Sermon Notes

Ephesians 4:1-10 / Ephesians 2:13-18

How can we all get along?

Three Competing Visions:

1.  The post modern approach: No one can believe anything very strongly. (ie. John Lennon’s Imagine)

2.  The Domination option: smash all opposition, restrict everyone’s freedom. (ie. Vladmir Lenin, the Taliban)

3.  The Christian faith approach based on Ephesians 4:2-3

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient,
bearing with one another in love.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit
through the bond of peace.

The Christian Approach

  1. Make every effort
  • Getting along, creating unity is not a peripheral activity. It is at the heart of the Gospel. (Mt 5:9)

Romans 14:19 So then, make it your top priority to live a life of peace with harmony in your relationships, eagerly seeking to strengthen and encourage one another.

  • The mission of Jesus in the world was reconciliation.  (Ephesians 2:13-18)
  • The Holy Spirit is a reconciling agent.
  • “Make every effort…”- Making peace is not going to happen on its own.

What effort have I made to make peace, to reconcile, to unify?

2. The Importance of the “bond of peace.”   (Matthew 5:23)

  • Reconcile first, then worship.

Do everything you can to make things right.

3.  The Attitude of a Peacemaker  (Ephesians 4:2)

  • Pride is what drives so much of the discord and the disunity that we find in our relationships with each other.
  • Pride is behind so much of the criticism that we have of other Christians.

In Essentials, Unity
In Non-Essentials, Liberty
In All things, Charity

motto adopted by the Moravians

 4.  Unity must be maintained (Ephesians 4:3)

  • Relationships need constant maintenance.

With whom have I drifted?
What relationship do I have that needs maintenance?

5.  Unity BEYOND (to those outside) – Romans 12:18

  • Being at peace with others and making peace between people who aren’t getting along is our vocation as Christians.  It is not confined to other believers.
  • The Cross of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit is the answer to how we can all get along.

Descend – Divest – Die
(Php 2:8)

Romans 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.