This past Lord’s Day, I continued a brief series of selected expositions that I am calling, “Going Forward with God… Together.” Sunday’s message was from the wonderful book of Ecclesiastes. I have read Ecclesiastes many times and find that it constantly challenges my faith. But this is the only text I have preached from this great book. I really do not know what caused this passage to stick out to me. But it is one of the passages I memorized some time ago on the subject of fellowship.
I came to the pulpit with a burden for my congregation. I know that it is not the will of God for us to try to live out our faith journey on our own. But too many people actually hide out from fellowship in the church – especially big churches. I pray that this message was at least a good shot that will begin a war against any spirit of individualism with SMBC. May the Lord bless Shiloh to be a church where no one stands alone.
Here is the sermon skeleton. I listed more of the skeleton that usual, noting the progression of thought for each major point. I Hope it helps.
Title: “Two Are Better than One”
Text: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Theme: The importance of community and the benefits of partnership
Point: Two are better than one.
I. Two are better than one when you at work (4:9).
A. The assumption: both life and ministry require hard work.
B. The affirmation: You can accomplish more when you work together with others.
II. Two are better than one when you fall down (4:10).
A. You are prone to fall down sometimes along the way.
B. You can fall so low or so hard that you cannot get up again on your own.
C. Two are better than one because there will be times when you need someone to pick you up when you have fallen down.
III. Two are better than one 1when you are in the cold (4:11).
A. Life will sometimes leave you in the cold.
B. You need others who will warm you up when life leaves you in the cold.
IV. Two are better than one when you are in a fight (4:12).
A. You are prone to be attacked along life’s journey.
1. Personal attacks
2. Spiritual attacks
B. There are some battles you cannot win on your own.
C. You need others who will help you overcome life’s battles
Conclusion: The closing proverb of this passage – “a threefold cord is not quickly broken” – affirms (1) the strength of unity with others and (2) the power of faith in God.
One is better than two when it comes to the matter of faith: Only Jesus can make you right with God (John 14:6).
The Most Important Commandment
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this:‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. – Mark 12:28-34 Armies win…