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Summary: Every member ministry.

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Reading: 1 Peter chapter 2 verses 4-10.

Ill:

• The greatest wall ever built by human hands;

• Stretches 1500 miles along the northern boundary of China.

• It was begun in the third century B.C. by the emperor Shih Huang Ti,

• It was built in defence against the Huns, who threatened to invade.

Ill:

• The largest wall ever built by living creatures is the Great Barrier Reef

• Off the north-eastern coast of Australia.

• Extending 1250 miles, the reef has been built up through the centuries with “bricks”

• Made from the skeletons and remains of marine animals and organisms.

Ill:

• The deepest gap ever carved out of nature is the Grand Canyon,

• Which ranges from 4 to 18 miles wide and 5300 feet deep.

• It has been gouged out over time primarily by the Colorado River,

• Which erodes more than half a million tons of sediment a day.

Walls. Barriers. Gaps. They all do the same thing—divide.

• But the most imposing divisions mankind will ever know are the invisible ones;

• And you and I are their architects.

• Brick by brick, with each sharp word or wrong attitude or action,

• We erect a barrier, we build a wall.

• And left un-dealt with,

• Our relationships erode and a gap is formed, separating us from each other.

Relational barriers exist not only between individuals, but also between groups of people:

• For many centuries in this country;

• An ecclesiastical wall separated the clergy from the laity.

One example:

• In the 15,00’s Only the priests were allowed to have a Bible;

• And then only in Latin.

The religious institution called the ‘Church’ had become corrupt;

• Ill: Tyndale: “I will build my Church”.

• This corrupt system held the power over the very people they were supposed to help.

• It is thanks to men like John Wycliffe, William Tyndale And the many men & women;

• That we will never know about but who gave their lives spreading this book.

• That this particular barrier was eventually broken down,

• Most of us don’t think twice about having a Bible in English that we can read.

In the 1800s there was another major barrier:

• A barrier between the Clergy-Laity.

• Between the two there was a dividing wall.

• This gap led to people leaving the established Church,

• And forming independent Churches.

Once again we take Churches like this one for granted:

• We fail to appreciate the persecution and stigma and the criticism,

• That our founding-fathers experienced!

In the 1800’s (and it is still true today):

• The Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church were and are made up of;

• Bishops, priests, deacons and lay people,

• But only the clergy i.e. bishops, priests and deacons are ordained,

• That means ONLY they are;

• Recognised and given authority to do certain tasks,

• e.g. baptise or give communion etc.


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