God's People Are to Be United (1 Corinthians 1:10)
1. For a time after the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01 our country experienced a period of unity and togetherness. 2. Unfortunately, division soon returned, and it has continued to get worse. 3. As a country we would do well to listen to the Lord's words in Matthew 12:25. 4. Things that affect society tend to affect the church. 5. In our lesson we are concentrating on the principle that "God's people are to be united." Discussion: I. FIRST, LET US CONSIDER PASSAGES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
A. Psalm 133 gives a beautiful description of God's people dwelling together in unity. 1. According to vs.1, "brethren dwelling together in unity" is both "good" and "pleasant." 2. We learn from vs.2 that "brethren dwelling together in unity" is "precious" [as illustrated by the ointment placed on Aaron -- Exodus 30]. 3. Vs.3 indicates that "brethren dwelling together in unity" is a blessing from God [compared to the dew that comes from above]. B. The Old Testament also shows how God feels toward those who sow discord among His people (Proverbs 6:16-19). C. The Old Testament helps us understand that "God's people are to be united." II. SECOND, LET US CONSIDER THE LORD'S PRAYER (John 17)
A. Jesus prayed this beautiful prayer just before He was arrested. B. As He prayed, Jesus requested that: 1. His apostles would be "one" (vs.11) 2. all of His followers would be "one" (vs.20-23). C. The Lord's prayer helps us understand that "God's people are to be united." III. THIRD, LET US CONSIDER PASSAGES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
A. Romans 12:16; 15:5-6 B. 1 Corinthians 1:10 C. Ephesians 4:1-3 [helpful instructions are given in vs.31-32] D. Philippians 1:27; 2:1-4 E. 1 Peter 3:8 F. These passages and others in the New Testament help us understand that "God's people are to be united." Conclusion:
1. We have seen from the Scriptures that "God's people are to be united." 2. In John 17:21b, Jesus stated that unity among His followers will have a positive influence upon the world. 3. With this point in mind, let us contrast 2 congregations. a. We read about the Jerusalem church in Acts 2:42-47. b. We read about the church in Corinth in 1 Corinthians 1:11-12; 3:3-4. 4. We can see which congregation pleased the Lord. 5. Let us close by reading Psalm 133:1.