BIG IDEA: Unity is a sign of life. The Church should pursue, cultivate, and represent unity.
“FAMILY DYNAMICS” SERIES
Through Jesus and his Spirit dwelling in us, we are a part of the family of God. What does this mean? What should the church, when healthy, naturally do and look like? This series helps us consider what scripture says about healthy dynamics within the Church. We want to ask of our own family here at Sideris, how are we doing and how can we be even more faithful to our calling as a local representation of the universal family of God?
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 4:1
“I (Paul) therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”
BARRIERS THAT KEEP US FROM CULTIVATING CHRISTIAN UNITY:
- Matter of the Heart, Not of the Personality: when we think of unity, we often think that in order to establish it we must become friends with everyone, live as extroverts, and be some of the greatest conversationalists…FALSE. Unity begins with the disposition of our heart, not our personality and how it displays itself in social situations.
- Missing the Opportunity: we simply take for granted the opportunity to engage in Christian community. Our generation has become seekers of self not of the group.
- Fear: We are terrified of what others might think of us if we associate with people who do not fit the image of ourself we want to be broadcast. Get over yourself. You are not that cool.
COMMON GROUND FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY:
The key to this uncommon unity which Christ is inviting us into, is focusing on our similarities and not our differences. This “Common Ground” includes the following:
- One Spirit — a common power — the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is not I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.
- One Hope — a common dream and expectation — a resurrected life lived with God starting now and lasting forever.
- One Faith — a common worldview — we all pledge our trust in the same Gospel.
- Bonhoeffer: “We are bound together by faith, not by experience.”
- One Baptism — a common sign — a public pledge of our commitment to Christ.
- One Lord (Jesus) — a common obedience — we all serve the same master.
- One God and Father of all — a common submission — we all know we have the same MAKER to acknowledge…
Dietrich Bonhoeffer … “So between the death of Christ and the Last Day it is only by a gracious anticipation of the last things that Christians are privileged to live in visible fellowship with other Christians.”
LISTEN TO THE FULL SERMON
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QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
- Who is God calling you to befriend in your community?
- Did you feel like you are able to connect your motives for connection within the church to the gospel of Jesus Christ?
- Will you view those with diverse preferences and personalities differently after understanding Christ’s call to unity?