SERMON SERIES: LESSONS FROM FIRST CORINTHIANS 1 - 4
SERMON ONE: MAKING UNITY A REALITY
SERMON TEXT: 1 CORINTHIAN 1: 10 -17
A. One of the main reasons cults have such an impact on the world is their unity.
B. Many Christian church have split because of serious quarreling (this has been a problem since the early church)
C. What makes disunity in the church so tragic is the position that the church has before God because of Christ (see 1 Cor. 2:2-9)
D. The church can be bless with the blessings of its position in Christ and still be a weak, ineffective, and powerless church!!!
A. Proposition: Unity in the church must be a reality if that church is to mature in Christ.
B. Interrogative: How can unity be a reality in our local church?
C. Transition: From Paul's rebuke of the Corinthian church in 1 Cor.1:20-27 we can gleam two major REQUIREMENTS for making unity a reality in our local fellowship.
I. REQUIREMENT #1: THE PREREQUISITES FOR UNITY MUST BE A REALITY IN THE LOCAL CHURCH 1 CORINTHIANS 1: 10
A. PREREQUISITE #1: The Members Of The Church Must All Speak The Same Thing.
1. Paul is not talking about denominational unity, he is talking about unity within the local congregation
2. The local congregation should be clear and together in three key areas of the church
a.What the doctrines of the church are
b. What the policies of the church are
c. What the practices of the church are
3. Nothing is more confusing to new Christians, or to unbeli evers who are considering the claims of Christ, than to hear supposedly mature and informed Christians tell conflicting things about the gospel, the Bible, or Christian living.
a. The teaching of the church should not be a smorgasbord from which member can pick and choose.
b. There should not be various groups wi thing the church each with its own teaching, agenda, and leaders.
4. For a local church to be spiritually healthy, harmonious, and effective, there must be unity in doctrine, policy, and practice, otherwise, confusion and spiritual weakness are inevitable.
B. PREREQUSITE #2: The Members Of The Church Must Seek To Elimin ate Internal Strife.
1. Method One: The members must be perfectly joined together in the same mind.
a. The most serious divisions a church can have are those involving doctrin
b. Another serious division a church can have are those involving the goals, programs, methods, and ways and means that churches use.
c. Each member must learn that he\she is not the only church member
d. Believers are not to be carbon copies of each other, for God has made each of us unique, but, each member is to be of the same opinion in regard to Christian doctrine, standards, attitudes, and basic principles of spiritual living.
2. Method Two: The member must be perfectly joined together in the same judgment.
a. When a church decision is made all members are to be in harmony with it.
b. Church decision are not to be made by a few influential and persuasive people, but by the unanimous agreement of godly leaders in accordance with God's revealed will and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
C. Application: Unity has always been God's way for His people and a source of blessing to them.
1. Psa. 133:1: "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"
2. Rom. 15:5,6: "Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be likeminded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
II. REQUIREMENT #2: THE REASONS FOR UNITY MUST BE ACKNOWLEDGED IN THE LOCAL CHURCH 1 CORINTHIANS 1:11-17
A. REASON #1: Disunity Is Contrary To The Church's Testimony (21)
1. Example: Some people of Chloe's household reported to Paul about the contentions in the Corinthian church.
2. Point: Contentions in the church go public and make the church look bad and render its ministry ineffective.
B. REASON #2: Disunity Is Contrary To The Church's Relationship To Christ (12-23)
1. Fact: The Church is the body of Christ
2. Fact: All members of the church are members of the body of Christ.
3. Fact: Disunity is contrary to our union to Christ and to one another in Christ.
4. Point: Contentions in a church is a contradiction
C. REASON #3: Disunity Is Contrary To The Church's Ministry
1. Example: The priority of Paul's ministry
a. Paul did not want to start his own cult or following, so he did not baptize many people.
b. Paul did not want fame or glory, so he did not preach with human wisdom--lest the cross of Christ be made of no effect (i.e., by people following Paul instead of Christ) .
c. Paul priority in preaching was to point men to faith in Christ.
2. Point: Contentions in a church throw it off of its primary ministry priority.
SERMON RESPONSE: ARE YOU WILLING TO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO PRODUCE AND MAINTAIN UNITY IN THE LOCAL CHURCH???