Getting on with getting along

When compared with previous generations if believers, we seem among the most thoroughly at peace with our culture, the least adept at transforming society, and the most desperate for a meaningful faith. In some cases we can’t even affect positively the people closest to us in the body.
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Mark J. CongrovePastor, Bethel Baptist church

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Begin forwarded message:

From: “Mark Congrove, Pastor, Bethel Baptist Church” <mjvicarc52>
Date: October 21, 2012, 7:20:08 AM EDT
To: mcongrove
Subject: Getting on with getting along
Reply-To: mjvicarc52

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Getting on, getting along
Intro: Colson and the fighting church: See attached
4 incentives for healthy church living. Verb here makes all the difference in the meaning because the admonition isn’t based upon indecision but condition that Paul assumes to be true.
Incentives for a “Together church” The Reality of being “In Christ.”

If there be any grounds for exhortation, because you are ” In Christ”, … And there are…

First of all : the word used here from a group that includes: consolation, encouragement, and Exhortation: the context arguing for the stronger! These saints enjoyed a vital union with Christ: most suffer through at best a fragmented or frayed union. What kind of obligations arise out of a vital union with Christ. Bigger question: Why has Christ saved you? To help you with the great escape? Ultimately, to show forth the praises of His glory? You are in Christ .. What does that mean?

One man writes, in Him, the most persuasive of all exhortations to unity, and the most omnipotent of all powers to enforce it.”

Mark profile photoIncentives for a Together Church: The Reality of being in Christ.

2nd incentive: Love means more than acceptance; it means forward progress.

As much as this disagrees with Streisand and Redford, love does mean having to say, “you’re sorry.” The same love that saved them (and us), is the same love that shapes them (us). What does that shaping process look like for you? Is it taking place at all ?

56.jpgIncentives for a Together Church: The Reality of relationship with the Holy Spirit

3rd incentive: A “trinity” of fellowship exists with the Holy Spirit and one another.

Theoretically, it means that if each of us is interested in the things “of the Spirit”, it follows that a certain unity will exist among the brethren. Caveat: only to the extent that each life is controlled by the H.S.

South Haven summer nightIncentives for a Together Church: The Reality of functional compassion

Final incentive: tenderness and compassion become the lotion and ointment to the well being of the church.

That’s part of what Jim often talks about when he says, “isn’t it great to have a church family.”

37.jpg Rallying around the right balance

The Fullest experience of Completeness

Paul wanted nothing more than for the joy that bloomed in his relationship with the Philippians (Acts 16), to blossom out to its fullest expression of completeness. It represented a journey from joy uncovered to joy enveloped.

Transition: the missing link is the unity we all seek– the unity they were seeking here! So Paul attempts to rally them all around a common banner! A road map how to get there.

Bethel Baptist ChurchRallying around the right balance

The Fullest experience of Completeness

They should authenticate a “common love” born out of a spiritual life with Christ(Gal.3:28)

[Army days on the radio: come across to another unit: Authenticate victor- Charlie — the response– Alpha–foxtrot]. Communicating that each was who they said they were.]

They should share the same pursuit for oneness. Specifically:

  • Having the same love: a unity in the affections.
  • Having the same soul connection, literally soul w/ soul.
  • Having the same sentiment: of one mind: thinking the one thing. The same point of view in common interest. ( you must have read my mind).
Mark profile photoRallying around the right balance

The Fullest experience of Completeness

They should trail blaze for the rightness of submission. Subject yourselves… Exactly the message lived out by their Master. Clearly, this a cultural battle in the Roman world which suggested as inconceivable any notion of subjection to anything (anyone) for someone deemed free. And yet, Paul and the Christian distinctiveness call for a life of subjection

Finally, they should represent Exhibit A for an other-mindedness. An intentional push into the good of others. That desire to do the hard things that are right in the lives if other brethren… Even others beyond the walls.

Blaise Pascal, who concluded after much thought, “what amazes me most is to see that everyone is not amazed at his weakness.”

Applications and conclusion:
If you do, Paul says, you will give me something to shout about.
Return to the illustration?
What are the obligations of a life so surrendered to Christ?
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A Conductor knows
The conductor of a symphony orchestra was once asked what is the most difficult instrument to play. He responded, “Second violin. I can find plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who can play second violin with enthusiasm – that is a problem. And if we have no second violin, we have no harmony.”
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