Toward Unity In Christ!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:


Scripture: 1 Cor 1:10-31


“Faithfulness in the gospel necessitates a unity and fellowship of the body,”—Pastor Richard Andrews

Introduction:

“Unity in the church is vital to the success of the mission God has called us to. That is why Paul says: “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one person for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27).” —Ted Johnston

The Bible tells us that we have an adversary in Satan, who prowls about like a lion seeking someone to devour (1 Pet. 5:8). Satan loves to attack the body of Christ—the church—because he knows if he can get us isolated from the “herd,” he can take us down, making our moments unproductive for the movement of the kingdom of God.

God has commissioned the church to take the message of the gospel to the nations. We are to live out the gospel so that His glory is clear and undeniable. He has purposed to use us—you and me, as part of the local church—to build the kingdom. When we are united through the cross, we stand as an undeniable force for the gospel. But if we are divided, at best, we become ineffective at carrying the message of the cross to the lost world around us. At worst, we steal the glory meant to be given to our King.

God’s heart for us is to be a unified, powerful front against the schemes of the evil one. Not only is unity a critical line of defense, it is also crucial to our offense of carrying the gospel to the nations.

“Satan always hates Christian fellowship. It is his policy to keep Christians apart. He delights in anything that can divide saints from one another. He attaches far more importance to godly relationships than we do. Since unity is strength, he does his best to promote separation.” –Charles H. Spurgeon

Theological Theme:

Unity in the church must be grounded in truth, by the cross of Christ, and for the glory of God—[Father-Son-Holy Spirit].

“We can’t think of relationship and unity unless we think of who The Father, The Son and The holy Spirit are and how they have always existed in perfect harmony and unity forever….that means as the adopted ones who have been called into this relationship, that we have been called to unity with The Father, The Son and The Spirit forever.”—Pastor Richard Andrews

“Only at the cross do we see the love of God without ambiguity. Here is God’s farthest reach, His most ambitious rescue effort. God personally came to our side of the chasm, willing to suffer for us and with us. At the cross His love burst upon the world with unmistakable clarity. Here at last we have found solid reasons to believe that there was a genuine connection between God and man.” –Erwin W. Lutzer

Christ Connection:

Paul addressed divisions in the Corinthian church by reminding believers that the gospel overturns human expectations and robs us of any ability to boast in our salvation. Jesus is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; therefore, selfish boasting and divisions have no place among God’s people.

  • Unity is NOT in human personality.

As Christians, we have unity and purpose in Christ. (1 Cor. 1:10-17)

  • Unity is NOT found in human wisdom.

Our hope is in Him (Jesus Christ) and NOT in ourselves. 1Cor 1: 18-25 Proverbs 26: 12 ESV

The world’s wisdom sees the cross as foolishness, but God made the world’s wisdom foolish through the cross. The cross was God’s plan to provide forgiveness for sinners who could not find forgiveness on their own. It is through faith in what is preached about the cross—Christ crucified—that people can be saved. True wisdom is to recognize this and trust in Christ. True foolishness is to reject the cross.

  • Unity is NOT found in human accomplishments.

“Jesus is our everything. We are made strong by Christ in our weakness. In Him we accomplish and in Him we achieve.” —Pastor Richard Andrews 1Cor 1: 30

Gratitude and humility drive us toward unity together. When we truly grasp the depth of our sin and the breadth of God’s love for us, we will see people through the lens of this same love. When we rally around the work of Christ at the cross—an act of glorious grace from God—there is absolutely no room for boasting in anyone but God. Pride in any part of us is an act of forgetfulness. We cannot glorify God and ourselves at the same time. 1Cor 1- 26-31

“By the Father’s doing, believers have an identification ‘in Christ’. Because of this they possess the wisdom of God—Christ crucified, the very essence of wisdom. Through this wisdom, believers have justification at God’s court, sanctification that allows their entrance into his presence, and ultimate redemption.”  –F. Alan Tomlinson

Missional Application:

“God’s people are a diverse group. We come from varied backgrounds, races and economic and educational levels. We have different tastes, preferences and needs. How can such a diverse group have unity? By God’s Spirit that binds us together.” —Ted Johnston

God, through His Holy Spirit calls us to strive for unity in the church in order to showcase the beauty of the cross and the truth that Christ alone is the source of our salvation.

Too often we approach the body of Christ to be served by it. We’re tired and weary. Sad and lonely. Needy for refreshment and encouragement, significance and affirmation. The church does serve as the hands and feet of Jesus, and we should receive such ministry and love from the church, but if our mind-set is mostly about what we can get from the people of God instead of holding on to a humble heart of service, we have it all backward. Jesus Himself came not to be served but to serve (Mark 10:45), and this example of humility is what begins to unify us. So when we’re tempted to demand our own way and assert our preferences to serve our own needs, we miss the unifying purpose of the church: to glorify God and make known the name of His Son, Jesus, through a lifetime of Spirit-filled living.

Conclusion:

“It is hard to imagine, but Christians can actually find themselves doing things in the name of the gospel that are absolutely contrary to the gospel. Many Corinthian believers had fallen into such a predicament. They had aligned themselves against one another, using human wisdom and persuasive powers to support their divisive ways. Paul’s response to this situation cut straight to the heart of the matter. To divide the church on the basis of human wisdom is to oppose the gospel of Christ. The true gospel does not rely on human wisdom, but on the power of God received through faith in the death and resurrection of Christ.” –Richard L. Pratt Jr.

In 1 Corinthians 1:10-31 we are given direction and truth to guide our hearts and conduct toward unity. Our unity must be grounded in biblical convictions, not popular personalities. The wisdom and power this world has to offer cannot stand against the wisdom and power displayed at the cross, which shows us that our unity is furthered as we boast only in the wisdom and power of our glorious Lord.

Though we are loved, cherished, and highly valued through the sacrifice of Jesus, Christ walked obediently to the cross to glorify His Father first and foremost. We too must follow in the footsteps of Christ and walk in purposeful obedience to glorify the Father in our daily lives.

Photo Compliments: https://www.findingtruthmatters.org/

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