Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sermon, Jan.21, 2007--THE POWER OF UNITY

This is the last sermon in the series: THE THREE GREAT POWERS.

Scripture: I Corinthians 12:12-31a

An audio file of this sermon can be streamed or downloaded by clicking on

It is commonly accepted that there is power in unity...
"United we stand, divided we fall."
Two horses pull way more than what they can each pull on their own.
During children's time, we demonstrated the truth of Ecclesiastes 4:12--"a rope made of three cords is hard to break."

The unity Jesus desires in the church is organic, not organizational

The analogy of the human body demonstrates that unity is not an option, it is an essential for the church. When one part of the body is not functioning well, the rest is affected. Does not have to be a major organ like the heart, could be just a pinky!
On the other hand, a well-co-ordinated body, where all the parts worktogether is wonderful!

When EVERYONE in a church uses all their spiritual gifts together in serving Jesus, WOW!

God blesses unity
In Psalm 133, which we sang during the medley, God lets us know that he loves and blesses unity. It is as pleasant as the fragrance of the oil running down Aaron's beard...and it causes God to command his blessings.

Experience the power of unity in Prayer:

John 15:7: If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you." Remaining united to Jesus is the starting point

Matthew 18:19: "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven."
Husbands and wives, pray together.
Get together with another member of the church and pray together.

The Early Church experienced the blessings of unity
Acts 2:1-4
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.

Acts 2:44-47:
All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Acts 4:32-33:
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.

Acts 6: Following a restoration of the unity in Acts 6 with the neglected widows, notice verse 7, "So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith."

Jesus' prayer for unity
John 17:20, 21: "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me..."

Our unity is a witness that the world sees and then believes Jesus for who he really is...WOW!

Unity is oneness in purpose, not in practice

Philippians 2:2
"…make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose."

This is the week of prayer for Christian Unity...often our divisions have to do with uniformity in practice rather than unity in purpose.

Oneness in spirit comes from acknowledging Jesus as Lord.

We are beginning work on a mission we may have unity in purpose.

Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will bring us the unity Jesus desires


1. Give examples from your own life (experiences in the home, workplace, sports teams, etc.) where you have clearly witnessed thepower of unity as well as the mess of disunity.

2. Repeat #1 and give examples from church life this time.

3. Look at our church...would you say there is unity? Give some illustrations of unity in our church.

4. How can you experience the power of unity in greater measure than before in your life?

5. How can we experience the power of unity in greater measure than before in our life together as a church?

Conclude the small group time by practising in prayer the words of Jesus in Matthew 18:19. Pair up with one other person and tell them a prayer request. Let them agree with it and take it to the Lord in prayer. Then ask them for a prayer request they have, agree with it and take it to the Lord in prayer.

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