The Unity of the ChurchBy Pastor Boffey on Sunday, April 2, 2006.
I. The members of the church are declared to be one in Christ. 1CO 10:17; GAL 3:27-28.
A. The Corinthians were declared to be one in Christ even though in practice they were quite divided. 1CO 3:3; 1CO 11:18.
B. The Spirit of God joins baptized believers into one body. 1CO 12:12-13.
C. The members of the church have the things listed in EPH 4:4-6 in common. These things unite them.
II. We are commanded to keep this unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. We should live as one because we are one. EPH 4:3.
A. Note that unity is maintained in the bond of peace.
B. Unity entails peace. EPH 2:15; ACT 7:26.
C. We are called to peace in one body. COL 3:15.
D. Practical unity means that we speak the same thing; that there be no divisions among us; that we be perfectly joined together in the same mind and judgment.
E. This practical unity is enjoined by the authority of Jesus Christ. 1CO 1:10.
III. Unity among believers does not exclude all differences.
A. Though we are one body, we do NOT all have the same office.
ROM 12:4-8; 1CO 12:4-12.
B. Differences in matters of liberty can exist without disrupting the church's unity. ROM 14.
C. Though we are one body, we do not all have the same degree of growth in knowledge and strength. ROM 15:1-2; 1CO 8:4-13.
IV. There are blessings in practical Christian unity.
A. It is good and pleasant. PSA 133:1.
B. It becomes the gospel of Christ. PHIL 1:27.
1. We should not strive AGAINST one another.
2. We should rather strive TOGETHER for the faith of the gospel.
3. Note how the enemies of God are united against the truth.
ACT 7:57; ACT 18:12; ACT 4:27-28; PSA 83:2-5; REV 17:13-14.
4. If there is anything that will unite the wicked, it is having a common righteous opponent. LUK 23:12; ACT 19:24-25; ACT 19:29.
5. If the wicked can show this much solidarity against the truth, how much more should we be united for the truth?
C. It is conducive to effectual prayer and evangelism. MAT 18:19; ACT 4:24-33.
D. It facilitates stability and accomplishment of purpose. MAT 12:25.
E. It glorifies God. ROM 15:5-6.
F. The God of love and peace will be with those who are of one mind and who live in peace. 2CO 13:11.
V. There are several means to maintaining Christian unity.
A. We must agree in faith and righteousness. AMO 3:3; 2CO 6:14-16.
B. Unity must be according to Jesus Christ. ROM 15:5-6.
C. Unity is achieved through instruction. EPH 4:11-16.
1. Pastors are given to promote unity.
2. A pastor's joy is fulfilled when his people are unified. PHIL 2:2.
3. Proper instruction will save the Lord's children from the divisions contrary to the doctrine of God. ROM 16:17.
D. Unity is kept by our walking according to the apostolic rule. PHIL 3:15-17.
E. Unity is maintained by our forbearing one another which means bearing with, having patience with, and putting up with one another. EPH 4:2-3; ROM 15:1.
F. Unity is kept by forgiving one another if we have a quarrel. COL 3:12-14.
G. Unity is maintained by our esteeming each other better than ourselves in all lowliness of mind. EPH 4:2; PHIL 2:1-3.
H. Unity is kept by our care and compassion for one another.
PHIL 2:4; 1PE 3:8-9; 1CO 12:20-27; ROM 12:15-16.
I. Charity will bind us together perfectly if we put it on. COL 3:14 c/w 1CO 13:4-7.