Unity, Fellowship, Discipline

TEXTJohn 17:20-21

INTRODUCTION:

A.      RELIGIOUS WORLD DIVIDED - HUNDREDS OF DISTINCT BELIEFS.

B.      DIVISION IS NOT PLEASING TO GOD.

          1.       Discredits our faith.

          2.       Keeps us out of fellowship.

          3.       Violation of God's express will.

I.      UNITY IS DEMANDED BY THE LORD.

A       JESUS PRAYED FOR IT( John 17:20-21 ).

B.      UNITY IS DEMANDED BY PAUL( 1 Cor. 1:10 ).

          1.       Demanded in the name of Christ.  It is commanded.

          2.       Speak the same thing.  Doctrinal sameness (1 Tim. 1:32 Tim. 1:13).

          3.       Perfected together in the same mind & judgment.

                   a.  Same goal produces the same perspective.

                   b.  What drives us (Phil. 1:27).

C.      WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF DIVISION? (1 Cor. 4:7). 

D.      THE ANSWER (1 Cor. 4:6).  PEOPLE WON’T STICK TO THE BIBLE.

          1.       Ignorance of God's will.

          2.       No respect for his authority.

E.      THE WARNING (2 John 9).

C.      COMPROMISE IS SIN( Jude 3;  2 Tim. 1:13-14;  Prov. 23:23 ).

II.     THAT BRINGS US TO THE NEXT PART OF OUR DISCUSSION

FELLOWSHIP.

A.      DEFINITIONS

          1.       "Fellowship" comes from Greek, koinonia.

          2.       It means, "communion, fellowship, sharing in common." ( Vine ).

          3.       What does it involve?  How do we fellowship?

                   a.  "JOINT PARTICIPATION."  Actually joining in.

                   b.  ENDORSEMENT.

                        i.  Verbal commendation.  Actually saying something is good.

                        ii.  Saying or doing something that implies endorsement,

                             i. e., announcing meetings, asking preacher to speak, etc.

                   c.       CONSENT.

                        i.    Verbal consent without approval.

                        ii.   Lack of action or speech against.  "Silence is consent."

B.      WHAT IS THE BASIS OF SCRIPTURAL FELLOWSHIP?

          1.       Our fellowship depends on our relationship to God ( 1 John 1:3-4 ).

          2.       Our relation to God depends on walking in the light ( vs. 6-7 ).

          3.       When someone is not in the light, there is no basis for fellowship (Eph. 5:11).

C.      DOCTRINAL ERRORS, AS DEPARTURES FROM THE BIBLE, ARE DARKNESS.

          1.       God’s word is light (Psa. 119:105).

          2.       God’s will expressed in Jesus today (Heb. 1:1-2John 8:12)

          3.       Following Jesus means doing what he says (John 8:31-32).

          4.       In the times of their ignorance (Eph. 5:8, 11).

D.      HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO FELLOWSHIP? ( 2 John 9-11Rom. 16:17-18).

III.           THE THIRD PARTDISCIPLINE!

A.      DISCIPLINE – "1. TO TRAIN TO OBEDIENCE OR SUBJECTION.  2. TO DRILL,

          EDUCATE.  3.     TO PUNISH." (Webster).

          1.       It is the church’s job to train and drill to subjection (Eph. 4:11-15).

          2.       What we are speaking of here is the last part of that definition.

B.      IF THE TEACHER OF ERROR IS NOT A MEMBER, WE CAN ONLY AVOID AND

          MARK HIM.  WE HAVE NO RULE OVER HIM TO PUNISH.

C.      IF HE IS A MEMBER OF OUR CONGREGATION WE HAVE A DUTY.

          1.       Consistent with the general instructions (2 John 9Rom. 16:17-18).

          2.       But we have the duty to special action of the church through its individual members.

                   a.  To edify (Eph. 4:11-15Acts 20:32).

                   b.  To boldly preach (2 Tim. 3:1-5).  Reprove – Rebuke – Exhort.

                   c.  To patiently warn and study (2 Tim. 2:15, 24-26).

                   d.  With all authority (Titus 2:15),  From the bible!

          3.       But what if they won’t hear? (Gal. 5:7-91 Cor. 5:6-7).

                   a.  2 Thess. 3:6.  Withdraw yourselves.

                   b.  2 Thess. 3:14-15.  No company – yet admonisH.

                   c.  Titus 3:10-11.  After a 2nd admonition refuse.

CONCLUSION:

A.      ERROR IS CONTAGIOUS (2 Tim. 2:16-18Gal. 5:9).

B.      ERROR DESTROYS UNITY (2 Cor. 4:6-7)

C.      THERE ARE WORSE THINGS THAT CAN BEFALL US THAN DISUNITY.