Our sermon continues the series of topical sermons that offer practical Christian living wisdom from the Word. This week’s message is a follow up on last week’s message on Discouragement. Our launch verse comes from John 17:20-23, but we will reference a large number of other verses as well. In this message, designed to encourage us and equip us, we will ask three questions regarding church unity:
- What Does Jesus Want?
- Is Unity In Diversity Possible?
- How do I Practice Unity?
Our message will direct our eyes off of other people’s problems and inadequacies, and will turn our eyes on our own duties as Jesus teaches us. Essentially, we will remember that the practice of other-oriented Christianity, through the use of the “one anothers,” is what will sow harmony and unity in God’s churches.
Our public reading was1 Corinthians 12:12-26, and our benediction was Romans 15:5
20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (ESV)
1 Corinthians 12:12-26
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. (ESV)
Our ending prayer:
1. Make me a peacemaker, for you are a Peacemaker
2. Make me more devoted in brotherly love, for you love me as family
3. Make me honor others above myself, for you humbled yourself for my sake
4. Make me harmonious with others, not a clangy cymbal
5. Make me stop passing judgment on others, for you despise my jealousy and envy
6. Make me accept others, since Christ has accepted me
7. Make me good at instructing others, that I might be useful
8. Make me have equal concern for others, and take my eyes off of myself
9. Make me a servant of others, for you modeled a servant’s heart
10. Make me spur on others to love and good deeds, for this is your delight
11. Make me avoid slander, for my unbridled tongue can be a violent destroyer.
12. Make me hate grumbling against others, for you hate it.
13. Make me confess my sins to others, for reconciliation is your will
14. Make me stop biting and devouring others, because you have forbidden it
15. Make me not provoke nor envy others, but rejoice with them in their blessings
16. Make me long to carry other’s burdens, for you have lifted my greatest burden
17. Make me patient, make me bear with others in love, for I am too rash and intolerant
18. Make me kind and compassionate to others, rather than indifferent and careless
19. Make me forgiving of others, as you have forgiven me
20. Make me love to speak in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, these cheer the heart and sow gladness
21. Make me kind and tenderhearted, not bitter and hard hearted.
22. Make me longsuffering, bearing with my brethren to the unexpected extra mile
23. Make me submit to others in reverence for Jesus, for your hand is against the prideful
24. Make me consider others better than me, and make me mean it
25. Make me a truth-sayer, not a liar, that I might never transgress your command
26. Make me love others increasingly, sowing strong bonds among us
27. Make me an encourager, promoting my brother’s welfare and goodness
28. Make me rejoice, not coveting others blessings but being glad for your blessings upon them
29. Make me patient, knowing your patience is boundless with me
30. Make me honor others, rather than undermining their good name
31. Make me a prayer, praying for others, that I might bless others with intercession
32. Make me love hospitality, that I should share what you have given to me
33. Make me eager to use my gifts, as I am vital to your congregation in some small way
34. Make me humble, not puffed up and self-important, that you alone might get all the praise
35. Make me a comfort to my church, rather than a thorn of strife
36. Make me a unifier, eagerly maintaining the Spirit’s oneness among us
37. Make me to love others deeply, for this fulfills the law.
38. Make me like Jesus.