Together Series Part 2 – Pastor Shiflett

Together Sermon Series

Part II – The Profit

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Intro: Our theme this year is the word TOGETHER. I believe it would be a great help for us to get a better understanding of what it means to be together.

People can be together, but not be unified.

1. Many marriages consist of a husband and wife living together, but they are not unified.

There is anger, unkind words, disagreements, and division.

2. People can work together on the job but not be TOGETHER.

There can be strife, discord, confusion and become a place of stress and dread.

3. Church members can be “together”, but not be unified in their love for God, burden for ministry and life of holiness.

People can attend the same church but live completely different lives outside of the church.

  • Some members can be faithful, and others can be unfaithful.
  • Some members can try to pursue holiness and others embrace worldliness.
  • Some members can give and sacrifice to see the church move forward while others contribute nothing.
  • Some members can catch the vision of the pastor and join in to help and others couldn’t care less.

Being “together” consists of much more than being in near proximity.

TOGETHER means unity; a one-ness that signifies agreement, cooperation and fellowship.

There are several places in the Bible where God gives us a picture of what it means to truly be together.

It is my prayer and my vision for this church for every member to understand this and do their part to make this to be said of Calvary Baptist Church.

In the book of Ecclesiastes, we find several references to the blessings and benefits of being TOGETHER.

Let’s look at four of them this morning.

I. Increased Productivity

  • 9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

Two are better than one.

May I add – two hundred is better than one hundred.

The work of God is a group effort.

Our theme text this year is Philippians 1:27

The English words “striving together” is one word in the Greek.

  • sunathleo soon-ath-leh’-o meaning to strive at the same time with another

It means to work together; on the same thing with the same goal at the same time.

It speaks of the importance of working together for the obvious reason – increased productivity.

One of the greatest hinderances to the growth of the church is the lack of unity on the labor aspect.

Imagine if every church member worked equally hard on the furtherance of the “faith of the gospel.”

Imagine if we had 100% participation rather than 20% or 30% of the church working and laboring.

Solomon was a wise man.

His wisdom stated that “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.”

I’m not downplaying his wisdom, but that is not rocket science.

We’ve seen videos of a car stalled out on the train tracks.

One person couldn’t move it. But when everybody works together, they can do the impossible.

Working together will result in a GOOD REWARD.

The more people working, the more the reward.

II. Intervening Protection

  • 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

One of the greatest blessings of God’s people being TOGETHER is the help we can provide for each other.

Never take for granted having God’s people around to help you make it through the rough times.

We know that God has promised never to leave nor forsake.

We know that we have the ministry of the Holy Spirit to keep us and protect us.

But never underestimate the importance of surrounding yourself with likeminded Christians.

Their influence and their willingness to intervene when you are weak and falling is priceless.

There are many verses in the New Testament that emphasize this wonderful benefit of being TOGETHER.

Here are just a few:

  • Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
  • Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

EDIFYbuilding, building up; the act of one who promotes another’s growth in Christian wisdom, piety, happiness, holiness

  • Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

III. Invigorating Presence

  • 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?

The picture that is being painted here is the benefits of being together.

One person’s heat doesn’t keep them warm; it warms another.

We keep each other warm.

Let me put it this way – two Christians that are on fire for God will keep each other on fire.

A single burning coal will soon cool off. Put it with other burning coals and it will keep burning.

Many Christians lose their fire and their zeal because they isolate themselves from those that are fire.

Seeing one another’s courage will bolster your confidence.

Illustration: I Samuel 17

  • 51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.
  • 52 And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines…

These same men are described in verse 24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.

What changed? One man’s fire; one man’s zeal; one man’s boldness; one man’s courage; one man’s faith in God caused the entire army to stop running FROM the enemy and run TOWARD them.

Getting close to a Christian that is on fire will help you stay on fire.

Illustration: In Daniel 1, we find where Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat. In the following verses, we find three more young men that joined in.

We may ask, would they have done right if he hadn’t? We don’t know.

But one thing we do know.
These same three young men refused to bow to the king’s image just a few chapters later.

The blessings and benefits of standing together is the invigorating partnership that will result.

IV. Invincible Partnership

  • 12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

There’s no doubt about it – there is strength in numbers.

Leviticus 26

  • 7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
  • 8 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.