Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Glue of Christian Unity - Part 2

August 21, 2011
Josh Harris - The Glue of Christian Unity - Part 2
Colossians 3:12-15

God is used to dwelling in jars of clay.  We are disposable tupperware.  He knows how to deal with losers. 
Do you see how relationally bad these sins (anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene talk, dishonesty, sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, covetousness, idolatry) are?

2 More Ingredients
3.  The Virtues of Christ.  (vs. 12)
- Compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience.
"Put on" means "get dressed in," "clothe yourself with."  Don't wear unChrist-like clothes.  Our behavior flows out of our identity. 
"I am, because of Christ, dearly beloved."
If you're in Jesus, you need to dress like Jesus.
Compassion - kindness expressed in love and humility.
Meekness - Not weakness.  It takes an incredibly strong person to be meek, gentle.  Power that chooses to express itself in gentleness.  "An old dog who lets a child tug on his ears."
Bearing with one another - put up with them - bear their burdens and forgive them.

We don't stay united because we're worthy, but because we forgive and love each other. 
Shallow unity = agree with me and never mess up.  If this is what you're searching for (unity where everyone has to meet your standards), you're never going to find it. 
We can love those who are unlovable, be patient with those who mess up, because of Christ.  Has bearing with another cost you anything?  Have we ever been worthy of Christ's compassion?  No, we haven't, yet He bore with us, loved us, was/is patient with us, humbled Himself unto death and forgave us of all our sins.  Should we not do the same with our brothers and sisters in Christ?

4.  Let the Peace of Christ Rule. (vs. 15) 
You were called to this peace in one body. 
Peace - It is described in different ways in the Bible.  a) a peace in our hearts.  b) a peace between God and us.  c) a peace that is directly tied to our relationships with others, the church - a unity with each other.
God saved us for a unity with each other. 
"Rule" means "umpire."  An umpire enforces and officiates and keeps us from doing something that hurts the unity of the body of Christ. 
Don't let your heart be ruled by your own sinful desires. 
What does it mean to "let the peace of Christ rule in that moment"?  Unity doesn't trump truth. 
If our hope is that others will get their act together, we'll never have unity.

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