Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Spirit of “Harambee!”

Romans 15:1-14
Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” The first Christians took this so much to heart that the pagans said of them, “Behold, how they love one another.” Such unity is precious and testifies of the love of God in us. But it is not easy. Since unity by definition involves more than one person, it can’t be answered in your life alone. This is a prayer that can only be answered corporately, as the whole church comes together to worship God.

Satan’s joy, if he cannot devise a scheme to keep men from following Christ, is to create ways to divide sincere men to keep them from serving Christ.

There is only one side to be on in a church and that is God’s side.

I. The Problem...Disunity  Romans 14:2-3,5a
Unity is hard work. It demands an ongoing commitment from every believer.

      Dangers of Disunity
            1. Disunity creates a lack of trust.
            2. Disunity creates criticism in the place of understanding
            3. Disunity creates strife and division in place of love and unity.
            4. Disunity creates a loss of ministry.

II. The Need Described  Romans 15:1-3

Patience and a servant spirit are keys to unity.
"Please be patient.  God is not finished with me yet." 
When someone says, “that’s just the way I am", they are usually defending a place of weakness rather than a mere personality trait.

Receiving an individual is foundational to ministry to them.
A servant is more in tune with the needs of those they serve than their own needs.

III. The Power Designated  Romans 15:4-6

The source of unity is God.
We must have a spirit of “Harambee!” - Let’s all pull together!
Unity of spirit may not mean unity of thought.

IV. The Action Designed  Romans 15:7

Unity means nothing unless we are willing to accept other believers.
People playing roles do not portray the reality of the Christian experience.

V. The Confidence Declared - Romans 15:14

Where the Spirit of Christ is, the power of Christ is.
Here is the end of it all. When the church is united, God is glorified and the world is amazed.

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