Summary: In most all cases we stress our differences. In marriage we may have two areas where we differ and 100 where we agree but focus on the two things where we differ.
1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
A. In most all cases we stress our differences.
1. In marriage we may have two areas where we differ and 100 where we agree but focus on the two things where we differ.
2. We can’t laugh at ourselves anymore, because we are so sensitive about our differences.
3. Kids don’t know they are different than others until someone tells them.
B. The power of unity is demonstrated in everyday life.
1. Sports is a team activity.
2. Orchestra demands harmony.
3. Marriage requires submission—two become one.
4. Rope is strands together.
5. Fist is fingers together.
6. Redwood trees are made stronger by roots intertwined.
C. Paul shows that we stand in our unity.
I. One Body (1 Corinthians 12:12-27) 12The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it
A. I like the term body. See how we are different and yet function with each other.
B. If one member is weak, body compensates for it, whether it is the eyes, hearing, or touch.
C. None are alike, but all are one unit.
D. We can’t have a good body if all members are sick. The strong help the weak. We often hear it said of an ailing man, “He will survive … because he has a strong heart.”
E. One head—Christ.
11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.