May God help us to not give off an impression of superiority to other Christians who may not agree with us on secondary matters. It won’t be dwelling on our differences, but dwelling on the Christ that will unite us and demolish the petty differences that have such a tendency to create disunity amongst us.
There's so many differences. There's so many differences of thought. There's so many differences of convictions among us, aren't there? Haven't you found that to be the case? I could go down a list. I've got a few of them written down here. I'll tell you, if you don't home school, I question whether you really have a relationship with God. There's that kind of thinking. How about dress? How about music? How about observance of days? How about diets? How about Bible translations? This doesn't have to be confession time, does it? Nuances of doctrine? I don't think you've quite got that. I'm not sure you should even be in our church. The application of doctrine? Do we even think people should be given a period of time to grow? Or do they have to walk in the doors where you are? Oh, aren't you somebody! You've gotten somewhere, haven't you! If everybody was just like you... That's sometimes the spirit that we give off as if we got where we got by our own power? By the way, the things that I just mentioned are not the basis for unity - not essential unity. Christ is the basis. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. How will you ever get along? How will you ever find a church? You know, there's people that jump from church to church to church trying to find the church that fits them, which they never will find that. They're looking for the wrong thing. How are we going to get along? How about this: Dwelling on the depths of the Father's love? "That they may know that Thou hast sent Me and hast loved them as You have loved Me." The Father's love for His Son is amazing! It's equated to the Father's love for us! How about that? Unworthy, imperfect sinners like you and me. He didn't pick the cream of the crop. I'm so thankful that God's work in my own heart is such that I can stand and talk to -some-odd men wearing white and I can look at them at this level - I'm not looking down at them. And I can look at them at this level and though I've never done what they have done, I honestly can say I don't have a feeling of superiority to them. And I'm not suggesting when I say that, young people and children, go do what those guys have done that are wearing white - you may not even know what I'm talking about - that's okay. I'm not suggesting that at all. You shouldn't do those things. I'm just saying before God, who are you and who am I? He set His love upon me for no reason found in me, for no reason found in you. That ought to help us in our relationships. You celebrate Christmas? I don't. I love you, brother. I'm not going to chalk you up as some sort of pagan. Okay? I'm going to dwell together with you in a relationship. You want to know why I don't? I'll listen to why you do. Right? We can talk. Maybe we can help one another. Maybe both of us are off-center. Maybe we need to grow together. But being amazed that He loves us as He has loved His only begotten Son, that ought to help us deal with our distinctions. You see, when redeemed sinners - I love looking out here today and tonight and seeing - I don't know if every ethnicity in the world is present, but there's quite a lot of differences here. Are there any Asians here? Asians? Okay. I love that when I look at our own church and we have the multiplicity. I love that. It kind of looks like - I don't know exactly what it's going to be like in Heaven, but I kind of have a picture - it's kind of going to look like that. So why not on earth? But when redeemed sinners from every background of life - not just different ethnicities - backgrounds - some of you are educated, some of you are not. some of you are wealthy... are you wealthy? Some of you are wealthy and some of you are not. Different classes of people. Some of you grew up in the hood. Some of you didn't. But none of that matters when you're in Christ, does it? It really doesn't. It's like it all evaporates. All the cultural distinctions. We come together and we worship and we serve the Lord together, demonstrating selfless, sacrificial relationships. Brethren, that's an evidence to the world that the Father's love is real! It's real. Christ is real! And it's interesting to me that God wants the world to know about His love by way of what they see in our relationships to one another. You say, well, I thought the cross demonstrated His love? Well, the greatest manifestation of God's love is at the cross. But you see, it's our relationship of unity because of our union with God in Christ that validates that story of the cross. You see? And God has chosen that it would be our demonstration of unity that would speak to the world about His great love that we have come to know. Have you taken the expression of unity seriously? As seriously as you ought to with your brothers and sisters in Christ?