Posts Tagged ‘Unity

10
Mar
17

One In Christ

In the family of God, we believe that God has made us all in His image. He says:

Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. – Colossians 3:11 (NIV)

Paul said something similar in Galatians 3:28 (NIV):

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

The things that could divide us should instead remind us that we are all made in the image of God and are one in Christ. We could be divided along racial, social, financial or gender lines as much of the world is today. In the church, however, the One who unites us is much more powerful than that which could divide us. Let’s commit ourselves to unity in the church because it will speak volumes about the power of our uniting Savior to a very divided world.
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13
Nov
16

ONE

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana.  This message is based on Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-26.

16
Oct
16

You Think You’re So Wise

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana.  This message is based on James 3:13-18 and is about division and unity in the church.

23
May
16

I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke

We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.” Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.

May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. Remember that Christ came as a servant to the Jews to show that God is true to the promises he made to their ancestors. He also came so that the Gentiles might give glory to God for his mercies to them. That is what the psalmist meant when he wrote:

“For this, I will praise you among the Gentiles;
I will sing praises to your name.”

10 And in another place it is written,

“Rejoice with his people,
you Gentiles.”

11 And yet again,

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles.
Praise him, all you people of the earth.”

12 And in another place Isaiah said,

“The heir to David’s throne will come,
and he will rule over the Gentiles.
They will place their hope on him.”

13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:1-13, NLT)

Romans 15:5 is such an important verse for those of us who are called by the name of Christ.  We need God’s help to live in complete harmony with one another.  It is vital that the church learns to live with each other in harmony.  Do you watch some of these talent shows on television?  Sometimes they will have groups on the show that can really sing in harmony.  The notes are perfect and they sound amazing!  It is so pleasing to the ear and you just sit and marvel at how they can hear and sing with perfect pitch.  Then they will have some groups that aren’t quite there.  There is a note or two that misses the mark.  You’ll wince as you hear a note that is flat or sharp.  Even if it is off by just a half-step, it is kind of painful to listen to.  I wonder if God looks at His church in much the same way.  How pleasing it is to God when we are united and living in harmony (Psalm 133:1)!  It is like beautiful harmonies when we get along and work together to build His Kingdom.  I wonder if it makes Him wince and I wonder if it hurts His heart when He sees His people fighting and not getting along.  God desires unity and harmony in His church.  What can you do today to sing in harmony with others?  We might need to do some forgiving.  We might need to do some encouraging.  We might need to be more loving and patient.  How can we get past the bitterness and the grudges so that we can sing in harmony?  And may our “song” be a sweet, sweet sound in the ears of the Lord.
PRAYER: Lord, we ask today that you would fill Your church with peace and harmony. May we set an example to the world of what unity looks like when Jesus is at the center. We repent of our fighting and bickering and ask that You would forgive Your people when we do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
22
May
16

A Family Bears With One Another

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana.  This is the second sermon in our “Family Matters” series and is based on Ephesians 4:1-6.

18
Feb
16

Unity Among Generations

1 John 2:11-14 (NIV)

I am writing to you, dear children,
    because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
13 I am writing to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
    because you have overcome the evil one.

14 I write to you, dear children,
    because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
    because you are strong,
    and the word of God lives in you,
    and you have overcome the evil one.

​John lists three groups to whom he is writing when it comes to the reasons he wrote this first letter.  He addresses his “dear children,” “fathers” and “young men.”  The first group, “dear children,” is how John refers to the entire church to whom h he was writing.  Then he addresses the older people in the church and then the younger people in the church.  The Greek words are masculine in gender, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they were only referring to men.  ​The form he uses could have been used for both men and women according to one commentary (The IVP Bible Background Commentary).  In any case, John is not writing to them because of their ages.  Rather, he addresses these groups on the basis of spiritual maturity.
All believers have been forgiven by calling on Jesus’ name (Acts 22:16).  The older people in the congregation knew Jesus from the beginning meaning that that they had been walking with the Lord for quite some time.  The younger people, even though less spiritually seasoned, still had the Word of God living in them and had overcome the evil one.
What does all of this mean?  I believe that it means that we all, no matter our ages or maturity levels, have to be united in the church.  We have all been forgiven by the same grace through the same cross.  We need spiritually mature people to pass on the faith to the younger people.  We need younger people to use their vigor and strength to continue the work of the older generations.  There is a place for everyone, regardless of age or maturity, in the Kingdom of God.  We may be tempted to dismiss the older folks because they’re perceived as “out of touch.”  We may be tempted to dismiss the younger folks because they’re “not mature enough.”  We have to learn to work together to build the Kingdom of God.  By His grace, we can do just that.  How do we do that?  By keeping our eyes on Jesus.  He can make us one in purpose.  When we focus on what Jesus wants instead of what we want, the differences between the generations can melt away.
PRAYER: Father, I pray today that we can be one in the church.  That we will not allow our differences to divide us.  I ask that we would be united in our purpose and our mission to share Your love and grace with the world.  This is not possible apart from Your Son, Jesus.  I ask these things in His name, amen.
13
Aug
15

Favoritism Divides

James 2:1-4 (NIV)
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
We’re all equal in God’s eyes.  In the church of Jesus Christ, every believer is on the same level.  In the church, we will find people of every socioeconomic status as well as gender, race and age.  Playing favorites based on these differences must not be tolerated.
For example, the opinions of those who are wealthy should not be more highly valued than the opinions of those who are not as high on the economic ladder.  Someone of a different race or ethnicity must not be shunned because of the color of his or her skin.  A woman must not be disregarded because of her gender nor a man given preference because of his gender.  Paul said in Galatians 3:28 (NIV):

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

We are one in Christ!  Jesus died to remove the barriers that divide us.  He died to make us one in Him, just as He and the Father and the Spirit are one.
This does not mean that we can ignore our differences.   God made us different and unique.  We should celebrate our uniqueness and rely on one another’s strengths to accomplish our God-given mission to make disciples of all nations.  When we show favoritism to anyone, we deny the unifying power of the cross.  We create unnecessary hostility between classes, genders, races and generations.  Let us do away with favoritism that divides and instead, be united in Christ.



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