Principles for Personal Cooperation

cooperation-smallSUBJECT: Fellowship, Cooperation, Christian Conduct, Unity

TITLE: Principles of Personal Cooperation

PROPOSITION: We will look at several biblical principles that will help us in personally cooperating with one another, especially in difficult times.

OBJECTIVE: That each would understand and make application of how to better cooperate with those around us.

AIM: To help us all learn how to avoid personal problems with one another before they get started.


1. Read: Philippians 2:1-11

2. About the Text:

1) This chapter is concerned with attitudes that help us cooperate with one another.

2) Paul makes it clear that this is an issue of fellowship and unity.

3) He states that when we pursue working with one another we ought to think about what it means to serve.

4) He sets before us the example of Jesus.

5) When we consider that Jesus gave up all to serve us, how can we not do the same for our brother in return?

6) How can we improve our personal relationships with one another and avoid strife?

3. A word about personal relationships.

1) There’s likely not very many people, even among our young children, that haven’t had a disagreement with someone at some time.

2) It is how we handle these disagreements that sets us apart as whether or not we are being what God wants us to be as His children.

3) It’s not so much how we respond to our friends that make us Christian as much as how we respond to those who are opposed to us at one point or another.

4. A note about disagreements.

1) There are times when we have to disagree with others, particularly when truth is at stake.

2) These principles apply to this situation, but the primary emphasis of this lesson is to discuss situations when we are disagreeing for some other reason than the sake of truth.

5. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.


I.    Pursue Peace

1. Romans 12:18 “If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men.”

2. This ought to be the foundation of our personal relationships.

3. Christians need to be bridge builders, not bridge burners.

II.   Let Love Live

1. Romans 13:8 “Owe no man anything, save to love one another: for he that loveth his neighbor hath fulfilled the law.”

2. If we see those around us as the objects of our love, we will be less inclined to disagree with them and more inclined to encourage them.

3. Christians ought to always be characterized by a loving spirit.

III. Judge Righteous Judgment

1. John 7:24 “Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

2. It is often easy to jump to conclusions.

3. And sometimes things appear to be wrong when they may not be.

4. If we are going to get along with one another, then we need to make sure we get the facts about another’s behavior.

IV.  Perceive People

1. 1 Corinthians 12:6 “And there are diversities of workings, but the same God, who worketh all things in all.”

2. Different people have different ways of looking at things and doing things.

3. We need to make sure that our disagreements aren’t merely their wanting to accomplish the same goal in a different way.

V.    Listen Liberally

1. James 1:19 “Ye know this, my beloved brethren. But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath”.

2. It is hard to listen to someone when they disagree with you. But that is what we ought to do.

3. Often times problems can be solved simply be listening and letting someone else “get something off their chest.”

VI.  Watch Your Words

1. James 3:8 “But the tongue can no man tame; it is a restless evil, it is full of deadly poison.”

2. Perhaps our greatest weakness when we get involved in disagreements is the tongue.

3. We ought to desire to control this above all other things.

4. James 1:19 says we ought to be “slow to speak.”

VII. Abolish Anger

1. Ephesians 4:31 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and railing, be put away from you, with all malice”.

2. It is easy to get angry when having personal disagreements.

3. Anger will only escalate a situation from bad to worse.

4. However, the last thing we need to express in personal disagreements is anger.

VIII.Commend the Correct

1. Romans 1:8 “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world.”

2. Paul often dealt with problems in the churches, but first he commended that which was right.

3. We may disagree, but we can always commend someone on what they do right.

IX.   Rebuke the Wrong

1. Luke 17:3 “Take heed to yourselves: if thy brother sin, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.”

2. When someone has done something wrong, then they need to be rebuked.

3. We must do this with love.

4. But we mustn’t let wrong triumph over good.

5. If the other person has the right attitude, then they will repent.

X.    Repent of Wrong

1. 2 Corinthians 7:10 “For godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, a repentance which bringeth no regret: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”

2. If we have done that which is wrong, then we need to repent.

3. We have to be humble enough, at this point, to understand that God requires this of us, not our fellow.

XI.   Forgive the penitent.

1. Luke 17:4 “And if he sin against thee seven times in the day, and seven times turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.”

2. If our brother repents, then we have the obligation to forgive.

3. This means we have no right to bring up the same sin in the future and hold it against him.

4. From this point on, we need to personally acknowledge our brother’s fault and help him with it.

XII. Tell The Truth

1. Ephesians 4:25 “Wherefore, putting away falsehood, speak ye truth each one with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.”

2. In difficult situations, we may be tempted to not tell the truth, or to not tell the whole truth.

3. We need to be up front and honest with those with whom we disagree.

4. Nothing truly gets solved if we don’t express the whole truth.

XIII.Seek to Serve

1. 1 Peter 5:5 “Likewise, ye younger, be subject unto the elder. Yea, all of you gird yourselves with humility, to serve one another: for God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.”

2. We need to have humility and be willing to serve each other.

3. Pride is a great enemy and can cause many problems.

4. This can be overcome with humility and a serving attitude.

XIV. Be Consistent in Our Conduct

1. Romans 12:9 “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.”

2. We must avoid hypocrisy in our life.

3. Hypocrisy only allows those of us who disagree with us to accuse us.

4. We can’t afford to be hypocrites; we must live consistently with how we teach.

XV.   Be willing to suffer wrong.

1. 1 Corinthians 6:7 “Nay, already it is altogether a defect in you, that ye have lawsuits one with another. Why not rather take wrong? why not rather be defrauded?”

2. Sometimes, for whatever reason, things won’t work out our way.

3. We ought to be willing to be wronged for the sake of Christian unity.

XVI. Look to the Lord

1. 1 Peter 2:21 “For hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps”.

2. When all else fails, we ought to look to the Lord and ask, “What would Jesus do” in this situation.

3. He lived a sinless life and is our perfect example.

4. Let us imitate him.


1. Read James 3:13-18

2. Go through list of things to practice.

1) This list isn’t necessarily exhaustive.

2) I’m sure that we can think of other things to do in these situations.

3) But this list is imminently practical.

3. Invitation