Church Family: Supernatural Unity

Church Family: Supernatural Unity

Church Family: Supernatural Unity (Romans 14:1-12)

Last year we closed for some weeks & did work on property

  • 1 yr later –  200+%, 328 baptisms (39 last weekend @ church & 18 @ camp)
  • Fastest growing city & county in America
  • All ages, $ levels, backgrounds, some non XN, some new XN, some mature XN
  • How does our church family remain healthy, loving, unified, & faithful God/Bible?
  • How do we get along with XN’s from other churches, & other churches

Most of the Time, the Relationship is More Important than the Disagreement

Romans 14:1-3 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.  Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.

Weak vs Strong

Weak – not able to enjoy full freedom God allows

Strong – are able to enjoy full freedom God allows, & refrain to love the weak

  • Early Church – Jew vs Gentile = diet, holidays, Sabbath, etc.
  • Meat – counterfeit sacrifice to demons then sold to fund cults
  • We are all weak & strong in some areas (me strong drugs, weak horror/harm)
  • These are not unchanging categories

3 lines of authority

1.    God – Bible commands (Romans is a book Bible)

2.    Leadership – 13:1 “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, & those that exist have been instituted by God.”

3.    Conscience – 2:15 “conscience” “law written on heart”

  • New XN – not drunk (Bible), church leaders “no”, my conscience “no” until 30

Closed Hand (primary issues) vs Open Hand (secondary issues)

  • 1 Cor. 15:3“first importance”

            Closed

-Trinity, Bible, Jesus God/Man cross/resurrection, repentance/faith/grace heaven/hell

            Open

– Alcohol, kids education, Bible translation, some spiritual gifts, end times, style of worship, mode of baptism, theological tribe, ministry philosophy, church day, entertainment (music & movies), leadership style, theological system, holidays

1.    We want to be a church where people can learn & grow in grace

2.    The best way to influence someone is to love them

3.    People who disagree with us can help us get new perspective, or change our mind

4.    Learning to hear from the Lord can be a process we give people patience in

5.    We want to help zealous new believers, parents, high control people, fearful people who have unhealed hurts, and those with bad teaching mature in Christ

Weak Christian: God will Judge Them, and Judge You

Romans 14:4-6 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.

  • Jesus is the vine, we are the branches
  • None of us, or our team/tribe/tradition is the vine
  • If they are connected to Jesus and He is happy we have no right to be unhappy

Liberalism vs Legalism

Liberalism – we put closed handed issues in the open hand (fight for nothing)

Legalism – we put open handed issues in the closed hand (fight over everything)

Legalism Happens When…

  1. You put religious rules over relationships
  2. You focus on winning arguments over winning people
  3. Your preferences become your prejudices
  4. You confuse unity and uniformity
  5. You don’t differentiate between God’s principles and your methods
  6. You bind others by your conscience
  7. You ignore the spirit of the law, but keep the letter of the law
  8. You replace Jesus’ righteous works for your works righteousness
  9. You want to replace the ministry of the Holy Spirit
  10. Your convictions become a prison instead of a home

Strong Christian: Look Up to Him, Not Down on Them

Romans 14:7-8 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

  • Plank/Speck is a very popular church game
  • In church, there are always people who try to sit in the seat of judgment

            = “judgment” “quarrels” “despise”

Plan A. You look up to Jesus, judge your imperfections, and work on yourself

Plan B. Look down on them & then stand before Him for judgment

  1. There’s a lot I don’t know about another person
  2. I am biased and not fully neutral
  3. I can condemn, but I cannot redeem therefore I should not judge

=None of us gets to do the performance review of someone we do not employ

Jesus is our judge!

Mark Driscoll
hello@realfaith.com