Sunday Morning 11/24/2013

Posted by Sherry

I WILL BE A UNIFYING CHURCH MEMBER
John 13:35
CBC 12/01/2013 SM

INTRO: God desires for Christians to get along.
Jesus said,
TEXT: By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another 
  • The world knows if we are Christians or not by the way we believers act toward one another
    • ever been ugly at a business meeting?
    • ever let your preference choice outweigh good thinking & make a rude comment?
    • Would an “outsider” be impressed w/ that kind of “Christian” behavior?
    • What about Christians gossiping about other Christians?
    • If it were possible I’d give you a glimpse into my email & message file and let you read the foul language and cursing I endure.
  • When we become a Christian, God expects us to be a part of His church.
    • When we become part of His church God wants us to be a unifying presence there.
THAT THING CALLED UNITY
  • If you love sports the way my wife does you’ve probably noticed something
    • a team with average talent can win a championship w/ team unity
  • When a church doesn’t work together, the church is weaker as a whole
    • Unity is vital to the health of the church
    • every church member must contribute to that unity
Eph 1:15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:
  • What is Paul thankful for in this church?
    • their faith in the Lord
    • their love for all the saints
      • saint was KJV term for Christian
Eph 4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
  • Keep the unity of the Spirit...
    • church members are to be the source of unity
      • never be a divisive force
      • love fellow church members unconditionally
      • doesn’t mean we agree all the time
      • does mean we are willing to sacrifice our personal preferences for unity
  • When we seek unity, we demonstrate love
  • Col. 3:14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
    • “above all” - doesn’t get much more important than that
GOSSIP AND OTHER NEGATIVE TALK
  • Rom 1:29-32 is pretty depressing:
    • 29 Until they were filled (permeated and saturated) with every kind of unrighteousness, iniquity, grasping and covetous greed, and malice. [They were] full of envy and jealousy, murder, strife, deceit and treachery, ill will and cruel ways. [They were] secret backbiters and gossipers,
    • 30 Slanderers, hateful to and hating God, full of insolence, arrogance, [and] boasting; inventors of new forms of evil, disobedient and undutiful to parents.
    • 31 [They were] without understanding, conscienceless and faithless, heartless and loveless [and] merciless.
    • 32 Though they are fully aware of God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them themselves but approve and applaud others who practice them.
  • In the middle of the “evil deeds” is GOSSIP
    • Gossip: idle talk, rumors, unproven personal or private information about others
    • It’s BAD
    • It’s DESTRUCTIVE
    • Few things can destroy unity like gossip
  • James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
    • Don’t be a source of gossip
    • Gently rebuke anyone who begins to share gossip with you
    • Spread the word that gossip is not tolerated at CBC
1 Peter 3:10 For “He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit.”

FORGIVENESS AND UNITY
  • Our church needs Prayer Warriors
    • God will not hear and answer our prayers if we hold unforgiveness in our heart
  • Matt. 6:14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”.
    • Unity in church can’t happen if members have unforgiving hearts
    • Member to member
    • Member to pastor &/or staff
    • Pastor, staff to member
  • Col 3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
    • CBC made up of imperfect pastor, staff & members
    • we all make mistakes
    • we all sin
    • we are all hypocrites
    • Church unity is torn apart when we refuse to forgive
    • Unforgiveness is a “PRIDE” issue & God hates pride
    • Christ laid down His pride & went to the cross of humiliation for us

THE SECOND PLEDGE
  • Church membership is more than getting your name on the roll
    • it’s different from the perks & privileges at a social club
  • Church membership is about:
    • sacrificing
    • giving
    • forgiving
  • Before you make this pledge think seriously about the words you will read.
    • join me in seeking God’s help to keep this pledge

I am a church member.
     I will seek to be a source of unity in my church. I know there are no perfect pastors, staff, or other church members. But neither am I . I will not be a source of gossip or dissension. One of the greatest contributions I can make is to do all I can in God’s power to help keep the church in unity for the sake of the gospel.

Sign & Date: _____________________________________________________

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