Chardon church of Christ

Sermons from the Chardon church of Christ

Blessed Be the Ties That Bind

Posted by Chardon in 1 Corinthians 10

Blessed Be the Ties That Bind

I Corinthians 10:16

 

INTRO: Good morning.   I would like to remind you that the scripture references I use will either be from the KJV or the NKJV unless I indicate otherwise.   I want to encourage you to take out your Bibles and look at the scriptures I mention.   First however this morning, I would like to start by asking you to take out your hymnal and turn to Number 656.

It’s a song you may be familiar with though we do not sing it often. It is this song that the sermon is built around.

Blessed be the Tie

Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love;

The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.

Before our father's throne we pour ardent prayers;

Our fears our hopes our aims are one, our comforts and our cares.

We share our mutual woes our mutual burdens bear;

And often for each other flows the sympathizing tear.

When we asunder part it gives us inward pain;

We shall still be joined in heart and hope to meet again.

 

I thought it would be good for us to spend time today talking about the ties that bind us together.   We have been talking over a number of weeks about how worship is the expression of our personal relationship to God and how as we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.   We need to work at getting close to God, but we also need to get close to our brothers and sisters, our fellow Christians.   We need to be close to each other.  

 

The church is the family of God. We are joined in unity, as a family, to God our Father, and our Creator, and to each other, brother and sister Christians all over this world.

 

In the Old Testament Book of Psalms 133:1 it says; “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!”  I am pleased to say that I believe this congregation is unified and that we dwell together in unity.   The relationship that we experience as brothers and sisters in the family of God is truly a wonderful relationship.

 

Romans says in Romans 12:5 – “so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”   There is one body, one kingdom, one church, and we are a local congregation of that body, that kingdom, that church.   We are individual members in the one body and individual members in this congregation.

 

  1. Ties of Blood. What is it that binds us together?   Why are we here together this morning? What kind of relationship do we have with one another, even beyond the building and this assembly?

    1. First Corinthians 10:16 talks about one of the main things that binds us together. “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” What we're talking about here is a common union, a communion, in the Blood of Christ.

      1. What ties us and binds us together in the one body and binds us and ties us together in this congregation is—we are now family.
      2. In my physical family there is a blood that ties me to the family.   We realize that there is also in the family of God a blood that binds us and ties us together, and that is the blood of Jesus Christ.  We are the family of God and in the family of God we are brothers and sisters.
    2. First Peter 3:8 – “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;”
      1. Loving as brothers.
      2. Just think about your physical family for a moment.   If you have siblings I’m sure you love them very dearly.   They're very special to you.   Family is there for you in times of need.   They will go out of their way for you.
      3. What we're building in the family of God is We are family.   We are brothers, we are sisters with the same Father in heaven.   Through the blood of the same first born and first begotten, in Jesus Christ, we are family.
    3. What we should be striving for is the same bond, that same level of love that you have in your physical family between your brothers and your sisters.
      1. As we go through the sermon this morning, we will be looking at some standards the scriptures say we should be pressing toward.
      2. I don't think we've reached all these standards, but we continue to press toward them.
      3. As we press toward God’s standards, we will find that we come to experience what God wants us to experience this side of eternity.   We will be coming to know His people, forming bonds of friendship and love and kinship with His people, with those who will be spending eternity with us.
    4. I believe the best people on Earth, are God's people, God's family.   He wants us to come to know each other, enjoy each other and form bonds between ourselves.
  2. Mutual Faith. Another thing that ties us together is what Romans 1:12 tells us; “that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” [ESV] Again, in Titus 1:4 “To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.” [NKJV]
    1. From Romans we learn about mutual faith and from Titus common faith.   The idea here is that we believe the same thing.   We have a mutual faith. We agree together on very important issues. Let this sink in.
    2. Why are we here together today?   Because we believe God exists and we believe Jesus of Nazareth, the man whom we've never laid eyes on, we believe He really is the Christ, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
      1. We really believed the virgin birth took place and that Jesus is the son of God.
      2. We believe He was crucified on Calvary for our sins even though we were not there and did not see it.
      3. We believe that he was buried and three days later He arose from the dead.
      4. We believe that the Bible is the Word of God.   That God, the creator is communicating with us and is telling us about himself, about ourselves and about our relationship with Him and how we can be reconciled to Him through the gospel of Jesus Christ—and how to obey the gospel.
      5. We believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ consists of believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, believing in His death and resurrection, openly confessing that, then repenting of our sins by faith, submitting to the commands of the king, and being immersed in water for the remission of our sins by faith.
    3. You need to realize everything I just discussed here is mutual faith, common faith.
      1. We realize that there are people out in the world that don't believe in God.   We saw some of that in last week’s lesson.
      2. They don't believe Jesus is the Christ the Son of God.   They don't believe that you need to obey the gospel of Jesus Christ according to the Scriptures.
      3. We have a mutual faith.   How wonderfully precious that is!   We have a mutual faith about the church. There's one body, one church.
      4. It is the Lord that added us to it when we obeyed the gospel and that we, Christians, constitute that one body.
      5. It is our responsibility to follow the teachings of the King by faith, to follow the example of Christ by faith, to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth by faith.
      6. Our actions and our faith, and our belief is mutual, it’s common.   Do we realize how precious that is?   We have the same understanding, the same values.
    4. I really did not realize how precious and important that is before I became a Christian. I felt outside of every religious group that I made the effort to attend.   Even after I had attended somewhere for months or even a few years, it was incomplete; I was a stranger, just looking in.
      1. When Nina guided me to the church it was amazing.   I remember listening and thinking they believe the way I do. They think like I think. They understand like I understand. There are other people like me. I’m not alone just looking in.
      2. It was not all at once mind you. I had too many unhappy attempts so I was quite wary, waiting for the disappointment.   It never came and an amazing thing happened, I started to learn.   Connections were made in my understanding, lights started to go on so to speak.
  • Now look at this over in the book First John 1:7 – “if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

    1. The text is talking again about this common faith, this mutual faith, and what we are striving to do is walk in the light as He is in the light.   We are striving to live the Christian life not just giving it lip service.  

      1. I had a vague idea of what I wanted when I went to denominational groups.   In my mind was a shadow of what was needed. I had no idea how to get there. Lip service I saw plenty of.
      2. One of the things that binds us together in the church of Christ is that we're trying to be real Christians.   We're serious about our relationship with God.
      3. We're serious about trying to live the Christian life to the best of our ability, and we have learned that in the moments when we fail, we ask forgiveness, and we get up and keep going.   And this ties us together.
    2. Let me tell you something that I heard from a preacher recently.   He was explaining about an amazing thing that we do in the church of Christ and he had never thought about it because he just grew into it.
      1. He said; “The past year the elders sat down with me and said we want you to preach on these subjects.”   He said; “I want you to know something, they didn't tell me what to say. They said preach on these subjects.   What they wanted me to do is take the Bible and up in my office studying on those subjects, develop a sermon and just tell you what I've found.”
      2. This preacher said; “You need to realize that's an awesome amount of trust—“just tell us what you found”. That's all they want to know and that's all I do.”
      3. In his expressing that, it reminded me that God trusts the gospel to man.   Then it dawned on me that in this congregation we never tell the preacher what to say.   It is an amazing thing that we never try to control what is taught from the Bible.
      4. Why that struck me was because not too long ago in speaking with a person from one of the denominations and the topic of preaching sermons came up. They asked me where I got the topics.   Did the church of Christ (remember they are thinking corporate hierarchy) provide a list of approved topics and outlines?
      5. I told them no, sometimes the line of inquiry comes from life or it comes from another sermon I’ve heard or read.   But the development always comes from the Bible…
    3. I’ll tell you that sometimes I don't know what I'm going to find before I start.   I don't know exactly what I believe on some things before I do the study.   It has not jelled in my mind.   I have much to learn.
      1. I just go search it out and I tell you what I found.   Sometimes it leads to another thought and before you know it there is a series to give.
      2. Do you realize that church of Christ preachers are doing that all around the country, around the world?   We don't have somebody telling us what to say.
      3. The only standard that we are given is find out what's in there and tell us what's in there.   Then we find what’s in there and we learn.
      4. The amazing thing is that we have the same mind, the same judgment, because it's the truth. It's not changing.
    4. If we would just speak what the Word of God says, not adding anything to it, not taking anything from it, just lay the Word of God out there, what it's going to lead to is a common faith, a mutual faith.
      1. What we strive to do in our lives is understand the truth alike and we're trying to follow it alike.   That in and of itself binds us together.
      2. We all understand the same truth.
    5. Have you ever come across somebody out in the world and when you start talking to them you realize this person doesn't see life the way I see it?   They don't see right and wrong the way I see it.   We don't think alike at all! I know I have.  
      1. I've got some good news for you.
      2. You and I think alike. We understand alike.
      3. We have the same values, the same goals, the same morals, the same faith.
    6. There’s another thing that ties us together and that is our worship. You all know Hebrews 10:25 – “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” In this text we see a bond.
      1. We're exhorting and we're encouraging one another to come to this assembly.

        1. Come to the assembly and come worship God together with us on the Lord's Day.
        2. What we are doing together this morning is we, together, are worshipping our God and our king from our hearts, together.
        3. It is true that worship is between you and God, but we also realize that worship is done together in the body of Christ.
      2. First Corinthians 10:16-17 – “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, being many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.”
        1. We sing together. We're teaching and admonishing one another in a song that we're singing together.
        2. We are praying together. We are taking our cares, our needs, our concerns and together we are casting these cares before the throne of Almighty God.
        3. When we take the Lord's Supper, we are doing this together.
        4. Bonding us together, yes, with the one body but also bonding us together as members of the family of God.
      3. One other thing that binds us together is we are worshipping our God together.   First Corinthians 11:30 says – “For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.” In the context of First Corinthians eleven Paul is dealing with people perverting the Lord's Supper, not worshipping God as they should.
        1. The point is when worship is done correctly, when it is done from your heart to God, and when you are doing it together, it is true worship to God.
        2. At the same time, it strengthens and edifies each of us and binds us together. We realize that when we're not here, we're missing out on what we need.
        3. We need to come together to be with the brethren.   We need encouragement from one another not just to be able to go out the rest of the week and live, but to be able to go out the rest of the week and live the Christian life.
        4. Let me ask you how many of you get spiritually discouraged during the week?   You realize that worship is for God, yes, but it's also for you.   It's for you, and when you're missing it don't be surprised that you end up being weak and spiritually sick, spiritually asleep.
        5. We need it!   We need each other.   We need to be together.
        6. You're not going to worship God the way God intended and how He wants to be worshiped when you're at home. It is meant to be done together.
      4. Continuing in Philippians 1:27-28 – “27. Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, 28. and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God.”
        1. In the text here we're seeing again something else that was binding this church and Philippi They were standing fast with one spirit.

          1. That's pretty tight wouldn’t you say, when a congregation has one spirit and one mind?
          2. That's the goal—having one mind and one spirit, striving together, working together, for the faith of the gospel in their work in the kingdom.   It creates a bond between us when we get engaged and get involved in the work.
          3. Philippians 1:5 – “for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,”
          4. Whenever we hear the word fellowship we think of togetherness.   We should be encouraged to do something.   If we are not working in the kingdom, trying to tell people about Christ crucified, going after a lost sheep, we should be encouraged to get involved in the work and become a working member of the body of Christ.
          5. We will find that when we work together an amazing thing happens.   You start forming bonds.   We start forming bonds with our fellow laborers in the vineyard because we're working together with the same goal in mind.
          6. We're trying to help the body of Christ grow in number and to grow in spirit.
        2. If we do not get engaged in the work, we need to realize that we can drift away and apart from one another and Christ.
          1. Congregations can reach a point where they may be assembling but basically, they really don't know one another.   They don't do anything together.   They don't have any common bond.
          2. Their hearts are not in the same place when they are worshiping.   They are not together when they are praying or singing, and they are not learning together from the Bible. They are just members of the same congregation.
          3. I want to encourage us to get involved in the work.
          4. You will find that when you work together to bring someone to the Lord, and that person obeys the Gospel an amazing thing happens between those individuals that are working together.
          5. You come to appreciate your fellow laborers in the kingdom.
        3. I remember something from years ago when I was watching television, I think it was on the History Channel, about a reunion of soldiers from the Second World War.
          1. These men had not seen one another in decades.   They were older, very much older. I think it had been about 40 or 50 years since the Second World War at the time of this show.   These men had not seen one another in decades and when they saw each other these grown men just fell on one another’s necks and started weeping like babies.
          2. You could sense just in watching this, strong bonds existed between these men even though it had been decades since they had seen one another, they loved each other deeply.   They had bonds that time and distance could not sever.
          3. What do you think it was that bound those men together?   What it was, they went through a war together.   They went through battles together. They were side by side in the field.   They were going through major struggles for their lives together.
          4. You see the same thing today when soldiers who have been in recent conflicts get together. There is a bond.
        4. This bond also is what binds us together in the kingdom of Christ.    
          1. When we go through battles together.  
          2. When we go through struggles together.
          3. When we get involved in one another's lives beyond the assembly.
        5. Next look at this from Galatians 6:2 – “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
          1. Do we consider it to be an important command to bear one another’s burdens?
          2. We should see from this verse how important it is.   The last part of the verse says in fulfilling this command we are fulfilling the law of Christ.
          3. Get involved in the work of the kingdom.   A part of the work of the kingdom is taking the seed out there and sowing the seed of Christ crucified to a lost and dying world.
          4. A part of the work of the kingdom is watering what is already in the kingdom, getting involved in the teaching of the classes, getting involved and having Bible classes in your own home.   Study, learn, and teach.
          5. Another major part of the work of the kingdom is just simply bearing one another's burdens.  
        6. How many of you have ever felt like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland?   You may not don't know what I'm talking about.
          1. I'm late, I'm late for a very important date.
          2. Goodbye
          3. I've got to go.
          4. Basically, a life of running to where you must be next, the calendar is full, the appointment book is never ending.   Get up, run to work, and run here, run there, go here. Gotta go, gotta go. I'm late, I'm late.  Gotta go.
          5. I fear that sometimes when we start moving so fast things start to blur.   First the little details vanish, then the bigger things, until unless we are very far away from something, we cannot see it.   We start really losing the focus of what's important in our relationships with one another.
        7. Every one of us has problems.   Every one of us in this congregation has struggles that we go through.
          1. Every single one of us at some point will have burdens and trials that we are experiencing.
          2. God wants us to be so close to one another and have the bonds and ties between us so strong—that we will bear one another's burdens, being there for each other in the trials and struggles of life.
          3. Look at this in First Corinthians 12:25-27 – “25. that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”
        8. I told you earlier I was going to talk to you about the standard, the goal, the Lord has set before us.   There it is, folks.
          1. The standard, the goal, the Lord has set before us is that He wants us to strive to reach the place where when one member suffers all the members suffer with them, and when one is honored all rejoice.
          2. Every one of us has our own set of problems and struggles and trials that we're dealing with in life.   Become conscious of the struggles and the needs and the trials that your brothers and sisters are going through.   We need to slowdown in our fast-paced world and come to know our brethren. Come to know our family.
          3. When we go through these spiritual struggles together, to where when one member is suffering, and we slow down rather than pass by on the other side of the road, then we will see what we may be able to do to help.
          4. Sometimes these struggles are physical.  Sometimes they are emotional struggles. Sometimes they are spiritual.
        9. When we really get close to one another is when we stand side by side with a fellow soldier of Jesus Christ and help them fight their spiritual battles together.
          1. When we go to spiritual wars together, when we go through struggles together, when we bear the world’s burdens together, we will come to appreciate how precious each Christian is—and bonds will be formed between us that time and distance cannot sever.
          2. In First Thessalonians 5:11 – “Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.”
        10. When we talk about baring one another's burdens, that doesn’t necessarily mean we're going to be able to fix it.   When Job's three friends came to visit him after he had lost his ten children, lost all his wealth, and he had boils from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet…. Let me give you this as a trivial pursuit question; when Job's three friends came to visit him after all this happened to him, for the first seven days what did they say to him?  
          1. Job 2:13 - The answer is they didn't say anything.   That's what the scripture means when it says weep with those that weep.   It doesn’t mean you're going to have the answer. It doesn’t mean you can fix it.

            1. Sometimes you can't fix situations.
            2. Sometimes the individual is going to die.
  • Sometimes the individual has already died.
  1. Sometimes the situation is already happening and you can't change it… but you can be there for them, and be there with them, and hurt with them, and care for them.
  1. Job's three friends didn't say anything.

    1. What could they say?
  2. Oh, we understand we've been there. No.
  3. Oh, Job we can tell you how to fix the situation. No.
  1. Sometimes it's just your presence that says I care.

    1. I hurt with you.
    2. I weep with you.
    3. Brethren, I want to encourage you strive for this goal in your relationship with each other.
  2. If we do not, if we get so busy in our day to day activities that we pass by on the other side of brethren who are in need, you know what Satan is going to start whispering in their ears?
    1. They don't care about you.
    2. They're not family.
    3. Satan is going to try to convince us that we really don't love one another.
  • I want to close with the text found in Colossians 3:14 – “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” Here is the ultimate bond that ties us together.   Love.

    1. Jesus talked about that if we would love one another, then people would know, just by our relationship with each other, that we are truly His disciples.
    2. You know what it is that God uses to draw people to him, folks?...   What God Almighty uses to draw mankind to Him is His love.
    3. Love first and foremost shown by the death of His son at Calvary.
    4. That is the strongest way God could cry out to all mankind that “I love you”.   Another way God draws people to Him is through us, His children, His church, His kingdom, His flock, and His disciples.   Those who love one another so much that people who are in darkness out there in the world, when they come in among us, can sense and feel the love that exists between us as a spiritual family and hopefully be drawn to God. When they see, that love of God, shown between us.

 

CONCLUSION:

Bless be the ties that bind. What are the ties that bind us together?

First, the blood of Christ ties us together in the family of God.

We are sisters and brothers in the same family.

We need to strive to love as brothers and sisters.

We have a common, mutual faith.

We have the same understanding, the same values, and the same goals.

We think alike because we have the same word molding our hearts and our values.

We come together and worship God together. From our heart to God, yes, but also at the same time so we can be together and encourage one another and admonish one another so that we can go from Monday through Saturday and live the faithful Christian life.  We need to be together.

 

When we get involved in the labor in the kingdom and start working, we need to understand something, folks, in a working congregation there is no time for bitterness.

You know the old saying an idle mind is devil's workshop. An idle congregation is also the devil's workshop.  When the Brethren aren't working, and they are not concerned about one another, those congregations are easy to tear asunder.

 

When you have a congregation that is laboring together in the vineyard, in the Kingdom, together, trying to plant the seed in the Kingdom, together, trying to water, together, and they see God giving the increase, together they rejoice.   Of course, we rejoice when we see the congregation growing. We rejoice when we see erring sheep coming back to the father because we work together to bring that about. It is when we care enough to where when one member suffers all the members suffer with them.

 

Folks, think about what said there. One member hurting, all the brethren care about them, all the brethren strive to comfort and alleviate that pain as quick as possible. In that kind of relationship there will be bonds formed between us that time and distance will never be able to sever.

 

It is all about our relationship with God and with each other. Let's see how close we can get to God. Let's see how close we can get to each other.

 

If there's anybody here this morning who is not a member of the body of Christ, if you believe in your heart that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God, if you're willing to openly confess that faith and then motivated by that faith to follow after the teachings of Jesus your King, the Christ, we’ll be glad to assist you and baptize you into the body of Christ for the remission of your sins.

 

If you are a child of God and you have left the father and gone into the world, it is our hope, our desire, that you would come home, come back to God.  We will pray for you.

We'll pray with you. We'll do the very best we can as your spiritual family to try to be there for you to encourage you.

If you are subject to the Gospel call in any way, let it be known while we stand and sing this song.

 

Invitation song:

Based on sermon by: Wayne Fancher

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