Intro: When I was in College and living up in O.C. – I worked at the Sheraton Hotel in Newport Beach
A)I worked in the Restaurant there as a Host – seating people
B)Well every night we had this Senior Citizens special that went from 5 to 8
1) Right near the hotel was this Senior community – Fashion Island
C) Every night – 150 to 200 Seniors show up for dinner – constant line for 2 to 3 hrs – they were a fun lively group
1) Over time I really was able to get to know some of these sweet folks
D) One thing they loved to do was to show me pictures of their kids & grand kids – they were so proud – Parents & Grand Parents
1) Listening to them you would have thought they were the perfect family
Now we too are a part of a family – a big family and the scriptures indicate that Our FATHER IS Glad we are his Kids
A)Lucado - if God wallet …Photo / Frig …Your Picture
B) Are we the perfect Family ? Well it depends on how you look at it
1) Practically - Purely outwardly we are a group that has many flaws and shortcomings
C) In fact in every Church family – You have the Tate Clan
1) Old man Dic- tate – He wants to run everything
2) Brother Potent- tate – he wants to be a big shot
3) Uncle Commentate – always has a word to say
D) When opportunity for service knocks – sisters hesi & Vega pop up – always reluctant to step out & get involved
E) Cousins Irra & Aga – who are always stirring things up
1) Aunt Imitate – who is always wondering why we can’t do it like they do
2) Uncle –Ro- who is always wanting to Change things
F) But there are also Good Tates – Sweet sister Meda – she is always praying & thinking things over
1) And don’t forget brother Facila – who is always there to lend a helping hand & give some good godly wisdom
1) He is the one who just cuts himself off from the family all together
Yes when you look at the Church it is easy to see from the outward we are far from perfect !!!! - Someone once put it this way
To dwell above with saints we love, Oh that will be glory.
But to live below, with saints we know-- Well, that's another story!
B)By the offering of J.C. we have been perfected positionaly – Jesus did that for us – in the shedding of His blood at Calvary – Perfect in Him
1) And in Heb. 2:11 declares
For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”
C) There we see a wonderful truth that Jesus our Elder Brother is not ashamed to call us His Brothers & Sisters – worships w/ us
D) We are one in Him !!!! – A Family of Believers and it is the father’s Desire that His family get along
Now in this section for 1 Peter which began in V.13 of Ch.2 Peter talking about the Christians role in relationship to Govt.
A)Christians role on the Job / Roles of Husbands & wives in Marriage
B) He raps up this section – by talking about our role in the Church
1) Phrase – Finally signals he is bringing this to a close – Finally all of you be of ONE MIND
C) What we have here is an exhortation to Unity – Be of One mind
It is an exhortation that is repeated often in the Scriptures
Phil 2:2 if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection & mercy, 2fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
D) Peter reveals here that this is a Unity that is marked by certain things
1st COMPASSION – word that means to get into someone else’s skin & feel what they are feeling
A)Lost at the Mall - Kid – horrible experiences
B) It is not just a feeling of Pity or relatability but of action Pity plus action – A genuine concern – that moves you to do something
1) Jesus saw Multitude – disciples wanted to send away – He was moved w/ compassion and sat down – fed them – spiritually & Physically
2ND LOVE – word here is Phileo love – having a fondness and affection for each other - Brotherly love !!!
A)Stick to it ness – Brothers stick together – Blood is thicker than water
B) Brothers rally together – FIGHT w/ a family where there are several brothers – watch out fighting all of them . RUMPS 9 kids – 5 boys
1) Fight them all
C) John tells us that a love for the Brethren is a sure mark of being born again – 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren.
3rd –Tenderhearted – good or soft hearted ( Grace and a Goodness in dealing w/ others -
A)Luke 9 Call down fire – Jesus said You don’t know what manner of spirit you are … came not to destroy but to save - Not soft hearted
4th – COURTEOUS – humble
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think,
Phil 2:3 humbleness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Not returning evil for evil or reviling ( slander – putting down w/ slander but Blessing
B) Love each other , seeking to bless each other and Build up each other instead of tearing each other down
D) Now Goliath was from Gath – David killed …/ Consequently –Achish’s Generals were very suspicious of David – hated – Pretended to be Crazy
E) Achish sent him away – So David was not put in a position to have to slander Saul or to fight against him
1) That event prompted him to write this Psalm where he is teaching his men about Loving Life & seeing good days – Guard your tongue
So Peter’s encouragement to us is to Be Unified – Be of ONE MIND Why is this important? Couple of reasons
A)1st BRINGS God pleasure - Psa.133:1
Behold, how good & how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!
B) It blesses the Father – it is Pleasant to Him = DELIGHTFUL it is a delight to His heart when His kids dwelling in Unity
C) You parents can relate to this – You enjoy sitting down to eat w/ kids having a nice conversation – kids respectful toward each other
1) How Grievous when they are at odds w/ each other – fighting
D) Other day my kids in the Pool - ( laughing playing ) Joy filled heart
A)Unity of Praise – In worship
Romans 15: 5,6 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be
likeminded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6that you may with one mind & one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
B) Unity of prayer – Petitioning the Lord - ( My kids come together dad can we do such & Such – way of moving my heart )
1) Lord is Blessed when his people – come together in prayer
Col.4:3 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;
C) Unity of Mission – SERVICE
Phil 1:27 27Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,
D) The Lord enjoys seeing his kids working together for the building up of the Body of Christ & the Furthering of the Kingdom ****
John 17 I pray that they may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
So we are to dwell in UNITY because it Blesses our Father There is pleasure in Unity
A)But it is also important because there is power from Unity
24There are four things which are little on the earth, But they are exceedingly wise:
25 The ants are a people not strong, Yet they prepare their food in the summer;
26The rock badgers are a feeble folk, Yet they make their homes in the crags;
27The locusts have no king, Yet they all advance in ranks;
28The spider skillfully grasps with its hands, And it is in kings’ palaces.
A)4 Creatures – little things on the earth but they are wise
1) ANT – Wisdom in storing up his provision for the coming winter
2) BADGERS - Wise in their – make their homes in the Rocks – for Protection – they are hidden in the ROCK
1) Hidden in the Rock of Christ Jesus
3) SPIDER V.28 – He hangs out in the Palace of the King – because of His persistence - Makes His web – strong
Provision of the Ant / the Protection of the Badger / Persistence of the Spider
C) 4th is one I want to draw your Attention to – Locust – grasshopper
1) POWER – why because they advance in RANKS
D) If one individual Grasshopper were to land on you – no big deal – just flick it off
1) But the Grasshoppers move together in UNITY in Ranks/ in Masses and they devour everything in their sight
We bug people – but united – we make a mark on the world
A)The disciples in Acts ch.2 H.S. came upon them & empowered them & they turned the world upside down for the Lord – (right side up)
B) When did the power of the H.S. come upon them ? when they were all in ONE ACCORD – waiting praying in upper room !!!
1) There is power in Unity – which again is one reason why those prayer t
times are so important –
C)there is a power that unfolds when God’s people are united in Prayer
Now if Unity Pleases the Father & empowers the Church – what is reaction of Satan going to Be – What will be his program ?
A)Whether you are talking the Church as a whole / this Church individually or Your family specifically – Satan’s plan is opposite of God’s
1) He wants to DIVIDE & CONQUER
B) Satan is a Destroyer – so His goal in the Church as a whole / in this body specifically or in your individual family is to cause DISUNITY/ Disruption
C) He doesn’t want to see us – Loving life & seeing Good days / He doesn’t want us to be pleasing the father
1) He doesn’t want to see us moving in power –
So in the rest of our time today I want us to consider some of the ways in which he operates to bring Disunity into the body / your family
A)Paul tells us in 2 Cor. 2:11 That we are not to be ignorant of the devices of the DEVIL
1) Well if you are a football fan – Satan has a thin playbook – he only has a couple of plays uses over & over again
C) Military background –there are only a few weapons in his arsenal
1) He has been using them since the beginning / So lets go back to the beginning & see what some of those weapons are
D) See some of the tactics –Satan used to breakup the unity in families in the Beginning – Turn to Gen. 3 examples / finish –how keep the unity
A)Here we see the first tactic of the enemy to bring disunity into the home – COMPETION – getting brothers to compete w/ each other
B) Both brothers bring offerings / Abel –lamb Heb.11 Prescribed- but Cain fruit of his farm – his own hands – own works
1) Abel’s accepted / Cain’s is rejected - Cain was a Competitor & he gets
all bent out of shape because his was not accepted –
C) He is bummed at his brother & Slays him brutally
1) Now we would never slay someone Physically – but how often do we do
That w/ our words- In a spirit of competition – putting down so & so
There can be competition amongst Churches – We are bigger & better
A) We have the best Pastor / best music / we have the best Children’s ministry or youth ministry – SO SILLY
B) Now I am not saying that it is silly to want to minister well in all those areas / personally constantly pray
1) Lord show us how we can better serve your people
C) But to want to make a name – we are the best – we are the Biggest –Stupid – let the Lord build the Church !!!
Sometimes I hear pastors make statements like – I want to have the biggest Church in the city – road to destruction – You build it / maintain
A)That mentality – breads a spirit of Competition – SAD
B) We can have competition in our own body – Our home group is better than that one – 20 people – they only have 10
1) Our group really studies – into the deep things of the word / Well our group really prays
Now we see in the Stories of Jacob & Esau –competition stemmed from favoritism in their parents – Isaac loved Esau/ Rebekah. Jacob / Gen.25
A)Those brothers were at odds w/ each other – because of it
B) In Gen.37 – Jacob does the same things w/ Joseph – he was the favorite – Brothers Jealous – family was divided
C) Satan can use that Competitive Jealousy to cause Division in the Church or in your family
1) We are Jealousy of someone else’s gifts or ministry / Jealous of the
opportunity that they have – why not us
When we as a local fellowship / or when the church as a whole falls into a spirit of COMPETITION we are failing to recognize 2 things
1st Forgetting We are ONE BODY – Romans 12:5 we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another
A) We've all heard the words of the old song
The toe bone's connected to the foot bone,
The foot bone's connected to the ankle bone,
The ankle bone's connected to the shin bone,
B) It's a catchy song, but the theology is not quite correct. You don't produce a body by combining bits and pieces of anatomy together
1) The essence of a body is that it consists of thousands of cells with one
mutually shared life.
C) A body is formed by the growth and multiplication of many cells from one original cell.
1) The body grows cell by cell until a mature body grows--but every one of those cells shares the life of that one original cell,
That is the secret of the body: all parts of the body share life together.
A)Same is true of the Church It is the sharing of life that makes it a body
We are one Body in Christ
B) there is an automatic Unity – we have been born into it when we were born again of the spirit
1) One body – one part is not more significant or important
C) Luke 9 Disciples rebuke guys casting out demons - Not w/ us
Jesus said don’t do that – he who is not against us is w/ us
D)Oh how we need to recognize the other parts of the body – so that when one part rejoices – all rejoice
1) Tozer – God’s servants are not to be competitors but co-workers
2nd thing that a spirit of competition fails to recognize is the Diversity in the Body
A)We have the tendency to mix up Different w/ good & Bad
B) Not all the same / don’t minister the same way - One Pastor teaches one way / another teaches another way / is one better is one worse ?
1) Well depends on who your talking to - To one group – this guy is way
better / but to another group – feel completely the opposite
C) Better to understand it is not a matter of better or worse – but of different
1) God will use the differences to attract and reach out to different people
Key thing is are they both teaching the Word ?
One Church might be Strong in these certain areas / while another is strong in other areas – is one better ? No just different
A)We need to watch out for that spirit of Competition that forgets we are on the same team – members of the same body / same family
B) And that FAILS TO RECOGNIZE – there is a built in diversity !!!
Brother Hammer was appointed to preside over the Master Tool Convention. Brother Screwdriver objected, saying “Brother Hammer, you’re too noisy to preside over this meeting. You’re always driving home your point, always nailing people. I call for your resignation immediately.
Brother Hammer responded “Well, what about you, Brother Screwdriver? All you ever do is spin around in circles.”
“That may be true, said Brother Screwdriver, but al least I’m not like Brother Plane. His work is so surfacy, so shallow. What right does he have to even be here?”
“If you’re going to kick me out, protested Brother Plane, what about Brother Ruler? He thinks he’s always right, measuring everyone else by his standards”
“Well, if you’re going to come down on me, argued Brother Ruler, what about Brother Plier? He needs to get a grip!”
“At least I don’t rub people the wrong way, said Brother Plier, who was staring at Brother Sandpaper.
Just then the Master Craftsman walked in. And, as He used each tool at the perfect time, He created an object of great beauty.
A)Many parts - all have our place in the masters work shop - need to let Him use us as He wants to !
2nd tactic of enemy – EXPOSURE Gen.9:20-22
A)After the flood Noah became a vinedresser – ( Too much wine )
1) did he know fermentation ? I don’t know
B) Naked in the tent – drunk – passed out – Ham sees him and exposes him
C) Ham goes to his brothers and says – see dad – exposes his nakedness
A)Because he knows our human nature – tendency to want to expose that nakedness
B) Exposure produces a false fellowship – where we think we are really binding by sharing that situation – ( Only causes destruction)
1) See when someone shares something w/ me about someone – My view is tainted – hard to look at them the same –( hate that )
D) 4 Christian men – golfing – 1st guy problem w/ lust / 2nd problems w/ stealing / 3rd Alcohol / 4th Gossip can’t wait to get out of here tell ….
A)But his brothers did the right thing – covering dads nakedness – walked in backwards
B) They were a blessing to their dad instead of a curse !!!
Prov.17:9 He that covers a transgression seeks Love
LOVE COVERS A MULITITUDE OF SINS
3rd Gen.21:8,9 Abraham – Promised son Isaac was born – Isaac began to grow – came time for him to be weaned
A)Abe throws a feast – moving from milk to the meat
B) But Abe had another son / Ishmael – his move in the flesh – Ishmael began to make fun of Isaac & Mock him /
1) Sarah says that boy & his mother need to go
C)Now Paul in Gal. 4 gives us an interpretation of this event : Ishmael represents the law / the old Cov. Isaac represents grace the New Cov.
D) The law will always mock grace / come down on grace / find fault w/ grace
This is another thing that can creep in & Divide a Body – Legalism
A)When one group or one person seeks to prop up their rules & regulations – even though not in the Bible
B) Come down on others for not adhering to their convictions
1) Pentecostal Church in YUGO - Don’t watch movies / Don’t listen to Rock Music / girls dresses/ Guys short hair / Howard –big hair hat
C) We need to watch out for that in the Church – start making our personal convictions Law –
1) Paul dealt w/ that in Gal. Circumcision – ( That began in the spirit perfected in the flesh ( Watch adding the flesh)
We are one yet the enemy seeks to tear us apart
Eph. 4:3 3endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
A)The word endeavoring is active = Take positive, aggressive action to maintain unity!"
B) How Keep unity ? Remember one Body – Jesus is the Head / Recognize the Diversity/ And Keep our eyes on Calvary
C) We have Unity at the cross all sinners all in need of a savior
At the cross we are all lumped into one group
1) At the cross we are all made a new group / new man !
D) There is unity at the cross - At the cross I am reminded that It is finished / That Jesus did it all - that He the Lord !
Remember putting your face above a headless frame painted to represent a muscle man, a clown. Many of us have had our pictures taken this way, and the photos are humorous because the head doesn't fit the body.
If we could picture Christ as the head of our local body of believers, would the world laugh at the misfit? Or would they stand in awe of a human body so closely related to a Divine head?
The church is the glue that keeps us together when we disagree. It is the gasoline that keeps us going during the tough times. It is the guts that enables us to take risks when we need to.