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Diversity: The Truth about Unity

October 15, 2017

"14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16, ESV)

 

Diversity: The truth about unity

Ephesians 2:11-22

 

11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit." (Ephesians 2:11-22, ESV)

 

EVERY ONE OF US BEGINS AT THE SAME PLACE!                    

 

"...Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear." (Isaiah 59:2, ESV)

 

"Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (v.12)

 

 

JESUS MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE! 

 

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility." (v13-14)

 

 

"All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:18, ESV)

 

 

GOD DWELLS IN THE MIDST OF AUTHENTIC CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY! 

 

19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God," (v19) 

 

"When we live in Christian community with those who are different than us, then we show a little taste of heaven to those around us" ~ Anonymous 

 

19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,  20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit." (v19-22)

Week 7 - Diversity: The Truth About Unity

 

This weekend’s sermon introduced us to a very important and culturally relevant topic Diversity.  Today’s study will look at this topic in a similar way--that as believers, we are all unified in our diversity.  Let’s turn to our first passage of the day, one that is very affirming of this particular truth.

 

As a group, turn to Romans 12:1-10 and read aloud as a group.

1. Before proceeding into the study, discuss as a group how this passage addresses unity. List as many examples as you can find in this passage.

 

2. As a group, pick a word or two that you could use to summarize v3?

 

3. How can v3 either help facilitate unity or destroy disunity?

 

4. Closely look at v4.  How does it promote the truth that we are all very diverse but at the same time unified?

 

5. Read v6-8.  These verses clearly indicate a variety of ways in which we can be different from each other.  In this case--we are different in the ways that we are gifted.  But how do these verses promote the idea of unity?

 

6. Finally, look at v9 and 10.  Discuss as a group, how obeying the truths in these verses would prove fatal to racism, elitism, and prejudice.

 

Impact Statement

Unity and diversity would typically be described as oxymoronic ideals--but they are far from it in the eyes of God.  Actually to see diversity and not embrace it is an atheistic practice--as it is directly oppositional to the way that God purposefully chose to design us!  Unity does not mean that we must always agree--but it does mean that in the face of a disagreement our humility will emerge and our respect for the other person will prevail.  This is the most healthy way for use to pursue unity in our diversity.  Our diversity is in our giftedness--our unity is in our cause and calling!

 

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