“In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity” Part 1
Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!
3 It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore
1. What was the problem
2. Who were the ones involved in the problem
3. How were they to deal with this problem
4. Why we need to accept each other
1. What was the problem?
* The early church was constantly concerned about the unity among the diversity of the church.
- Rom 14:2,5 – 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables; 5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike.
- 1 Cor 1:10-11 – I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
- John 17:20-21 – “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me
- Eph 4:3-6 – 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all
- Rom 12:16 – Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited.
2. Who did the problem center around?
- Rom 14:6 – 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.
3. How were they to do deal with the problem
a. We are not to despise or pass judgment on disputable matters and opinions. (v.1)
- 1 Cor 5:12-13 – For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
- John 7:23 – Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment
- John Stott—on the word “Proslambano”
“Accept means more than to accept people in the sense of acquiescing in their existence, even in their right to belong; more even than to receive or accept in one’s society, into one’s home or circle of acquaintances. It means to welcome into one’s fellowship and into one’s heart. It implies the warmth and kindness of genuine love. Thus it is used in the New Testament of Philemon giving to Onesimus the same welcome that he would give to the apostle…”
4. Why we need to accept each other
a. Because Christ has received them. (v3)
- Rom 15:7 – Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
- Philem. 12,17 – 12 I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. … 17 So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me.
- Zechariah 2:8 – For thus said the Lord of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye:
- Isa 49:15-16 – “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. 16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.
b. Ultimately they will have to give account to God for their own actions. (vs.3,4)
- Rom 14:4 – 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.