11 am Service
669 WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS
23 WORTHY OF WORSHIP
Opening Prayer / Announcements
506 I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:1-13
459 FILL MY CUP LORD
Sermon: UNITY'S BOND
Invitation: 304 COME TO THE CROSS
1 pm Service
452 FOLLOW ON
384 TRUST AND OBEY
Sermon: Right Reactions (while facing difficult situations)
Invitation: 13 BOW THE KNEE
March is Missions Month, our theme is “Found Faithful to the Great Commission.” Our first missionary will be with us on March 6th, Steven and Peggy Harris, Missionaries to Mexico.
We are collecting gas/gift cards for the missionaries, if you would like to pick one up and donate it, just put it on the offering box and we will distribute them. Also, if you would like to help with a gift/treat bag, let Pastor Sage know. There is one family coming (three small children) , one couple, and two other preachers/missionaries will be by themselves.
- UNITY’S BONDEphesians 4:1-13Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!It is a Psalm of Brotherhood and certainly a Psalm of Fellowship.Remember this about the local church, it is not an organization but an organism.God desires unity. But unity is neither forced uniformity nor ecumenism> Unity is not brought about by compromising truth of convictionThe unity that God wants us not based on age, not based on even nationality, not politics or social status or even like interests.Rather, the Unity that God wants is based on our saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and adherence to the Word.When I speak of unity I am not talking about unity as in the worldwide sense or even amongst a group of churches, but I am talking about unity within in the local church, the local body of believers.Unity is something that God desires for us and is something that Satan dreads.This is a Psalm or Song of Degrees - there are 15 Psalms of degrees, four of which are attributed to David. What a Psalm of Degrees was it is believed, that they were basically, a pilgrim’s song or chant as they entered into Jerusalem.Believe it or not, David was a uniter. He united Israel, before him there were warring mistrustful tribes battling and killing each other. Sure, Saul was their first king, but it was David that finally fully united them and they saw their greatest expanse under Solomon, they had about 80 years of growth between the two kings.When we are in unity together there are a lot of good things that come our way. That unity is contingent on all of us following God fully.Aa a matter of fact, unity starts with God. God is perfect, he is just, he is pure, he is merciful, he is full of grace, and he is longsuffering. We are sinful, carnal, sensual. We do things to please ourselves. If we expect to be unified it must start with our unifying with the Lord.Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.You must be saved. You must be born again. You need a new life in Christ. I’m not talking about religion I’m not even talking about being a Baptist, but you must agree with God about your sinfulness and repent of it – turn away from it and place your faith in Christ Jesus as your Lord.I. Unity Described“Behold, how good…it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”A. It is goodThere are not many things in the Word that are called good.The only man the Bible calls good was Barnabas in Acts 11:24.The Lord called his creation good in Genesis 1 and 2.It is something that we hope the Lord will say about our service to Him when we meet him face to face someday.But here is something that is called good – unity.B. It is Pleasant“how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell in unity”It is pleasant – I like words, every Word of God is inspired and with purpose.Pleasant – means, just like it sounds: Pleasing; agreeable; grateful to the mind or to the senses;Division isn’t pleasant. By the way, being a loner is pleasant. What is pleasant is getting along with others.It is good, it is pleasant, and:C. It is Precious“It is like the precious ointment upon the head”1. Of great price; costly; 2. Of great value or worth; very valuable 3. Highly valued; much esteemedOintment signifies an anointing, as when Aaron was dedicated in his service for God in the temple, how precious it was, how memorable it was.Unity is something that precious and ought to be sought after, desired, searched for and when found, it should held on to with a death grip. Because when in unity great things can be accomplished.D. It is Blessing“for there the Lord commanded the blessing”When I was first working on this message and I transcribed that phrase I just read I had written “for there the Lord commanded a blessing.” There is a big difference between “a” blessing and “the” blessing. It is the difference between a general blessing and a specific blessing.The dew is a fit symbol of the unity of the Spirit. It is distilled in the night season—and never after a storm. It forms only when all is still and at rest. Strife, rush and bustle, worry and ceaseless activity, will never bring about the unity God envisions for His people. The dew cannot be manufactured. It is God's gracious gift to an otherwise dying world.E. It is Eternal“even life evermore”Don’t forget that this life of our in the Lord is forever. We need to realize that I might as well get good at something I am going to do forever – that is to live in unity with the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost and with the Saints.Have you ever looked back at your youth and wish you had been more mature in some area – displayed better character, made godly decisions for your life. I think we all have. Think about this, when I am not living in unity I am being immature because there will be a day when we look back from heaven and wish we could have lived the way God intended.You might say, “Well, I not in unity for God’s sake, I’m upset that things aren’t as they should be.” Look at 1 Kings 19:14. I heard another get mad for God’s sake, this fella said kind of the same thing when God asked Elijah – “doest thou well to be angry?” Elijah answered,And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.F. It is a sign of MaturityGreat peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.II. Unity bring us all benefitsA. PeaceIt is not hard to understand after which we have studied in the first point, that when we that is good, pleasant, precious, a blessing, and eternal, that we cannot help but be at peace. Peace with God, peace with the brethren, and have inner peace.We won’t spend time here because but many churches, families and such struggle with unity because of pride, bitterness, strife, quarrels. But when we are unified there is peace. But not only is there peace, but there is:B. ProtectionEcclesiastes 4:9-12 9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.In the Marine Corps we had what was called the buddy system. When we were in foreign ports especially in threat areas that have reports of terrorism or Muslim extremist. Back in the the early 90’s we warned of the Muslim attacks even in the Philippines. But when we were together there was more protection.Now my platoon sergeant for many of the ports and deployments we went on allowed me to go on my own because I wasn’t going to bars and the guys at that time weren’t going to go to church.But there is strength in numbers and protection.III. Unity’s Bond is increased by Working togetherA. The bond is built through sharing of the LoadSynergy is: the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions,In laymen’s terms: it is the product produced while working together is much greater than the product produced while working apart.Did you know when our church goes soulwinning together much more gets done in outreach than we do it apart.When we work at projects and spring cleaning at the church – working together accomplishes much more than we could each on our own.B. The bond is blessed through prayerAgain I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,C. The bond is increased by helping the weakYou might ask, well who are the weak? Someone that has been weakened. Some who is weaker than they used to be. Someone, because of circumstances, needs some help.There are a couple of reasons we support the weak:Someone has supported you and you or your loved ones will need support again.You used to be weak – someone carried you aroundIt’s an obligation as well as a privilege as a child of God.It’s is what Christ did.Though you may not be weak today, it is amazing how one day can change everythingActs 2:44–45 (AV)And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.When people are unified, they are able to help one another. I can’t help it if others aren’t unified with us, I can’t make them do it, cannot make them willing to get along. But for those that are unified need to get behind and assist those that are in need.Did you know that no one person can pay someone’s electric, buy all their food, pay their rent or mortgage? But when 15 or 20 people give to a need when it is there I one, some $10, some $50, $500 can be raised in no time. When there are meals that need to be made for a family with a health problem, when one person tries to do it, it becomes burdensome and ineffective, but when 8 people help, a family is blessed and loved.D. The Bond we have is part of God’s purpose for our livesI have a purpose in heaven and purpose on earth to be unified for God. Because of God and because of the brethren and because of their need.Don’t miss out on your purpose – the reason that God keeps you here. One of his purposes is that you might be unified with Christ, with the brethren at church, and to help those in need.Don’t let anything get you out of God’s will of unity.
Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers [meeting] together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become 'unity' conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.
A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God.
In a Peanuts cartoon Lucy demanded that Linus change TV channels, threatening him with her fist if he didn't. "What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?" asks Linus.
"These five fingers," says Lucy. "Individually they're nothing but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold."
"Which channel do you want?" asks Linus. Turning away, he looks at his fingers and says, "Why can't you guys get organized like that?” - Charles Schultz.
There are two ways of being united -- one is by being frozen together, and the other is by being melted together. What Christians need is to be united in brotherly love, and then they may expect to have power. - Moody's Anecdotes, p. 53.