Oak Grove Baptist Church David Hall, Senior Minister



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Oak Grove Baptist Church

David Hall, Senior Minister

www.oakgrovebaptist.com
Desperate For You Series

“Unity”


1 Corinthians 1:10-13a

Introduction: What would be your reaction if you were at home listening to your radio when all of a sudden you heard the voice of God over that radio? That is exactly what happened in a movie shown a long time ago entitled, The Next Voice You Hear. What is interesting in the movie, is that it just didn’t happen to one family, but everyone listening to radio around the world started hearing the voice of God. God was saying the same thing to everyone. At first people reacted with disbelief - someone is pulling off an incredible hoax – but then people reacted with fear. After several days of hearing “The Voice,” however, people’s attitudes, actions, and priorities begin to change. The impact of what God was saying directly affected how they lived their lives.

I have heard people say, “If only God would talk to me! If He would just tell me what to do, I would do it.” Well, God used Paul to talk to His church’; the entire church.


Focal Scripture: 1 Cor 1:10-13
10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ."
13 Is Christ divided?

(from New International Version)


John 17:22-23

22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

(from New International Version)


1. A Definition_____ of Unity. More than forty years ago Reader’s Digest carried a story about a town in Minnesota that got its name in a strange way. When the community was first settled, it had no name. People began to move to the area and soon the townspeople called a meeting to choose a name for their town. Many suggestions were made, and of course, everyone who made a suggestion thought that their suggestion was the best and should be accepted. Well the discussion turned heated and quarrelsome. One man in attendance that night became so disgusted by the way things were going that he jumped up, pounded on the table with his fist, and shouted, “Let us have harmony!” Someone present suddenly seized the idea and shouted back, “Yes! Let’s have harmony!” And the town got its name: Harmony, Minnesota. Now we are all aware that just calling something unified or harmonized doesn’t make it so — that is like tying the tails of two cats together and saying they are unified – no I don’t think so

But look at a description of the early church in Acts



“One accord” means ____ “of the same mind” The right state of affairs in the early time of the Christian church is expressed repeatedly in the book of Acts in places where the term "of one accord" or being "of one mind" is used. This term, which we want to consider in some more detail in this study, is a translation of the Greek word homothumadon. This word consists of homo and thumos; these two words mean "same"“ and "will, wish, desire, mind, etc." The word describes a state of being of "the same mind, the same will, same desire, same longing, etc." The word is used a total of 12 times in the NT, 11 times in Acts, and once in Romans.
In a certain way we could draw a comparison to an orchestra which plays under the direction of its conductor a big symphony where the various instruments each play different tones and melodies, but where then all together do play the same piece of music, the same symphony. As we consider this in relation to the church, we could speak of each member of the church works together for a big whole under the direction of God via His Word and his holy spirit, all leading up giving praise and honour to God.


2. A Demonstration___ of Unity.
An Expectation____ from the Scriptures_____ Rom 15:5-6 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Eph 4:2-6 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit- just as you were called to one hope when you were called- 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Eph 4:11-13 11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Col 3:12-15 12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.


An Example________ from the Savior_________ Phil 2:5-8 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,

being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross!



(from New International Version) The Greek word that is translated as “your attitude” is the word phroneo (fron eh o) and it carries the sense of a mindset or a way of thinking. In essence it says that we should have the same mindset as Christ or we should think the same way that Christ was thinking in this passage. Jesus was already co-equal with God. He has always been and will always be. He created the universe and He holds all things together. However, when the need arose to redeem humankind from the penalty of their sins and when the only person deemed qualified to do so was Jesus, the sinless Son of God, He freely and willingly gave up His eternal prominence and position in heaven in order to become our sacrifice. Not only did He empty Himself, but He further humbled Himself and took on the form of a servant. He went from the highest place to the lowest place. He became obedient unto death. The Son of God with nail prints in his hands. The King of Kings now has a crown of thorns on his brow. The bright and morning star, the fairest of then thousand, the lily of the valley, the rose of Sharon now had a spear thrust into His side by a Roman soldier. That was the mind, the attitude, the phroneo of Christ. That we might be “one with the Father,” Jesus had a mindset of humility and servitude. Look at Christ in John 13:1, where Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. “No servant is greater than his master. If I am willing to wash your feet then you ought to be willing to wash each other’s feet.” The issue here is not entirely about washing feet; the issue here is about humility that ought to be the characteristic of every Christian. Unlike our impulses in the secular world which are designed to promote and advance ourselves, when it comes to life inside the church, every one of us ought to be saying, “I need to decrease so Christ can increase.” There needs to be less and less of us so that people can see more and more of Him. We ought to get out of the way in our constant search for glory, attention, and prominence so that the word of God can be heard, so the Son of God can be seen, and so the name of God be praised. Sometimes in our church life we bring the outside world with us and seek to turn the church into a place of personal influence. In fact, there are some people who actually have very little influence in the outside world, so they try to compensate for that by coming into the church and looking for a position from which they can start giving orders and start “being in charge.” Some people come to the church so they can been seen. Some people come to church in order to pursue and advance their own personal program and their own private agenda. Most fights and problems in the church start at this very point; with somebody who is more interested in lifting themselves up than they are in lifting up Christ. We do not come to church so that we can be in charge or get our way - but to serve and to follow His way. Christ is the only one who should be lifted up in church - you know why? Because nothing happens when we lift up ourselves.


3. The Destroyer_____ of Unity.
Strife__ Phil 2:3-4 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. What is the objective of strife? To pull others down. Why would someone want to pull someone down? So that they can promote themselves!


Selfishness_____ In the wilderness the children of Israel were marred by a spirit of strife and selfishness. They mumbled and grumbled as they wandered around. This spirit of strife was evident from the beginning and came to a head in the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, who challenged the right of Moses and Aaron to be the leaders of God’s people. The story is found in Numbers 16 and it would wise for any child of God to read what happened. God finally had enough of their gripes, criticism, and contentiousness and allowed the ground to open up and swallow them alive.
We need to find common ground and not find common gripes!
Girl who saw Dad pull into driveway and knew this was her chance to get even with her little brother, so she hit him and then ran and jumped into her father’s arms for protection. As they all entered the house, mom sees daughter hugging father but sticking her tongue out at her brother and so the matriarch says, “Dear, you can’t hug your father and stick out your tongue at your brother!”


4. The Demand________ for Unity.
It is His Plan___________ 1 Cor 12:14-20 14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

(from New International Version)




It is His Prayer_________ John 17:22-23

22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.


At a Midwestern fair spectators gathered for an old-fashioned horse-pull. This is an event where various weights are put on a sled hitched to a horse and pulled along the ground. The grand champion horse pulled a sled with 4,500 pounds on it. The runner up was close, with a 4,400 pound pull. Some of the folks wondered what they could pull if they were hitched together. Separately; they had pulled a combined weight totaling nearly 9,000 pounds. When the two very different horses were unified and worked together, they pulled more than 12,000 pounds! What would happen if we were all joined together with Christ and became the team He wants us to be?


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