One thing that is INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT to God and that Satan has done AN INCREDIBLE job of destroying is unity within the Church. Not Connection Church…God’s church…The whole Church…The Body of Christ. That’s you and me regardless of our denomination, preferences, background, and fine lines of theology. Here’s 9 keys to maintaining unity in the church from 1 Corinthians 1-4:
- We need to understand how serious God is about unity and take it seriously ourselves! 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 says, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” In this scripture God’s temple represents the church…His people. It may seem harsh that God will destroy anyone who destroys unity in His church but GOD IS SERIOUS ABOUT UNITY!
- Remember church and life are NOT ABOUT YOU!! Church and life are first and foremost about Jesus! He is life and without Him we have no life. Second, church and life are about others! PERIOD! If we make it about anything else we are wrong! UNITY AND AGREEMENT ONLY EXIST WHERE SELFISHNESS DOESN’T!! 1 Corinthians 1:10 (See also James 4:1-3)
- Realize satisfaction only comes through the riches of Christ! Looking to others for satisfaction (including spouses and children!) places unrealistic expectations on them that they WERE NEVER MEANT TO FULFILL! THEY CAN’T! They weren’t created to satisfy you and you weren’t created to be satisfied by them! Unmet expectations lead to disappointment and disappointment leads to strife! FIND YOUR SATISFACTION IN THE ONE WHO CREATED YOU AND HAS GIVEN YOU ALL THINGS! 1 Corinthians 3:21-23
- Don’t forget it was an encounter with God’s grace that saved you…not your own effort! God did it all. WE WERE AND ARE NOTHING APART FROM GOD’S GRACE AND HIS WORK! This should be humbling and we should approach each other in light of this fact and with the humility it brings! 1 Corinthians 1:30
- Recognize that we have nothing – no spiritual gift or fruit – that was not given to us by God! Every Christian has been given spiritual gifts for the advancement of God’s Kingdom (not our own!) and ALL of them are important! Without them the Church doesn’t function properly! What gifting is God calling you to use for His glory! 1 Corinthians 4:7
- NEVER FORGET that the messenger is NEVER more important than the message! I have said it before and will say it again…If this is EVER true of Connection we officially SUCK as a church! It is not about A MAN it is about THE MAN…JESUS! Before you follow someone’s gifting you better check the fruit of their life! 1 Corinthians 3:1-9
- We MUST watch our MOUTHS by GAURDING OUR HEARTS! Nothing promotes strife like Gossip and Jesus said it is from the overflow of the heart that our mouth speaks. If we have an issue saying things that we shouldn’t we need to have a heart check! (1 Corinthians 3:1-3; 1 Corinthians 1:10; James 3:5,6)
- Check your motives! Ask yourself, “If every dream I have came true who would be exalted? Me or Jesus?” 1 Corinthians 4:5
- Live with the mind of Christ! If we all strive to serve each other the way Jesus served us there will be no room for strife! (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5-8)
We can’t be all that Jesus created us to be or have the impact He desires us to have on the world if we settle for a FAÇADE OF UNITY in the Church! It’s time we take this as seriously as God!
See you Sunday!