Sunday, September 30, 2018

Enemies Of The Church - Part 2 - Division

Temple Baptist Church - 9-30-2018
Ephesians 4:1-6


A.  The most important unit on the face of the earth other than the family is the local church.  It is the vehicle through which God works to:

1.  Evangelize the world.

2.  Teach new convert.

3.  Edify and encourage believers.

4.  Doctrinally ground the saints.

5.  Satan hates the local assembly!  Satan hates the local church!

B.  I want to look at another great enemy of the church this morning.

1.  The Greatest Enemy Of The Church Is Not Satan  (Though he is a great enemy)

2.  The Greatest Enemy Of The Church Is Not Finances (For God is not broke)

3.  The Greatest Enemy Of The Church Is Not Circumstances (For it rains on the just and the unjust)

4.  The Greatest Enemy Of The Church Is The Enemy From Within (The people who occupy the pulpits and sit upon the pews.) 

5.  The Enemy of Division.

C.  God hates division within the local church.  Much is said about both the causes and results of division in the Bible.  Satan has “devices” that he uses effectively against the believer and we are ignorant of them.  Though I do not believe that either Satan or devils can indwell the believer, I do believe that they can greatly influence their thinking and actions.

Acts 5:3  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

D.  I want to bring your attention to verse 3 for a minute.  Let us look at the verse in reverse order.

1.  Peace – One of the greatest signs of a good church is that of peace. 

a)  We have peace with God through the finished work of Christ. 

b)  We have the peace of God through obedience to Christ. 

c)  We have peace with each other through the love of Christ.

2.  Bond of peace.  A bond is something in common that binds together.  These go together with the first three points.

a)  The bond of a New Birth.  We are family!

b)  The bond of a New Life.  We are new creatures in Christ.

c)  The bond of a New Love.  John 13:35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

3.  Unity of the Spirit.  Notice the capital “S.”

a)  As the Spirit is never divided from the Trinity.

b)  The Spirit never divides us from the Brotherhood.

4.  Keep.

a)  To watch or to keep an eye upon something.  To watch for any sign of weakening or lessening. 

b)  To carefully guard.  To hold fast or keep from slipping.

4.  Endeavouring. 

a)  Eagerness or Earnestness.  Endeavouring takes desire.

b)  To diligently work at something.  Endeavouring takes effort.

E.  The results of divisions within the church. 

1.  Division Destroys The Fellowship Of The Church.  How good and how pleasant it is to come to Temple Baptist Church!  People who love each other; have fun with each other; pray for each other; and are there for each other.  (People sit on the pews of the church with malice and unforgiveness in their hearts destroy the fellowship of God’s people.)

2.  Division Destroys The Commission Of The Church.  What a great job this church has done for missions around the world.  Probably 2-3 million dollars have gone to missions over the past 31+ years.  Many souls saved around the world because of the faithfulness and faithful giving of God’s people.  (Missions has damaged churches because of gaining a family and then loosing a family through spiritual nonsense!)

3.  Division Destroys The Testimony Of The Church.  We have a church that is well respected in our community.  We do not have a bad name and people know what we stand for.  (Church fights and splits have been detrimental to the prosperity of the church, both physically and financially.)

4.  Division Destroys The Posterity Of The Church.  Psalms speaks of the assembly of the saints as a “nest” to raise children in.  (Children both see and hear the ungodliness of the parents.  It affects their spirituality and, eventually, they are lost.)

5.  Division Destroys The Worship Of The Church.  People have different views of what true worship is.  True worship is when we elevate Jesus Christ and not man.  Worship must be done in the beauty of holiness.  Worship must be done in both spirit and truth.    (God and His Holy Spirit are grieved with this division and worship is neither holy nor acceptable.)

6.  Division Destroys The Evangelism Of The Church.  People may come to a divided church, but the will not stay at one.  People who out of God’s will never win souls to Christ.  (Instead of keeping our eyes upon the harvest and doing all that we can to win souls, our time is spent in bitterness and souls are lost.)

7.  Division Hinders The Prayers Of The Saints.  One of the most important things that we do at Temple is pray.  God’s house is called “THE house of prayer.”  We pray for so many things and have so many people on our prayer lists.  Prayer must be protected.  (Malice and unforgiveness are sins and when we regard iniquity in our hearts, our prayers go unheard.)

Conclusion:  I want to read verse 3 again.

Ephesians 4:3  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

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