

 


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