Today, I had the privilege to preach at a unity prayer breakfast here in the town I Pastor in, Hempstead Texas. Here is the sermon.
THE JOYS OF UNITY
I want to start my time off this morning with a word of thanks. I count it a privilege and honor to stand before all of you this morning a share a word from the greatest book ever written, God’s love letter to all humanity, to each one of you. It is rewarding, and humbling to come before you today to endeavor to feed you with a little bit of manna from heaven.
The theme for this community prayer breakfast is unity. And this morning, I want to share just a few moments on this subject. I’m going to speak to you this morning about the joys of Unity. You see, according to Scripture, unity between believers should be a joyeous thing.
Psalm 133 ESV – 1Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! 3 It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.
And hopefully, as you leave this breakfast this morning, you will experience this oil of the Holy Spirit running all over you and bringing you joy unspeakable and full of glory!
In His best selling book, In the Grip of Grace, Max Lucado compares the Church to a ship. He calls it the Fellow – ship. Allow me to quote, “God has enlisted us in His navy and placed us on His ship. The boat has one purpose – to carry us safely to the other shore. This is no cruise ship; it’s a battleship. We aren’t called to a life of leisure; we are called to a life of service. Each of us has a different task. Some, are concerned with those who are drowning, and they are snatching people from the water. Others are occupied with the enemy, so they man the cannons of prayer and worship. Still others devote themselves to the crew, feeding and training crew members. Though different, we are the same. Each member of the ship has had their own personal encounter with the Captain, Jesus Christ, and He has given each one of us all our own personal call.
This morning fellow believers, I want us to understand this. We each have one thing in common, and one thing that is different as well. The one thing in common is that all of us were born sinners, not deserving of God’s grace, but God being loving and merciful, called us out to become His children. Our difference is that each of us has a calling that is unique in the body of Christ.
This morning, I want us to focus, not on our differences, but on what we are united about. Let’s look at our theme verse, plus one verse and read it and see what God would say to us.
Ephesians 4:4-6 ESV – 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.
1. The first thing I want us to notice is that there is one body (v.1a).
A. Every person who puts their faith in Jesus Christ is placed into the Body of Christ.
B. And this one body has its expression in the local church.
C. And like there are many members in a body with different functions, there are many churches within the body of Christ in Hempstead Texas each with different functions and callings.
But all of them that believe in Jesus Christ and His saving grace are members of the one body. This morning, I’m speaking to many brothers and sisters in Christ. People from different backgrounds, denominations, and race, but we are all one in Christ and should treat one another as such.
2. There is one Spirit (v. 1b).
A. Now this should be very encouraging to each one of us.
There is not a different Spirit for the Pentecostals, the Baptists, the Methodists, the Non-denominationals, or whatever stripe of the body of Christ you might represent. There is only one Holy Spirit, and He dwells within the hearts of each and every born again believer here. And I believe that one of the ministries that the Holy Spirit accomplishes within our hearts is this desire for true unity with other believers.
You see, I still believe that the Holy Spirit wants to accomplish the very prayer our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ prayed before He went to the cross.
John 17:20-21 ESV – 20″I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
I believe that one of the jobs that the Holy Spirit does in all believers is that He produces love for one another, why? So that the world may see the gospel displayed openly, right in front of their eyes.
1 John 4:7-12 ESV – 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
3. There is one hope of our calling (v.1c).
A. This hope is none other than the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
B. I am of the belief that if we truly do believe in His coming, than there would be less troublemakers in our churches and more peace makers.
Why? Because when I rise to meet Him, I’m not going on my own, but with all the brothers and sisters of the faith, who love Him and hope for His appearing.
4. There is one Lord, faith, and baptism (v.5).
A. Our one Lord is our Redeemer, our Savior, and our soon coming King, the Lord Jesus Christ.
And since we serve the same Lord, it should be our desire to live together in unity.
B. We all have one faith.
This faith is found in Scripture, and screams out to us in a mega-phone way in John 3:16. The whole world is in need of Jesus, and all of us are God’s mega-phone declaring His truths to the world.
C. One Baptism.
This baptism takes place when we are baptized into the body of Christ at our conversion.
5. There is one God and Father over us all (v.6).
A. I think this is best described in the old disco tune by Sister Sledge, “We are Family.”
B. We are all members of the Family of God.
C. And because of that God is more than just the Supreme Being and creator of the universe, He is our Abba – Daddy Father.
And we can approach Him daily, and with one another in unity, in a sense of community.
As I close my session here this morning, let me state that God loves each and everyone of us here. He wants us to be unified, not under a cause, but under a King – Jesus Christ. I wonder what would happen in Hempstead if we saw not only our Pastors – which we are seeing, but our churches coming together, to love one another, to share each other’s burdens, to take hell by storm and say to the devil himself, “You can’t have our town, our community, we claim it for Jesus Christ.” I think that we would see perhaps an awaking in our community that could be felt world-wide. I believe it can happen. Let’s be unified, and love one another and be joyful in the Lord.