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858. The Unity of the Church

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
November 11, 2020 7:00 pm

858. The Unity of the Church

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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November 11, 2020 7:00 pm

BJU President Steve Pettit continues a discipleship series entitled, “Seeking Things Above” from Colossians 3:12-17.

The post 858. The Unity of the Church appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927. The evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the University Chapel platform today on The Daily Platform were continuing a study series entitled seeking things above, which is a study of the book of Colossians. This study explores and applies the timeless truth that Christ is our sufficiency in all relationships, responsibilities and circumstances. If you would like to follow along in the study booklet you can get one on Kendall or you can order a printed copy from the website.

The Daily Today's message is from Colossians 312 through 17, Paul was emphasizing the privileged position in being part of Christ Church as God's true representative on the earth. The local church has all its needs supplied in Christ. The title of today's message is the unity of the church. Please take your Bibles this morning a turn with me to the book of Colossians Colossians chapter 3 this morning. For the sake of time, I'm going to forgo the reading of the Scripture where we are looking this morning. In verse 12 and we will work our way down this time allows to verse 17, I want you to imagine this morning that you are a believer living 2000 years ago in the city of Colossae in central Turkey suddenly news spreads like wildfire among the Christians that two men once name is ticket because in a runaway slave named an SMS has just arrived from Rome with a letter from the apostle Paul, but it's more than a ladder. It is actually inspired Scripture that is addressed specifically to the Colossian believers and is going to be read to the entire church. Let me ask you question. Would you be excited.

Would you anticipate what Paul is written, what is he going to say but even more specifically, how is it that Paul is going to address a problem. Everybody knows about that exists in the church. Well, all the Christians gathered together prayer is offered and the reading begins.

Paul and apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God in Timothy our brother to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ Colossae Grace to you and peace from God our father and then they began to read through this letter and is a letter is read what is everybody here. Well, it's very clear that Paul is exalting Christ as the creator of all things and that the believer is connected to Jesus, the head of the church. Paul also makes it very clear that all believers are complete in Christ. At the very moment of their salvation experience and then Paul launches into an expos of the false teachers who would call the need of an extra spiritual work outside of Christ in order to be spiritually complete and Paul reiterates the truth that the church has all its needs supplied in Christ that we are complete and sufficient in him and then we come to the third chapter and suddenly it turns to beautiful because Paul declares the believer's amazing identity as a Christian, and our focus on things above and not on things below, and then we come to verse 12, which will look at now and here Paul zero CN on the relationship and the responsibility that all believers have, to the church. It is clear that the false teachers were dividing the church through their teaching, they were implying that the preaching of the gospel and the believer's relationship to the church is not enough is not sufficient for the spiritual life of all creeds.

Christians. They need something more than Paul is insistent if believers withdraw from the Fellowship of the church with the idea of getting something richer and better. In reality, it will turn into a terrible law that God has provided his church for the spiritual needs of his people and so beginning in verse 12.

As we read through it.

Paul commands the believers how they are to respond to the church and he gives four specific commands to counteract the effect of the false teachers and to develop and strengthen the unity of the church and so therefore the emphasis of this passage is the unity of the church and let's look at these four commands this morning, beginning in verse 12 we read put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercy and kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye verse 14 and above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

What is the first command, Paul gives concerning our relationship to the church and he tells us all of us to put our own love verse 14, above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. Paul is telling us that love holds everything together in the church just like a bell holds up your pants. You take off the belt. For some, it becomes an embarrassing situation, and so love is the belt that holds us together. Notice verse 14 is a begins with the conjunction and it is connecting us back to verse 12 where Paul commands us to put on the grace qualities that reflect the new life and I say grace qualities because they can only be developed through grace. Let me remind you that in chapter 3, Paul is showing us the essentials of how to live the spiritual life. How do we we live in victory and Paul tells us that first of all we have to get a grip on our identity and our focus in Christ, we have to know who we are in Christ.

Secondly, we have to put off the sins of the old life and then thirdly, we have to displace the old sins, primarily by replacing them with new braces. For example, I emphasize this in my fourth message to you on the believers focus where I talked about a Scottish writer named Thomas Chalmers. He wrote a piece entitled the explosive power of a new affection and the point he made is that the way that you remove or displace the old life of sin is not just by focusing on the negative actions don't do this, don't do this and don't do this but it is by exchanging an old affection for a new one. In other words, yes, Paul does say we stop sinning. But how do we do that we put on the graces of Christ through the grace of Christ. And so in verse 14, Paul is saying that the supreme grace that we are to put on. Is love so where do you develop that grace and the answer is within the body of the local church, and above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. The bond of maturity is binding us together.

Love will keep us together.

I think we have to always be reminded folks that the church is a body of saved sinners, where say, but we still sinners and worshiping with safe sinners is the place where we develop this true biblical love gets where we learn compassion and kindness in humility and meekness and patience and love.

A number of years ago, our revival team was down in the state of Florida. We had a girl on the team who graduated from Bob Jones wonderful girl she played the flute saying she was actually a very good flute player had beautiful tone and are playing, but she just she just made lots and lots and lots of mistakes in it and was really frustrating. And one day after practice. After frustrating practice session we were walking out of the parking lot. Her name is Danielle and I turned to Daniela said Danielle a second ISU question I said are you afraid of me. She looked to me. She went. I said Danielle is limited something I am so thankful to God that you are owner group on our team as a Danielle I want you to know that I love you.

I am thankful for you. I am glad that you are with us and not only that, but God is using you. Just like we use each other to build up one another without you I can't grow and as we grow together and as we learn to love one another.

We both grow in Christ and that little conversation and every time I see Danielle.

We talked about the conversation in the church parking lot that it was a it was, it was revolutionary for both of us as we recognize that God was using this relationship to actually build our love one for another.

The atmosphere of the church is to be a relational atmosphere where Christians learn to love one another in spite of one another and what it seems that Paul is implying is that there were those who wanted to break away from the church in order to have a deeper spiritual experience with the more spiritually elite group. But the problem is that they were missing one of the most important values of the church and that is it gives believers the opportunity to be matured by learning to love and imperfect body. Folks, if you're looking for the perfect church where perfect people worship together. Don't join it because you're going to mess it up. God intended for the church to be filled with people who have messy lives who were growing and we learn to love one another.

So Paul is saying that greater unity is developed in the church by putting own love and secondly notice what he says in verse 15 he says and let the peace of God rule in your hearts to the which are also called in one body.

The second command is to let peace rule God's peace is to be presiding over the church. Now the verse here is often used as a proof text for those who are trying to determine God's will for their life. In other words, I have peace about it, but that really is not what this verse is teaching. There are other verses. For example, Philippians 4, six and seven were to pray about everything and God gives us a peace that passes all understanding. But this is not the purpose of this text Paul here is commanding believers to make peace a priority in the church. Jesus is the head of the church. He's the Prince of peace. He reigns over a kingdom of peace. He makes peace with us. Therefore, it would be wrong for Christians to be reconciled to God and live with unreconciled relationships and unresolved conflicts within the church body is the church have problems. Yes. So what are we to work towards, we are to work towards peace and how does this piece work will notice the text it says let the peace of God rule the world rule means to act as a referee. Could you imagine what a basketball game would be like without a referee, a guy goes up to shoot the ball and gets found to get packed. What is a referee do. He blows his whistle when there's a found he stops the game because the piece of the game has been broken. So what he saying is let peace like be it be like a referee. If the doctrine of the false teachers is leading to disruption of peace and a disunity within the congregation that somebody needs to blow the whistle because Paul believes in Paul is stating that this church should strive for unity and how do we do that when we as a body seek P I used as my dad dad what you want for Christmas and he would look at me and say peace and tranquility. There is telling you there is nothing more satisfying and joyful for up for believers to be in a congregation where there is the reigning rule of the peace of Christ and when the pieces not there, then we need to work towards peace.

James said the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace, and then he says there's 1/3 command that we should have within the church that that focuses on unity and notice verse 16 he says let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. The third command is to focus on the word of Christ. The central unifying focus of the church is to be the word of Christ is the duty of pastors to enrich the congregation with an abundant supply of Christ centered, Bible exposition Charles Spurgeon, the prince of preachers stated it so succinctly. He said let your sermons be full of Christ from beginning to M crammed full of the book of the gospel and what is Paul saying Paul is saying that the preaching of Christ is sufficient for the spiritual growth of the church. My daughter a number of years ago attended a church one summer in a community where she was working after her ninth service or ninth weekend. I asked her how was the preaching and at first it was very quiet. I went out no. She said dad I get really tired of rhetoric has okay sweetheart next Sunday. Let me encourage you together. This church don't you go listen to this pastor she did and after Sunday service. I called her and asked her the same question, but her response was very different. She said dad he preached Christ out of Colossians 1 and I wept through the whole service, the preaching of Christ is bread to the hungry its water to the thirsty its guidance to the traveler and truth to the seeker is strength for the weary, and it is comfort for the broken hearted when the word of Christ is preeminent in the preaching ministry of the church that it holds the entire body together. You could say Jesus is like super glue and were all held together in him but let's look even deeper. This verse for Paul says that believers are enrich when the word of Christ is not only preached but when the word of Christ is song.

This is one of the few verses in the New Testament regarding music there about 14 verses, it should be noted that this verse is in the context of the unity of the church.

This is important to consider because music is intended to unify and edify the body, however it is unfortunate today that music in churches is not the great unifier in many cases is the great divider and I think this is the reason why we often describe this today as worship we know that's not right. So the way we approach the subject of music is a very big deal. And Paul is commanding us to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly through singing. You could almost say that Paul is actually giving us New Testament inspired instructions and how to say so let me ask a few questions about this verse.

First of all, what should we sing who decides what we sing. Do we decide no.

For the Scripture tells us Paul says witnessing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Some of suggested that these are three types of Psalms that is the songbook of the Jewish people.

The 150 psalms and so they could be Psalms of praise hymns of reverence and songs about the spiritual life. Others have suggested that these are three types of songs Psalms hymns of praise and songs of the spiritual experience of the Christian life. In either case, the text of the hymn or the song must find its source directly in Scripture, it must clearly and accurately reflect the truth of God's word. The lyrics of sacred music must be balance reflecting both doctrine and practice, and it should emphasize the complete experience of the Christian life. The word should be beautiful both in order and meter and presented in a very clear manner and I think the main point here is that the primary emphasis is on the text that should be number one. What are we singing about before we ask any other questions. What is most important.

It is the word of Christ. But in second question, what helps us to say for sure this 1415, Paul says, witnessing with the spirit and understanding. We should be called up in the song with an engaged heart. There is no excuse for singing in a halfhearted manner. Maybe you'll say will the song is boring and others really not a boring song is just a boring singer. You are boring y'all have gotta let me preach to you everyday some of your boring I can sing about anything. It is about Christ. I can be engaged in it, but would also sing with understanding what is that mean well it machines that we understand what were singing about. And what's the best way to get understanding. It is actually to study the word. The word of Christ is dwelling in us richly. The single best thing to enable us to saying is studying our Bibles. Our minds are enrich to the knowledge of the Scripture so that when we sing the words. It's almost like the word sort of jump off the page. It's just like oh this is beautiful the way this comes out Bible study is like filling up the lake with water and singing is when the dam that holds the water breaks open, you can always tell if the congregation studies the Bible how do we know that by the way they saying. Have you ever been in a preachers meeting. Ever notice how is preachers saying it's always loud it's not always beautiful but as always loud why because they been studying the Bible all week and they explode from their heart. That's how we are to saying in the third question, what are we doing when we sing together well. Colossians 316 says were teaching and admonishing one another when we saying we are actually preaching to one another. I said to our team that I know what I music is becoming effective is when our singer start preaching to the congregation for singing his preaching set to music. That's why Hardy singing is always motivational to us. It stirs the congregation. It's a powerful witness for the gospel. Often times, one of the most moving experience for nonbeliever is to enter into congregation and to listen to the Hardy singing of the believers. And finally, what notes shall we use when we sing was interesting.

No notes are mentioned in Colossians 3 or Ephesians 5 we find another parallel verse but Paul does say where to sing with grace. Someone is describe this is grace notes the bass notes are grace notes the best musical notation is not written in the hymn book, but with the pen of God written on the hearts of the singers we express gratitude as we sing melody and our heart and it is very clear from Paul that the music of the church should unify and edify the body as we sing around the word of and then finally very quickly. What is the last command and that he is, Paul says were to be thankful.

Three times he says that verse 15 be thankful for. 16 sing with grace in your hearts to the Lord for 17 give thanks to God and the father by him somewhat is said that Paul's theology can be summed up in grace and his ethics in gratitude. The spirit of unity is maintained through a continually thankful heart, being thankful for Christ because he's the focus of our life being thankful for the church because he he elevates its importance in our hearts and minds being thankful for Christians because they help us to realize how God uses them in our lives is been my experience over the years, especially with Christians.

And I've experienced this in our own ministry that when we take time to express gratitude to one another, either in words publicly or privately, or whether in written form. What it does.

There's something about gratitude and grace that go together that affect our hearts that unify our hearts and in so doing, it unifies the church. So what are we to do when to let peace rule. We are to let the word of Christ be center in all that we do in the church we are to be thankful and we are to put on love in these are the commands Paul gives us in order for us to have unity in the church father, we thank you for your instructions for us as your people and help us to grow in the grace and the knowledge of Christ and Jesus thing a man you been listening to a sermon from the study series in the book of Colossians by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University. For more information on Dr. Pettit series, visit our where you can get a copy of Steve's study booklet entitled seeking things above the Kindle version is also available. The Bob Jones University school for continuing online and professional education offers convenient and affordable online programs. Whether you're seeking to expand your skills pursue a passion or develop a ministry on your own time qualified and engaged instructors will help you reach your goals.

For more information, visit scope.BJ or call 888-253-9833. Thanks for listening and join us again tomorrow as we continue the study in Colossians here on the daily plan

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