In being reconciled to God, we are also joined together into his body, the Church. This means we ought to seek reconciliation with one another and be united in our diversity.
Fallen Condition: We cause division because we do not see the need for one another. Division- not being united to one another and caring for each member equally. We separate reconciliation with God and reconciliation with one another as two separate realities and not one great reality.
Heart longing- tap into this desire- we divide because we are affraid- what happens when I open up- will anyone really be there? Do they care? What if they hurt me? What if they take my job? Ironically, at the heart of our issues of a lack of reconciliation and a recurring theme of divisison is a fear that only a community of love directed by a God of love can solve. We fight because we fear. And instead of moving toward one another we harden.
Intro opening- everywhere you look- we have constant division. If you name something- anything that defines a person, I can show you an opposite and equally strong divisive point that will tell you that these people are wrong. Gender.- Men and women fighting against one another divided in personal situations and policy decisions and community issues. Race- divisions. Politics. Money. School system. Eating- meat vs. vegan. So divided. What could possibly heal these divisions? Isn’t that what we long for. A healing. But why don’t we work for it. We are affriad- what will it cost me? What will I lose?
Bring it home to City Hope? What will we lose if we pursue multiethnic- what will we lose if we pursue reconciliation?
I want to change the question- What will we lose if we don’t puruse this with our whole lives? The body.
if you have Christ, you get filled with his Spirit, you get sent on his mission, and you get welcomed into his body, his family, his bride, the church. - you cannot just take one of these things- you take Jesus- you take all of them.
-Not saying that if you aren’t a part of a local church you can’t be really saved by Jesus- however, church history and the NT know nothing of that.... seems like shaky ground to stand upon. Is it possible, yes? Is it desirable according to the NT- no. Is it something to boast in? Like, Well, I grow best when I’m not involved with people- when its just me and Jesus- what do you mean you grow best- in what way- people bring conflict, which is the place of growth. Especially when the people we hang out with are different from us.
-vs. 13- different gifts, different races, different ethnicities, different income levels,
-Whoever has Jesus
-because I am not this- I am not a part of the body
-you are valuable, God doesn’t need you, but will choose to use you.
-Also, you need others
-If Christ has welcomed them- we welcome them. That means you must be baptized by the Spirit into the body.
-you are not supreme- you don’t get to decide who is welcomed by the Lord anymore than you decided on your biological family.
-God has arranged the parts
-equal care and concern
V. 25- worry about each other- I think Paul uses this word intentionally- almost every other place in the Scriptures, we are told not to worry- why? Because we naturally worry about ourselves- and we ought to trust the Lord. Here we are told to worry about others- because we don’t do that naturally- we only do that supernaturally.
V. 25- and do it equally- for all members
God has arranged the body in such a way that we are forced into this- friends, if we don’t pursue diversity as a body- we will look silly to the world and to the Lord. What is a body that is all one part- friends this text says spiritual gifts yes- it also explicitly says ethnicity and race- and economic difference. Are we a lopsided body- if so, does that mean you live your life as a lopsided life- this won’t happen if you don’t live a diverse life.
-concern for things that concern my brothers and sisters
-the way I vote- does that issue effect brothers and sisters- it effects me
-the way I spend my money-
-the way I engage in my community- what I speak up about
-the way I spend my time
-the way I love in this place, with these people
-The way I eat meals
-The way I enjoy my hobbies
-the way I serve in this place, with these people
-intentionally across all divisions- gender, race, political, economic