A Limited Sphere
Text: II Corinthians 10:7-18
I. Without a doubt unity is important to God and His people - John 17:17-21
A. It is something to strive for - Ephesians 4:1-3
B. Division is condemned - I Corinthians 1:10-13
C. Paul, when he entered Jerusalem wanted to join with other Christians - Acts 9:26-28
II. All unity is not approved
A. The church in Jerusalem was selective in whom they accepted. Churches should be selective.
B. Pergamos accepted people who taught a false doctrine - Revelation 2:14-15
C. Thyatira allowed a false prophetess in their number - Revelation 2:20
III. All division is not condemned
A. Ephesus was praised for not bearing with the evil - Revelation 2:2
B. Dividers are not to be accepted - Romans 16:17-18
C. The disorderly are not to be among brethren - II Thessalonians 3:6-15
D. Division must exist - I Corinthians 11:17-19
IV. Where are the boundaries?
A. First, there must be fellowship with God - I John 1:3
1. Not just a claim, but a true fellowship with God.
2. We know there are liars, hypocrites who claim what they do not have
3. But some wrongly believe they have fellowship with God and do not, such as the 12 men in Ephesus - Acts 19:1-7
4. A claim of being a Christian is insufficient grounds to extend fellowship
B. Unity comes by being in Christ - Galatians 3:26-29
1. Only those born again are in the kingdom - John 3:3-5
2. The limits are placed by God, not man.
3. Unless one is baptized in obedience to Christ’s command, he is not in Christ.
4. He does not have salvation - II Timothy 2:10
5. If he is not in Christ, he doesn’t have fellowship with God or His people.
C. If a man in not in Christ, then he is still a child of Satan - I John 3:4-10
D. Notice also that continued obedience is required as well.
1. We cannot fellowship sin - I Timothy 5:21-22
2. Do not be partakers with them - Ephesians 5:6-11
E. But for those in Christ, doing His will, there ought to be fellowship - III John 5-8
V. We are not to break the boundaries
A. Blending of right and wrong is forbidden - II Corinthians 6:14-18
B. The children of God have no right to extend fellowship to the children of Satan - Ephesians 5:11
C. Why? - I Corinthians 15:33
D. To do so would be an act of rebellion against God
E. A distinction must exist - II John 9-11
F. I Thessalonians 5:21-22