“How to be unified”, Psalm 133

A sermon for the Watford church of Christ

Introduction, v0
“What is and is not unity?”
yahad: together, along with, in close proximity or concord either in space or time; by extension: close association in relationships, unity.

  1. God’s vision, v1
    Jesus: “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one” (John 17:22 NIV11)
    Jesus used the word “one”, more than the word unity

A. Relational harmony
Unity tested by proximity
If no testing, maybe not proximate enough!

B. Precious, honouring, spreading
Oil – Psalm 23
Perfume
Visage
Anointing as an honouring
Hospitality. Love spreads.

C. Refreshing
Hermon – 2,814m; snow all year; drenching; dew – soaking
Supply what one another need: Acts 2:45, 4:35
Church is not an institution with functions, but a family with relationships.

  1. Gods vision for harmony comes about when we tell the truth instead of lies
    The goal is expressing godly love – Eph 4.1-6; 14-16; 25-32
    The means is communication

A. Speak
Conversations
Regular
Initiate

B. Truth
No hiding

C. Love
Gently

  1. God’s vision for harmony comes about when we offer each other mercy instead of condemnation
    “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7 NIV11)
    ““Do not judge, or you too will be judged.For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1–2)
    The goal, again, is experiencing God’s love
    The means is trust and respect

A. Mercy means no condemnation, Matt 18 / Lk 18
Remembering we are not superior
Trusting each other’s motives
People who do not trust others display a lack of trust in the Spirit, since all of us are just as Spirit-filled as each other
Mercy is cheerful : “if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” (Romans 12:8 NIV11)

B. Mercy means active compassion
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:16–18 NIV11)
Practical help for one another
“Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:15–17 NIV11)

A loving truth and mercy are essential for harmony among a community.
See Jesus – “full of grace and truth”, Jn 1.14

Question for breakout rooms: “How harmonised are we? Are we doing life together?”

Conclusion
Jesus always in harmony with the Father and of the Spirit
Jesus lived truth in love
Jesus lived mercy and grace
The cross brought and brings us unity with God and one another

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm

PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John