Text: Romans 15
In the body there is unity. Not unity for unity’s sake, but unity for the benefit of the whole. It seems like the folks who talk the most about unity are the most divisive.
Unity by edification (vss 1-4)
- Your body is designed to edify itself. If there is something wrong the body immediately goes into action to protect and heal itself.
- Bearing another’s burdens – “He isn’t heavy, he’s my son.”
- Using your liberty to help someone else – Special Olympics
- Savior is used as an example
- Jesus Christ’s will was his Father’s will. He came to minister, not to be ministered unto.
- Human nature looks for the return on it’s own investment. In the ministry and when you give of yourself there is a tendency to expect some things to be given back.
- The hatred people had for God fell on Jesus Christ and that will be true of you.
- Verse 4 says the scriptures were written with others in mind. The men writing were documenting events for future generations to read; particularly that those coming after would have hope, comfort, and patience.
- Most books written for money. Books to help you are written for money.
Unity in spirit (vss 5-7)
- Pep rally everybody is saying and thinking the same thing
- One mind –
- One mouth
- Congregational singing so important
- mutual reception
- The Lord Jesus Christ is again used as the example – as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
Unity in purpose (vss 8-12)
- God would use the Jews to be a light to the Gentiles and bring us all into one body to glorify God for his mercy.
- Revelation 4:11
- Mission minded in the military.
- Ephesians 3
Unity in preaching (vss 13-22)
- Titus 1:3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;
- Preaching in prison, nursing homes, door to door and of course in the pulpit
- Brother Hoffmeister telling me about preaching 7 to 8 times a day in the Philippines
Unity in giving (vss 23-29)
- The Gentiles benefited from the spiritual labor of the saints in Jerusalem. Then the saints in Jerusalem came under persecution and became very needy.
- sealed to them this fruit – so there is the fruit of the spirit and there is fruit in the form of giving
- Philippians 4:17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
- 2 Corinthians 9 – Giving
- 2 Corinthians 9:1-5 – Paul sends brethren before to ensure there will be money for the Macedonians. And to separate himself from the money so there is no confusion about his intentions.
- 2 Corinthians 9:6 – generosity is an agricultural principle like a farmer sowing seed. But if you give to get, then your motive is greed and that falls under the same category as a prayer prayed so you can consume it upon your lusts.
- 2 Corinthians 9:7 – you determine whatever you’re cheerful about giving.
- 1 Timothy 6:18 – ready and willing
- Generosity Produces Praise
- Generosity is a blessing to all involved; to the giver and to those that receive
- 2 Corinthians 9:11-12 – It generates gratitude to the giver and the receiver.
- 2 Corinthians 9:13-15 – It generates glory to God. And isn’t that your purpose here on earth, to bring glory to God?
Unity in prayer (vss 30-33)
- The idea of striving in prayer
- The difference between saying a prayer and getting a hold of God
- Praying for deliverance
- Praying that his service is accepted
- Two or more are gathered in my name there am I in the midst – Corporate prayer – Acts 12:5-16, many local churches have a designated prayer service, midweek, weekend. Gives you an opportunity to pray for others and have others pray for you.
- Private prayer is good, but congregational prayer serves a different purpose in the life of a great church. It helps the congregation see and move forward with energy and joy around God’s purpose for the flock.
- Acts 1:14 – prayer made while waiting on the Holy Ghost to be sent. Can you imagine when the answer came on Pentecost in power? You now had the full commitment of all those who had been in prayer.
- Acts 1:24 – prayer made about a replacement for Judas, then everyone cast their ballot – gave forth their lot. So the Lord directed the congregation through their agreement.
- Acts 12:5, 12-17 – Peter’s jail break.