Healthy Attitudes

Written by 9th Avenue Church of Christ on Jul 03, 2016 in - No Comments
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Adam FaughnEphesians 4:1-3

Part of the Series “Healthy Things Grow” – Lesson #1 0f 3

Introduction:

A. I want the church to grow universally, but also right here.
B. For that to occur, however, certain things must be present, and they must be what God desires.
C. Instead of appealing to “church growth experts,” we need to appeal to God’s own description of a healthy church, because healthy things grow.
D. This lesson will discuss the first healthy factor: healthy attitudes.

Body:

I. Unity is the Driving Force
A. “Eager to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3) Everything else in this lesson goes under that umbrella.
1. “eager” (KJV, “endeavoring”) means “making haste,” “being diligent” and “exerting oneself.” This is an effort word. Unity does not just happen
2. “maintain” literally means “to guard.” Another effort word
B. Why is exerting effort to guard our unity so important?
1. It is commanded
2. It is the desire of our Lord for His people (John 17:20-21).
3. It exemplifies the true oneness of God (Philippians 2:2).
4. We have a powerful enemy who hates Christian unity (1 Peter 5:8).
5. It is pleasant! (Psalm 133)

II. Unity Takes Proper Attitudes
A. Paul lists four attitudes we must have to guard our unity.
1. Humility (KJV, “lowliness”). The idea is being “cast down” in our “mind.” I am not thinking of myself more highly than I should.
2. Gentleness (KJV, “kindness”). Literally, “mildness.” A mild spirit is necessary.
3. Patience (KJV, “longsuffering”). Long in coming to a place of heated anger
4. Bearing in love. We endure through having self-sacrificial love for others.
B. Only when every member is cultivating these attitudes toward every other member will true unity be a possible result.

III. Unity is a Worthy Pursuit
A. Ephesians 4:1 states that we are to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” That includes this pursuit of unity!
B. Ephesians 2:11-22 reminded the readers that Jew and Gentile had been separated for centuries, but only the cross could ever bring them together.
Our world needs unity, and Christians have the only possible solution, but people will not seek it if we do not demonstrate it!

Conclusion:

A. A healthy church must have healthy attitudes, and that attitude includes the relentless pursuit of the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.
B. Am I seeking that unity with every other member of the body of Christ? Are you?

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