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Summary: Part one looks at the commonalities among believers; part two looks at the distinctions.

United, Divided, One In Christ

Part 2

August 18, 2002

Romans 12: 4-5

"For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another." Romans 12:4-5 (RSV)

"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. . . Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it." 1 Corinthians 12:12, 27 (RSV)

Introduction:

A Baptist preacher tells the story on himself about receiving a call from a woman who was quite upset over the death of her pet cat, Homer. She wanted the preacher to conduct the funeral service for Homer! The Baptist preacher explained that this was little out of his line, and he referred her to a friend, a Presbyterian pastor at a church down the street. Later, the preacher learned that his Presbyterian friend had referred her to a Methodist minister, who had referred her to someone else. About an hour later, she called the Baptist preacher back and she was still upset. The woman said she was at her wit’s end. She couldn’t find a preacher to conduct Homer’s services and didn’t know what to do. She said she planned to give $1000 to the church of the minister who performed this service for Homer. The Baptist preacher said it took him only a moment to mull this over and then say to her, "Well, why didn’t you tell me Homer was a Baptist cat in the first place?!"

[Hodgin, Michael. 1001 Humorous Illustrations For Public Speaking. (Zondervan Publishing House: Grand Rapids, MI, 1994). p. 113.]

Text:

Why indeed so many denominations, so many churches?

Should we not have unity rather than division?

Need For Division

1. Will of God (for growth)

Tower of Babel

Pentecost- "when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be my witnesses..."

In the temple where people will come to you?, no

Unto the ends of the earth, spreading out

2. Means of Personal Development

Proverb 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" (NIV)

Recap: Six Things That Unite

a. One God, One Lord

b. One Faith

c. One Prayer

d. One Spirit

e. One Baptism

f. One Body

Divisions God Has Created

1. Personhood

a. Gender

Not just merely physical makeup, but we think and behave differently.

Ill-Shelley, Ronika playing with Barbie Doll with Valerie

Imagine guys doing this.

Our brains are wired differently

Women-estrogen; Men-testosterone

Causes alterations to the brain during development

Women-relational, need to talk (25,000 words/day)

Men-reason/objective, less talk more action (12,000 words/day)

b. Personalities

16 Types- Introvert/Extrovert

Sensing (empirical)/Intuitive (abstract)

Thinking/ Feeling

Judging/ Perceiving

c. Age-Experience

1 Corinthians 13:11 "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways." (RSV)

Young people see life differently than older folks. Youth perceive themselves as invulnerable. Older folks have more wisdom, but mellow with age-lack ‘gusto’.

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