Expository Preaching
J. Michael Shannon and Robert C. Shannon
(c)opyright J. Michael Shannon, 1982
THE PARTNERSHIP WE SHARE
Colossians 4:5-18

Introduction:  Sometimes people have themselves incorporated for legal or tax purposes.  The Christian relationship is not at all like a corporation; but it is a great deal like a partnership.

Proposition:  We are never alone in serving Christ; we have partners who are both like us and unlike us.

  I. THE EARLY CHRISTIANS HAD DIFFERING BACKGROUNDS

A.  There were Greeks and Jews.
B.  There were free persons and slaves.
C.  There were males and females.
D.  The church today is enriched by the great variety of nationalities, races, and cultures that are part of it.
 II. THEY HAD DIFFERING GIFTS
A.  There are public gifts and private gifts.
B.  They are of equal importance and significance.
C.  All are needed.
III.  THEY HAD DIFFERING DUTIES
A.  Communication
B.  Encouragement
C.  Comfort
D.  Prayer
 IV. THEY HAD THE SAME PURPOSE AND GOAL
A.  All were family in Christ.
B.  All were servants of Christ.
Conclusion:  We need each other.  We need Christ most of all.

    During the times of the New Testament, there was great enmity between Jews and Romans.  They had as little dealings with one another as possible and, whenever they could, avoided using the same streets!  We cannot imagine such prejudice!  The good news is that Christ overcame that prejudice and pride - and He still does.
 

    It has been well said that the man who holds the ladder at the bottom is about as important as the man at the top.  Everybody wants to be the man on the top, but he would not be there very long without the assistance he receives from the man at the bottom.  If he is wise, the man at the top will recognize the importance of the man at the bottom.  If he does not recognize it, he may find his ladder slipping away!
 

    When Anwar Sadat, of Egypt, was assassinated, they provided a temporary burial place beside Egypt's Unknown Soldier.  How interesting that Egypt's best-known soldier should be buried beside Egypt's Unknown Soldier!  In the kingdom of God, there are many unknown soldiers.  They march right beside the well-known soldiers.  They do their parts.  What they do is important!  Without their work, the famous would not be famous!  Without them, nothing would be accomplished!
 

    Lyman Bryson wrote:  "The error of youth is to believe that intelligence is a substitute for experience, while the error of age is to believe that experience is a substitute for intelligence."  Doesn't that point up the fact that we need both young and old in our churches?  We need the optimism and enthusiasm of youth.  We need the experience and wisdom of age.  One tempers the other.  It is so easy to go off optimistically without thinking through the ramifications of a problem.  It is equally easy to be content with things as they are and not see the possibilities for improvement.
 

    Carl Sandburg was one of our greatest poets.  He flunked English.  Thomas Edison was our greatest inventor.  His teachers thought he was stupid.  Einstein was our greatest intellect.  He could not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven.  Beethoven is the world's best-known composer.  His music teacher said, "As a composer, he's hopeless."  F. W. Woolworth has his name on stores all over the nation.  When he was twenty-one, he couldn't get a job.  The boss thought he didn't have enough sense to wait on customers.  Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he didn't have any good ideas.  Caruso was told by his voice coach, "You can't sing. You have no voice at all."  An editor told Louisa May Alcott she was not capable of writing anything that would appeal to the popular audience.  Obviously, all these critics were wrong in their judgments of the possibilities in the lives of others.  How quickly we prejudge and misjudge!  How often we are wrong!  How often we value our own gifts so much we cannot see how very valuable are the gifts of others!

God give my eyes the will to see
My friend for what he is to me.
It s not his creed or shade or skin
That makes his heart to mine akin;
O God, if peace on earth we seek,
Our hearts must follow Yours so meek;
And see ourselves as no other,
But to every man - a brother.
                                            - Vivian Volk


The Prayers We Offer (4:1-4)
Table of Contents
Live With Joy (Phillipians 1:3-11)

Scanned and Proofread by Michael J. Riggs