Summary: One of the greatest desires that people have is to fit in. It doesn’t matter whether you’re young, old or in-between, we see it in every area of life.
(Pass out puzzle pieces) Today I want to talk to you about fitting in. Right now everyone is receiving a puzzle piece. I want you to keep this puzzle piece as a reminder that even though you each are your own individual, we all fit into a puzzle that is much bigger than ourselves.
One of the greatest desires that people have is to belong. It doesn’t matter whether you’re young, old or in-between, we see it in every area of life. Everyday we encounter people who, even though they may be in the middle of a crowd, are perhaps the most loneliest people on earth. The reason is because you don’t belong to them and they don’t belong to you.
I can remember when I was a teenager the most important thing in my life was to fit in and to belong; I don’t think that’s something that you ever outgrow. This desire to belong is what drives people to join fraternities, lodges and even churches.
I also think that this is one of the key attractions to Christianity; it’s a place where you can truly belong. When you come to Christ, you get so much more than a ticket to heaven; you become a child of God. He loves you like a father and sometimes He corrects you like a father, but the point is that you belong.
That’s not all, coming to Christ means that you become a part of the family of God; you have brothers and sisters in Christ. You are joined to them in a way that goes beyond every other relationship known to humanity. It’s much closer than a marriage because a marriage is only “till death do you part.” The relationship you have with your brothers and sisters in Christ won’t be separated by death, it’s an eternal relationship. Paul often refers this relationship to that of a body. Let’s being by looking at:
THE NECESSITY OF BEING UNITED (Vv. 12-13)
There’s nothing more united than a body. I don’t think of my body in terms of its parts. When I get up in the morning, I don’t say to myself, “Chris, you better remember to take your arm with you when you go to work today.” My arm is a part of me, I would hate to lose it. It’s united to me and I’m going to protect it at all costs.
In the same way, believers are a part of a body. And because we are all parts of the same body, we shouldn’t think of one another as individual parts, but as one. Let’s look at a couple of ways we are united:
We are united by spiritual baptism.
When we hear the word “baptism,” most people think about a church ceremony where somebody gets wet, but baptism is so much more than that. There’s a lot of different types of baptisms found in the Bible, but only in a few of them is water anywhere to be seen. The one idea that is ALWAYS present in each of these cases is the idea of IDENTIFICATION. When you’re baptized, you’re being identified with something.
Paul tells us that “by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (v. 13a). When you trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you were given a place in His body and you were identified with Him. You’re a new person; you have a new identity.
Because Jesus is the Son of God, you are also a child of God.
Because He has eternal life, you also have eternal life.
Because He is righteous, you have also been declared to be righteous.
Because He was crucified, you are considered to have been crucified with Christ.
Because He rose from the dead, you will also rise from the dead.
Because He is the heir to the kingdom, you are also a co-heir to the kingdom.
The baptism of the Spirit of that Paul is talking about is a once and for all event in the life of a Christian, it takes place at the very moment we are converted.
2. We are united in a way that goes beyond all boundaries
whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. (v. 13b)
The prejudices that existed between the Jews and Gentiles don’t even come close to the prejudices that we experience today. The Jews wouldn’t even eat at the same table with the Gentiles.
Another barrier Paul mentions is between those who were slaves and those who were free. This barrier was so great that one group was considered property while the other group was considered people.
Do you see what Paul is saying?
There’s no such thing as one church for Jews and another for Gentiles.