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Assemble for Strength (Ecclesiastes 4:12, 1 Peter 5:8)

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

Sermon on 10 January 2021 by Ps Paul


Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12


Two or three people are stronger than one. A triple-braided cord comprises three stands, which are intertwined by twisting. When these strands are combined, their strength is magnified much more than each of the strands alone. Likewise, we need others to support us and we need to support others.

There are many examples in the bible on working together.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” - Genesis 2:18

God created Adam and did not intend for him to be alone. So God created Eve to support Adam.

In Exodus 4:27, Moses was called by God to be God’s messenger to approach the Pharaoh to let His people go. God sent Aaron to work alongside Moses. Together, they led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. In Exodus 24:13, Moses had Joshua who took the baton from Moses and led the Israelites into the promised land. Joshua, in turn, needed Moses to encourage him in his journey.

When Jesus was resurrected and ascended into the heavens, His disciples Peter and John continued to preach the gospel despite persecution (Acts 3:1). Barnabas walked in the Holy Spirit and was a great support to Paul in preaching the gospel, traveling together (Acts 13:4). Subsequently, after separating from Barnabas, Paul worked with Silas and were praising God together even when they were chained in prison (Acts 16:6). Paul also worked with Timothy and Luke.

When Jesus called the disciples out, He sent them out two by two, never alone.

And he called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits. - Mark 6:7

Be alert, especially when you are alone, because you will be targeted by the enemy to fall into temptation. King David was a God-fearing man and did things right in God’s sight. However, after success in many conquests, He stayed alone in Jerusalem, falling into temptation and committed adultery with his general’s wife (2 Samuel 11, Psalm 51). We are vulnerable when we are alone.

Even our Lord Jesus was led into the wilderness and tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1-11). However, our Lord Jesus resisted temptation.

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. - 1 Peter 5:8

The devil triggers anger in us, causing us to be unkind to others. The devil makes us unsatisfied with what we have, causing us to be unable to give thanks. So we need to be watchful.

1. Assemble for strength to reach out and help

Two are better than one as each can reach out and help the other. Our strengths support the other’s weakness. We build one another up.

Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. - 1 Peter 5:9

Let us support one another with the love of God.

2. Assemble for strength through praying for one another

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. - James 5:16

Prayers encourage and strengthen one another.

The confession of sins here refers to (i) reconciling with a brother or sister whom we have hurt in order to restore our relationship (Matt 5:23-24), and (ii) asking brothers or sisters to pray for us to resist temptation against sin. The blood of Jesus Christ has already set us free. We need the power of prayer to live a life that is free.

But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers. - Luke 22:32

3. Assemble for strength in Jesus

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” - John 15:5

Fellowship must be centred on Jesus, so that our strength can be made complete. We need to be in Him in order to do what is right.


Don’t neglect coming to church, going to cell group meetings, gathering together for fellowship. Let our activities be centred on Jesus Christ. Let us encourage one another.

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. - Acts 2:42

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