sermon: Church Unity Despite the Spirit of the World
There is a great distinction between the unity envisioned by humanists and the unity God wants in His church. The unity of God's church does not derive from organizational expertise, the conformity of ecumenicalism, or the promiscuous tolerance for evil. God unifies His church around the model of family, wherein the Father initiates entry into the family by calling individuals to be brothers with Christ, that is, spiritual siblings of one another. Like any family, the members have no choice as to who will be in it but must commit themselves to serving other members. Paul metaphorically expressed this mutual assistance model as the functioning of interdependent body parts serving one another through multiple diverse spiritual gifts. The members of God's church should be living sacrifices—defined as their reasonable service to one another, following the example of Jesus Christ. Those members are simultaneously the branches as Christ is the vine, the body as Christ is the head, the stones as Christ is the Corner Stone, and sheep as Christ is the Shepherd. The Father's love for each of His called-out ones is the same as His love for Christ. Members within God's church grow toward the stature of Christ as they learn to love their spiritual siblings and their fellow human beings as Christ does, a love which is eternal, limitless, and without partiality.
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