As we’ve walked through this ONE series, we’ve seen repeatedly that there is only ONE. Through faith we’re part of the ONE body of Christ. We’re part of the ONE church of Jesus. We’re part of the ONE family of God. And we’ve been sent forth on ONE mission, to make the name of God great in all the world. We’ve focused largely on the often hidden and invisible reality that we are truly ONE body, ONE church, with ONE mission. Today, as we wrap up this series we’re going to listen to Paul as he teaches the Corinthians about how to work on the visible and the seen. He’s going to teach us to work for a greater and deeper external unity. We are a unified church. Paul is teaching us work at this unity. He is teaching us to work hard to preserve and keep unity in the body both doctrinally (in our teachings), practically (in the things that we do), and in all of our relationships with each other. There is a very real unity. And in these words of farewell Paul teaches us to work for greater and deeper unity. 2 Corinthians 13:11-14
What's your mission? What's ours? Instinctively we live to make a name for ourselves. But there's a better name that we already have. Knowing and having this name that is above every name is game changing! We're not chasing a name because we already have it. And now we live on purpose and on a mission for that name. This week we look at Genesis 11:1-9.
The Christian church on earth is a greatly splintered thing. The Christian church on earth is a greatly troubled. It’s why many people stay away from the organized church and congregation. The organization is messy and splintered. It's a construction zone. God is working on his people. God is building a church, one church, founded on the cross of Jesus. Tomorrow we find our joy and comfort in God's work in us and on us. There is no architect or builder like him. 1 Peter 2:1-10.
Our bodies are an amazing thing. It is just one body, but it is made up of many unique and vital parts. And when it works properly, it's beautiful. But when it doesn't, it's hard and we work to restore the seamless working together of all its parts. The body of Christ is an amazing thing. It is just one body, but it is made up of many unique and vital parts. And when it works well, it's beautiful. But when it doesn't, it's hard and we work hard to restore unity to the many parts of the body. In this section of Ephesians, Paul urges us to work on this unity (amputation is not an option!) and reminds us of some beautiful truths. We already are one. We already have a unity even if we can't see it or feel it. And each of us has been given gifts so that this unity might be strengthened as the whole body grows up and into Christ.
Listen in to this sermon from our evening, Ascension day cookout. Ephesians 4:1-16.