This Sunday we continued in the book of Ephesians by talking about one thing that is necessary for transformation to occur among God’s people: Unity!
I began by sharing the story of a man born in 1906 in Germany by the name of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer was known for many writings, but he especially spoke of true discipleship, particularly to youth and young adults. He said, “It is not the task of youth to reshape the church, but to listen to the Word of God. In other words, our job is to listen to the Word of God and then do what He tells us to do.
The tragedy is, however, that much of the church’s failures come out of a willingness to compromise what God’s Word says in an effort to attract the masses. Simply put, we are becoming less and less salty in a decaying culture.
When look at Ephesians, we see all of the theology laid out in chapters 1-3 followed by the practical application of that theology beginning in chapter 4.
In 14 words Paul contextualizes all of the purposes of God and gives us the single focus of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 4:3 – “Being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Why is unity so important? Because it was the primary message of Jesus who came not to divide but to unite, and it is the primary objective of the church. – Ephesians 1:10
Unity is the primary objective of God’s plan of salvation because sin always divides and separates.
– It divides man against himself
– it divides man against others
– it divides man against God
Unity is important, and it is where our transformation must begin.
The other day I was driving with Win Baggett. He was talking about his days as a football coach and said that if there was one thing he could change it would be to teach cooperation instead of competition.
We need to return to a spirit of cooperation in the church, in society and in our marriages.
What does cooperation look like?
– rejoicing in others
– having relationships with others, not an attitude of friends/enemies.
The following Scriptures tell the story of unity. I would encourage you to read these in your home ministries.
– Genesis 1:26 – Unity
– Genesis 3:10 – Hiding from God
– Genesis 4 – Cain and Abel, the first murderer and murder victim
– Genesis 11:6 – The tower of Babel
– John 17:20-21 – Jesus prays for unity
– Ephesians 4:3
Now, a special note to the men:
Transformation begins with unity, and unity begin with cooperation in your house.
Are you the leader? Then change your title to “chief servant.”
1 Peter 3:7 “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”
Men, transformation begins with us!
The first step that you need to take towards unity and transformation is to make peace with God. Some of you feel like you are in competition with God, but let me tell you, He is not in competition with you.
Lastly, make peace with one another. Is there someone in the church that you have been avoiding or have not spoken to in a while? If so, it’s time to strengthen the bonds between you.
Questions for Discussion:
When was a time in your life where sin separated you from God and/or others around you?
What are some differences that you see between cooperation and competition?
Men, what might it look like to be the “chief servant” in your home?
How do you need to make peace with God or someone in the church today?