Grace Community Church
We Are Unified (Acts 15:5-11)
Big Idea: Disagreements are normal, but disunity should never be.
Locations & Times
  • Grace Community Church
    9755 N La Cholla Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85742, USA
    Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:45 AM
Acts 15:4-5 (NLT)

4 When they arrived in Jerusalem, Barnabas and Paul were welcomed by the whole church, including the apostles and elders. They reported everything God had done through them. 5 But then some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, “The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the law of Moses.”
1 Corinthians 1:10,13 (NLT)

10 I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.

13 Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not!
Psalm 133:1 (NIV)

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
Romans 15:5-6 (NLT)

5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 15:6-11 (NLT)

6 So the apostles and elders met together to resolve this issue. 7 At the meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows: “Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe. 8 God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith. 10 So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? 11 We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.”
When we treasure unity:

1. We are careful to listen and slow to take sides.

Proverbs 18:13 (NLT)

Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.

James 1:19 (NLT)

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

When we treasure unity:

1. We are careful to listen and slow to take sides.
2. We are not easily angered.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NIV)

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Colossians 3:14 (NLT)

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.

When we treasure unity:

1. We are careful to listen and slow to take sides.
2. We are not easily angered.
3. Rather than assuming our thoughts are aligned with God's, we step back from disagreements to hear His voice.

Proverbs 8:1-16 (NLT)

Listen as Wisdom calls out!
Hear as understanding raises her voice!
2 On the hilltop along the road,
she takes her stand at the crossroads.
3 By the gates at the entrance to the town,
on the road leading in, she cries aloud,
4 “I call to you, to all of you!
I raise my voice to all people.
5 You simple people, use good judgment.
You foolish people, show some understanding.
6 Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you.
Everything I say is right,
7 for I speak the truth
and detest every kind of deception.
8 My advice is wholesome.
There is nothing devious or crooked in it.
9 My words are plain to anyone with understanding,
clear to those with knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction rather than silver,
and knowledge rather than pure gold.
11 For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies.
Nothing you desire can compare with it.
12 “I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment.
I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.
13 All who fear the Lord will hate evil.
Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance,
corruption and perverse speech.
14 Common sense and success belong to me.
Insight and strength are mine.
15 Because of me, kings reign,
and rulers make just decrees.
16 Rulers lead with my help,
and nobles make righteous judgments.

Proverbs 8:32-36 (NLT)

“And so, my children, listen to me,
for all who follow my ways are joyful.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise.
Don’t ignore it.
34 Joyful are those who listen to me,
watching for me daily at my gates,
waiting for me outside my home!
35 For whoever finds me finds life
and receives favor from the Lord.
36 But those who miss me injure themselves.
All who hate me love death.”

John 10:27 (NLT)

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

Galatians 1:10 (NLT)

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.
Ephesians 4:3 (NLT)

Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.

My Next Step

In what areas of your life do you want your own way more than you want unity? How is it hurting you and others? What can you do, in disagreements, to better treasure unity? Click here to take one step closer to Christ today.
For My Personal Time With God This Week:

[#1] Reread Acts 15, paying particular attention to the approach, tone, and words of Peter. Do you feel like he handled himself well? How? How did what he eventually shared help bring unity to a decision?
[#2] Much of the book of Galatians shows the Apostle Paul’s frustration with the church in Galatia about their opinion on non-Jewish Christians obeying all the laws of Moses, like circumcision. Focus on just Galatians 2:1-4:20. It is clear how Paul was focused, but how was he also unifying? What things did he say which, if you put yourself in their shoes, would have felt more judgmental and condemning than unifying? How might you have expressed these same, Godly opinions in a more Godly and unifying way?
[#3] Read Proverbs 8, which talks about listening to God’s wisdom. Read it slowly and carefully, considering opinions you need to form and decisions you need to make in your life in the future.

How can we pray for you?

Our Grace prayer team is ready to join with you in prayer for whatever concerns you have. We take your requests seriously and would be honored to stand with you as you bring your concerns before our heavenly Father. Click here to submit a prayer request. All submissions are kept confidential unless you request otherwise.

Sermon Series - Real BIG Community

If you missed the start of our new sermon series last week, Real BIG Community, catch up here.

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How was your experience today?

What helped you connect to God, and what could our teams have done even better? If you have any questions, please leave them here along with a way to contact you. We will be glad to do so this week .