Declaration Of Interdependence
INTRO: The 4th of July always reminds us of our freedom as a people. It is a great celebration of independence. Unfortunately, this word "independence" has come to mean something that our forefathers never meant it to mean. Today it means "no one tells me what to do, I can do whatever I want, and I'm INDEPENDENT." To our forefathers however, the idea of INDEPENDENCE was more like INTERDEPENDENCE.
This is also true spiritually. One of the reasons American Christianity is in trouble today is because we have a false idea of what it means to be a Christian. We think being a Christian is like being an American ... we are independent, we don't answer to anyone but God (although actually if this were true we would not be independent, we would be interdependent), and no one can tell us what to do, and attending a church or being a member of one is optional.
The Bible NEVER supports the idea that we are suppose to be independent! Actually, this is the concept of EVIL! Satan got Eve to think and act INDEPENDENTLY from God and her husband -- sin resulted! Satan himself acted INDEPENDENTLY from God and it was his downfall ... the drive for independence is built on a foundation of sin and evil!
The Bible teaches INTERDEPENDENCE ... we are not alone, and we don't grow alone ... we are built together as a Holy Temple, upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets. Nothing good happens spiritually with independent Christians ... it is a contradiction in terms! There is no power in being independent.
ILLUS: A man went to an asylum for the criminally insane. He was a bit surprised to find that there were three guards to take care of a hundred inmates. He said to one of the guards, "Aren't you afraid that the inmates will unite, overcome you, and escape?" The guard said "Lunatics never unite." Locusts do. Christians should. If we don't, we don't know where our power is. -- Haddon Robinson, "The Wisdom of Small Creatures," Preaching Today, Tape No. 93.
PROP. SENT: The bible clearly teaches that Christians are interdependent, never independent. We must not only be in a right relationship with God, but with one another as well. There is no power to the Christian life lived alone.
I. UNION Eph. 4:1-6
A. Compassion Eph. 4:1-3
1. When Paul talks about the Church or about Christians it is ALWAYS in the context of TOGETHERNESS.
a. Unity is a big theme in the Bible.
b. Paul stressed it, Jesus talked about it, indeed it is found everywhere in the Bible.
c. We were never meant to be INDEPENDENT!
2. Paul's comments in these first 3 verses are all about "bearing with ONE ANOTHER in love." (Emphasis mine)
a. Even Jesus did not act alone ... He always did the will of His father, and always acted in concert with His father and the Spirit, He never acted independently.
b. There is NO independence in the Godhead ... so why would there be in the Body ...
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