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1218. The Unity of the Church pt. 1

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
March 30, 2022 7:00 pm

1218. The Unity of the Church pt. 1

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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March 30, 2022 7:00 pm

Dr. Steve Pettit continues a series entitled “Seeking Things Above” with a message titled, “The Unity of the Church pt. 1,” from Colossians 3:14-17.

The post 1218. The Unity of the Church pt. 1 appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform or program prepare sermons from travel services Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Every day students are blessed by the preaching and teaching of the Bible 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 like you to take your Bibles and turn with me to Colossians chapter 3 as we begin this morning. I want you to imagine with me if you will that you are a believer living in the city of Colossae 2000 years ago is my prayer privilege to go to that area in and what we know today as Turkey. It's in central Turkey.

I went to the area where the church of Colossae was located so I have that in my memory.

And here you are, your living there and suddenly you you receive the news that the cancer spread like wildfire, fire, and that is a letter has just arrived from Rome and had been brought there by an individual man named pica kiss or to cook us in a runaway slave name own SMS and they had just brought a handwritten letter from the great apostle Paul and the letter was written to the church of Colossae and they're going to read it very soon so you can imagine how excited and how much anticipation, that would be among the church members. What is it that Paul's going to say what's he going to write to the church and so all the Christians gathered together in prayer is offered and the reading starts and it begins with the formal introduction Paul and apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother to the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae Grace to you and peace from God our father and then Paul begins to write remembering it's being written to them and as the letter is read what we hear. Well, Paul declares that Jesus Christ is exalted as the creator of all things. That is a church, they are connected to Christ who is the head of this body of believers that are being shaped and formed all over the world.

He goes on to tell the believers that they are complete in Christ. At the very moment of their conversion experience that all they need. They have found in Jesus.

Then he begins to expose the false teachers.

Those teachers who call the need of an extra spiritual work beyond one's salvation in order to be spiritually complete and you can say this way Paul nails it. And he reiterated reiterates the truth of the church has everything it needs to live a life of godliness and then we come to chapter 3 that Paul takes his amazing identity that we all have is believers that we are in Christ and he tells us to pursue something in our life. All of us and that is where to seek things above and not things on the earth. And then we come in this passage of Scripture where Paul begins to zero in on our relationship with one another and in particular our responsibility to this body that is called the church and we learn something that false teachers always want to divide the body of Christ through their teaching.

They imply that the preaching of Christ word in the relationship a believer has with the church is not sufficient for the spiritual life of the Christian you need something more than Paul insists that if believers withdraw from the Fellowship of the church with the idea that they can get something better.

Something richer, something more meaningful that to withdrawal is actually in reality a terrible limit to stop here and say anything that takes us away from the body of Jesus Christ is believers is always to our detriment. So what is Paul do.

He gives the believers for commands with regards to their relationship to the church and in these commands. He also counteracts the effect of the false teachers because in these commands he is developing a strong unity within the church. So that's my message this morning and that is the unity of the church and not so much from a theoretical perspective. But what are we to do as believers within the body of the church is been my privilege over my Christian experience yesterday was the 46th anniversary of my conversion experience. I was saved Easter Sunday 1975 is been my privilege to be a member of a local church for these 46 years and I've always been in wonderful churches and I'm so thankful for the godly pastors that have influenced my life and have learned how is it that I as a church member live out the unity of the church and what am I supposed to do. So let's look this morning at Colossians chapter 3 and I want us to know that I want us to look beginning in verse 14, where Paul writes these words, and above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. Let the peace of God rule in your hearts to the which are called in one body. And be thankful that 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. And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the father by him. Paul gives us for commands for things that we are to do as a believer to keep the unity of the church and all of you.

I'm expecting that when you graduate from Bob Jones and you go out into the world that one of the first things you do, even in many cases before getting a job is that you become a part of the faithful gospel centered Bible preaching church and you become a part of that and you become involved in that church and you serve in that church and only that which you work to maintain the unity of the church and one of the things that were to do. Notice the first man he says in verse 14 he says, and above all these things put on charity or love, which is the bond of perfectness. Paul here tells us that it is love that holds the church together like a bell holds up your pants.

That's the idea of the bond of perfectness number of years ago I was on a missions trip the country of Zambia. We took a couple of days off to go down to the great Victoria Falls in the Zambezi River.

One of the things we did is we did a rafting River to the river raft trip down the Zambezi we went down about nine or 10 rapids that you go over. They politely classify them and so I think I was wearing a pair like cutoff shorts or jeans. I don't know exactly what I was wearing but I didn't wear a belt and I got down to the rafting art in our guide was a was an act of an African gentleman. I remember his name.

His name was potato.

That's what they called and he looked at me and he says you don't have a belt on, so I don't want aware bell because letter and I didn't want to ruin the belt. He says you must have a belt I said why do I need a belt. He says you're gonna find out he says because when that when you go down that ramp that River and that you get thrown out in the river. He says the river will take your pants off and you know what he was absolutely right.

Now it didn't happen to me because I got like a rope to hold my pants together, but I I can tell you that I was pulling them up the whole time because there was such, there was such power that would would would hold them all.

So here's the apostle Paul in his writing to the church of Colossae and he says what is it that holds the church together and the answer is it is always love and if there is an absence of love in the church than what is it, do it takes the unity ride out and beginning in verse 14, Paul starts this verse. If you'll notice with the conjunction and and above all these things he's connecting it back to verse 12 and verse 12, Paul commands us to put on the grace qualities that reflect the new life with what he says put on therefore is the elect of God, holy and beloved, gives a list of things, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, and long-suffering when we call these.

We call these grace qualities and I like to emphasize that they're not. That's necessarily what we call common character things. For example character can be developed in your life with your Christian or not like being on time cleaning your room. Those are all character qualities, but those are not grace qualities qualities are the things that can be developed in your life only by the grace of God.

Only God's grace can give us compassion and love for people that we would not naturally love only grace can keep us humble and meek and not rebellious or retaliatory. And so what Paul is saying is you need to put all these grace qualities and the greatness grace quality is the quality of love and when we put on love, that is the foundation for a unified church. It is always important to remember that the church is a body of saved sinners cannot say that again the church is a body of saved sinners when he put it this way, Bob Jones University is a school for saved sinners. And I'm not sure sometimes which one the emphasize saved or sinners and if we look at each other, always from the viewpoint of sinners. At times it's really hard to love each other because you know what we all see the hypocrisy of those that live among us. You see it all the time.

There people that say one thing and they live another way. Another way how do you live among those who were safe sinners, and the answer is that we have to put all the grace of love and that's why we actually need each other, but let me put it this way.

God is so created the church that the church is the atmosphere where we learn to love give illustration number of years ago on our our revival team. Back when I was an evangelist. We had a young lady on the team graduated from Bob Jones. She had her Masters degree from here and she played the flute saying on the team and for whatever reason, I have no idea that every time I would get around her. She would get really really nervous. She was, for whatever reason, should I what I was intimidating to her and II don't know why people say sometimes I'm intimidating is that you should meet my mother and and every time she got afraid.

She just played the flute terrible and I knew she was good. I'm like it's a fear issue. So one day after practice.

After really a bad practice and she messed up really bad. I met her in the parking lot of the church and I looked at as a Daniel is a can I ask a question is are you afraid of me. She went to see Danielle please don't be afraid of me. I said look I need you.

She looked. I said no, no, no, really.

I said because everybody that comes to travel on this team teaches me things about myself, and teaches me how to put it this way expands my capacity to love different people and us. It actually we need each other, so please I love you and don't be afraid is no point II know you can do this and that was every time II see Danielle we get together we love each other start laughing because we were we talk about the parking lot conversation and what happened was we became open and honest and transparent with each other and suddenly there was a complete change in our relationship, you and I need the church. Why, because in the church we learn to love people. We learn to love saved sinners and one of the heart and in and this is really really simple but sometimes it's really hard for us to grasp that really God uses the people that are around me, even the ones that irritate me.

God uses those people to help me to learn to love. It seems like the apostle Paul was implying in his statements in the church that there were some that wanted to break away from the church because they want to have a deeper spiritual experience and they wanted to be a part of a more spiritually elite group and the problem is that they're missing one of the greatest values of the church because the church gives believers the opportunity to be perfected or to be matured in learning to love and imperfect body is within the church that we have multiple opportunities to love believers.

With so many different backgrounds and Paul says that the greater unity in the church is developed with the church decides to put on love, showing the church and decide by the grace of God on the love everybody in the church that the first things is the second command he says is to let the peace of God rule in your hearts so I can simply say let peace rule God's peace is to rule the church now this verse is sometimes uses a proof text for those who are trying to determine God's will. I have is about it and I'm not saying that that's that bit that you can't get peace about God's will. Philippians 4 tells us to know be anxious about anything, and pray and God gives you peace that passes understanding.

So that's more of a subjective peace of God gives you.

But that's not what this verse is all about.

This verse is commanding believers to make peace a priority in the church.

Christ is the head of the church.

He's also the prints of peace therefore be wrong for Christians who been reconciled to God to live with unreconciled relationships and unresolved conflicts within the church body. I've seen this experience. This I go to church and brother so-and-so sincere brother so and so sincere that both the members of the same church for 20 years and I haven't talked to each other and 15 that's just not right. And when he says let the peace rule the word rule there means to act as an umpire or a referee is like when you play a game and a player files another player.

What is the referee Duke, he blows the whistle he stops the game because the piece of the game is been broken. He says let peace be the referee if the doctrine of the false teachers is leading you to a disruption of the peace and the disunity of the congregation than somebody needs to blow the whistle and it is James that tells us that that we are to seek peace and by seeking peace we actually experience the fruit of righteousness. So when I come into a church setting.

I will first of all to choose to love the people and then secondly, to seek the peace of that body where we have warm healthy relationships and by the way, there's nothing more wonderful than to be in a church when you have that experience in the notice. Number three. The third command. He gives us in verse 16 when he says let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Here we see that the unifying focus of the church is to be the word of Christ. That is, it's the glue that holds us together. I said this about the discipleship groups in chapel here Bob Jones that the glue that holds us together is always word of Christ and specifically we see the word of Christ in two ways. Number one, we see it through preaching is the duty of pastors to enrich the congregation with an abundant supply of Christ centered, Bible expositional preaching. I love going to my church on Sundays. Not only do I I I I love seeing the congregation and sing the blessing of God on the congregation but I love to hear my pastor preach. As I sat there in church yesterday morning as we had communion at 930 and the preaching of the word of God. At 1045 we are at a tremendous sermon on the resurrection. I thought what a blessing for this church that we are growing spiritually and were growing numerically as a body of believers through the faithful preaching of God's word. Paul is saying that the preaching of Christ is sufficient for the spiritual growth of the church. The preaching of Christ is bread to the hungry is water to the thirsty is guidance for the traveler is truth for the seeker is strength of the weary and it is comfort for the brokenhearted, what, what a wonderful blessing to be in a church where Jesus has become the super glue that holds us all together. So number one, we see the word of Christ through through the ministry of the word to the preaching of the work.

But secondly, Paul says that the word of Christ enriches us through the singing of the gospel. Notice what he says let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another how in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. What Paul is saying is this that believers are enriched through the preaching and through the singing of the congregation.

I like to emphasize here that the primary focal point here is on congregational singing. Not that we can't sing in solos or duets or trios requires with the primary emphasis here is congregational singing and it should be.

It should be noted that that that the music the singing brings a sense of unity were all singing together. It brings a sense of harmony and also builds up and edifies the church music should never divide the church. It should build the church and so how is it that we approach music correctly. Obviously, music is a big deal today.

Everybody here listens to music. Every most everyone of you have headphones. Most everyone of you have access to spot a fire or Apple music or whatever your your digital platform is. Everybody has music. I'm not talking about that I'm talking primarily about the church and what is he say here about how we see how we should sing in the church.

He first to tell of all, tells us what we should sing what we say we sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs that Summit suggested that these should come out of the book of Psalms because the book of Psalms was the Jewish hymnal.

Of course nothing wrong with singing songs. But there are others who believe that they could be the Psalms. Or they could be songs that are written by God's people throughout church history. In either case, let me suggest this, that the text of the hammer song was 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 balanced reflecting both doctrine and practice in emphasizing the complete experience of the Christian life. They should be beautiful in both order and meter and presented in a clear manner.

In other words, it should be singable. It should be understandable. It should be the kind of song that when I sing it builds up, it strengthens it motivates me to believe it motivates me to act. That's what a good song does a lot of people today make a big deal about who writes the song is first of all say that there to say that is not a deal at all is really not wise.

But let me also say this, that in the Scriptures.

The main issue is not the messenger it's not Paul, Peter or Apollo's. It's the message. The message is always preeminent if I have to agree with the messenger. I would probably cut out most of the songs in my hymnal. If it's if Martin Luther wrote it. I got a problem with and because he baptize babies.

It is John Wesley I have a problem with him because he's Armenian you can lose your salvation. John Calvin wrote it. I got a problem with him because I'm not sure I agree with all points of Calvinism. It is Isaac Newton, who not I a John Newton who wrote this excuse me, I know what I did was John Newton John Newton wrote amazing Grace. I'm not sure I agree with him because he was an Episcopal. It had to be only a Baptist which our one by the way, I might not sing anybody songs only sing the songs that I wrote and I've only written to and I get tired of saying those. After a while a man so the most important thing is what does the song say and who does it exalt is it centered on Jesus Christ.

Let God be true and every man a liar.

Nobody possesses any more righteousness than anybody else. Only the righteousness of Christ is sufficient for us so what should we sing we should sing scriptural songs now. I got like one minute left, and I got like four or five more points to say about music, so I think I'll come back because you need to hear this message anyway but let me let me say, let me say make one more point I'll be done and that is what helps us to sing first for this 14 verse 15 it says where to sing with the spirit and with understanding the two things that help us to sing the spirit and understanding the idea of the word spirit has the idea of engaged emotions because music is emotional, and secondly, understanding means I actually understand what I'm saying, if you have some a whole song and you didn't even think about the words I may never know that Reggie yes your course that's called singing without understanding that is you not thinking about it that what's the most important thing that you can do to enhance your singing.

Let me illustrate this right. How many of you have ever been to a preachers meeting and they saying in that meeting come you never been to a preachers meeting and they say raise your hand. Okay us terrible okay I been to like hundreds of preachers meetings and there's nobody on the planet that sings louder than a group of preachers that they make a joyful noise mostly, but they are always seeing allow number of years ago I was at a in a service where there were 6000 Baptist preachers in the room.

6000. A man got up and he began to say, and he was an old singer like 86 years old at the time and when he was a young man hit song, and Billy Sunday Crusades when he was in his 20s and I got to hear the man saying he sang the song Christ return. If hallelujah, and there was so much shouting going on in that room that the preachers pulled out their handkerchiefs because preachers always blowing their note and they pull out hankies and they started waving the hankies while he was singing and literally the room looked like snow was.

It was the most electrifying atmosphere I've ever been in, and it was a bunch of preachers. What makes the difference in singing is when the word of Christ is dwelling in you richly early just put it this way when you're spending time in the Bible and there is a richness to being in God's word in its working in your heart. Then when you come to saying it's sort of like Bible study fills up the lake with water and singing is when the dam breaks and also comes gushing.

That's what helps singing in the church's not instrumentation. It's a heart filled with Christ and what is that due it brings unity and edification to the church. Lord help us to unify our churches by living out his Paul tells us to live here in Colossians.

In Jesus name, amen. 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 the Bob Jones University store website shop.BJ where you can get a copy of Steve's study booklet entitled seeking things above. Thanks for listing and join us again tomorrow as we continue the study in Colossians on The Daily Platform

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