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CHRISTian Unity

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What…should unite us? What is it that should bring the church together, to live in community (common-unity)? That’s essentially the question that Paul is answering for us in this passage today.
If you have a Bible, please take it and go with me to 1 Corinthians chapter 1 (and for those using the church bibles, I haven’t been telling you the page numbers....so here it is.....).
We are on week 3, of our study through 1 Corinthians.
Thus far, we have considered Paul’s introduction, which taught us that he is writing this letter, “TO THE CHURCH.” Which is the title we’ve given our series of sermons.
The church we noted, was the “ekklesia,” the called out gathering, or the assembly of people that God summoned and brought together. Paul writes to GOD’s assembly....the assembled people of God in Corinth.
He will address MANY problems within this assembly, but as we noted last week, he began with offering thanksgiving to God. He thanked God for the grace He had given to these Corinthian believers…and he expressed the truth that GOD is faithful!
It was by this faithful God, they had been called into this COMMON-UNION (or this “fellowship”) with Christ.
Today…we pick up in verse 10, and we’ve titled this morning, “CHRISTian Unity.”
1 Corinthians 1:10–17 ESV
10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
I think it’s probably pretty obvious to us, that the church, generally speaking, is often prone to division.
Even within Roman Catholicism, who boasts of her unity, there are many, many factions and groups divided and separated from one another.
Even within Roman Catholicism, there are many, many factions and groups divided from one another.
And in Protestant circles, there are thousands of denominations and little groups of churches.
And within those groups, there are groups. Take the baptists for example. Someone says, “I’m a baptist.” That could mean A LOT of different things.
There are: Southern Baptists, American Baptists, Conservative Baptists, Calvinistic Baptists, Free Will Baptists, General Baptists, Landmark Baptists, Primitive Baptists, Old Regular Baptists, Old Time Missionary Baptists, Seventh Day Baptists, and Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit Predestinarian Baptists.
Why is it, that we’re so divided? Well…that’s really an impossible question to answer with a simple answer. There are theological reasons, historical reasons, geographical reasons, and there are sin reasons.
There are times when division is right, and it is the will of God.
Take the Protestant Reformation for example
Rome had ceased preaching the gospel…and they would not repent of their power-seeking, money loving, sheep fleecing message…so there was a forced split. It wasn’t that Luther and others were seeking power, or fame to their own name…it was that they loved God and His gospel and wanted it kept pure in the church.
This is a GOOD and justifiable division in Christendom.
There are clear times when individuals, or groups of individuals, must leave congregations or denominations in our day, because the denominations or the individual congregations, have left the truth to embrace a lie.
The PCA which left the PCUSA over matters of biblical sexuality several decades ago
There are also secondary doctrinal differences, or even SOME cultural differences, which cause us to congregate separately, but do not necessarily divide us.
For example, one group of believers teaches that we should baptize our infant children…another group believes we should only baptize believers. Both groups preach the gospel.
Obviously, they won’t be able to function together in covenant membership in one place…but they can clearly show their partnership in the gospel in other ways (T4G)
Cultural differences would certainly include things like language barriers…and maybe some cultural preferences that carry over even after the language switch, such as Asian Christians here in America.With much wisdom and discernment employed, it may be beneficial to meet in separate congregations sometimes, but still be partners in the gospel in real, tangible ways.
But in Corinth, it’s not the permitted divisions that Paul had heard about. It wasn’t necessary separation, yet not spiritual division, over secondary doctrinal issues.
In Corinth, Paul is dealing with divisions over SIN REASONS. In other words, the divisions in Corinth themselves, were sinful.
And Paul writes to appeal to them, based upon their “common-union,” or their, “fellowship” in Christ, that he just mentioned in verse 9, to instruct them to have the same Christ-centered mindset, instead of creating factions within God’s assembly.
And that’s our main idea today. We can sum up this text’s appeal to us this way:

God’s Assembly, Comes Together, in the Power of the Cross

So I want to walk through this text and get a sense for what Paul was revealing as wrong, as well as to get a feel for what he’s calling them to…so that we can learn as God’s Assembly, we too will come together, in the power of the cross.
Let’s first consider....

1. The Makeup of the Divisions

And we can see this in verses 10-12
1 Corinthians 1:10–12 ESV
10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.”
1 Corinthians 1:10 ESV
10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
Brothers: NOTICE…the familial language with which Paul writes
It was noted by one commentator that this is the letter, this letter filled with corrective teaching, that he uses these familial terms the most
He writes as the apostle of the Lord…but also as their brother in Christ
Verse 10
Paul teaches them to be united, by giving them this instruction from the positive, then the negative, then positive
Agree (literally means to “say the same thing”)....no divisions (schisma; tear; split; division)....be united; prepared; complete
Notice where their unity is to be:
So…be complete, Paul says, in....
Same mind: same way of thinking; same mindSET
Same judgement: same opinion; same purpose; same mission if you will
Paul tells them…that their mission, their message, and their mindset, is to be the same.
Then Paul gives the reason for his offering of this particular appeal to them...
1 Corinthians 1:11 ESV
11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers.
For: because
Chloe’s people: possibly a house church meeting here
Quarreling: strife; contention
Among you: in you all (the letter is written TO THE CHURCH....to God’s gathered, God’s assembled people)....so there’s quarreling IN THE CHURCH
My brothers
Then Paul gets somewhat specific with identifying this quarreling
1 Corinthians 1:12 ESV
12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.”
There are many possibilities as to what exactly these statements convey. Recent scholars are even beginning to agree that Paul was not using the names of the actual faction leaders, who would be in Corinth hearing this letter read, and using these church leaders as examples to show the folly of the divisions.
Regardless…we take his words here as he wrote them, for the points are obviously still conveyed.
Paul, had some with allegiance to him above others.
Apollos is the brother mentioned in that Priscilla and Aquilla helped better understand the gospel, in order to more accurately proclaim it to others. He was apparently highly educated and was schooled in Alexandria.
Cephas is Peter, one of the 12 original apostles.
And those claiming, “I follow Christ,” have the most amount of ink on paper concerning who they are. Some believe these are the right ones. Some believe, that in their sanctimonious pride, they concluded “we are Christians, and we don’t follow a man.” Some believe these are Paul’s words, as in “you claim allegiance to all these, but I follow Christ.”
Many people believe it to be that second option, that their pride says, “we follow Christ, and no man.” And this is wrong
Not only because of their pride, or the wrong spirit…but also because, it is literally impossible not to be influenced by others
Paul himself would call them to, “follow me, as I follow Christ.”
But it’s not so much the statement itself that would be wrong, “We belong to, and we follow, Christ.” Paul will tell them as much, later in this very letter....it would be their spirit behind it
For Corinth, these factions aren’t driven by good motives.
These divisions, are not over theological/doctrinal matters, which Paul actually calls for in other letters. These are divisions, centered entirely around, polarizing personalities.
These divisions probably had far more to do with ministry styles and preferences, than anything of real value
and based on other portions of the letter, it may even have something to do with a financial situation and a power grab by the people
Creating these factions, with personalities at the center, is certainly normal for humanity....but it is not in line with those who have been called into COMMON-UNION in Christ
And it’s also important to note, that these aren’t FORMAL divisions. Meaning, they aren’t causing physical, geographical splits from one another. They’re still meeting together. They’re still worshipping together, as we see from other portions of this letter. Yet, even meeting together....there are “divisions IN them.”
They stand side by side and sing, hear the Word, partake the Lord’s Supper....all while saying with their actions and thoughts, “I don’t like your style. We don’t belong to the same church tribe.”
And it’s also important to note, that these aren’t FORMAL divisions. Meaning, they aren’t causing physical, geographical splits from one another. They’re still meeting together. They’re still worshipping together, as we see from other portions of this letter. Yet, even meeting together....there are “divisions IN them.”
And Paul, is rebuking them for it.
This is the makeup of the divisions in Corinth.
Factions that have different leader personalities within the church, as the leading figure.
And the names Paul uses as the leaders of the groups, would have been appalled that their names were being employed to divide Christ’s church.
WHY would Corinth allow this? Well, we’re reminded here, that their ultimate problem is our ultimate problem
Their ultimate problem, wasn’t where they were located....their ultimate problem was sin....sin within them
This is the problem progressively revealed more and more throughout the grand storyline of Scripture
Sin in Corinth, is a direct result of the Fall in the Garden of Eden, whereby image bearers of the Holy God, began to reject God, and became self-worshippers instead of God worshippers
This is the problem that alienates us from God....and this is the problem that God came Himself to solve, in the Person and work of Jesus Christ
This is the very reason He MUST love us with an everlasting love before we’re born
He MUST cause us to be born again
He MUST draw us to Christ; He MUST summon us into fellowship with Christ
Where we become united with Christ, and with other believers…in mission and message and mindset
And although they were together in Christ, they still individually had a flesh within that was still drawn to self-worship, pride, and wickedness. And they are proving by their divisions, they weren’t yielding to the Spirit’s work in this war against the flesh.
Instead of wrestling with their sinful pride, they’re embracing it
Their sin, that causes them to worship themselves so much, that they elevate their favorite leaders…align themselves with them…so much that they end up dividing from other Christians
Their sin, that causes them to worship themselves so much, that they elevate their favorite leaders…align themselves with them…so much that they end up dividing from other Christians
Apply
And sadly, we cannot be quick to judge
We live in a society of celebrity worship ($3billion spent per year on celebrity gossip in our country)
We embrace that in the church
We embrace that in the church (our favorite preachers, become the preachers to whom we give our allegiance)
We drift from others....we divide from other believers when we shouldn’t…and we unite when we should divide…all because we’re sinners
We must be examined by the Word of God, to see if in fact Corinth’s sin, is indeed ours as well
So we see the makeup of the divisions, but see where Paul takes this next...

2. The Madness of the Divisions

And we can see that in verses 13-16
1 Corinthians 1:13 ESV
13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
David Garland said it best: “ The questions underscore the lunacy of exalting one leader over another when they all have been called into the fellowship of Jesus Christ (1:9).”
The questions underscore the lunacy of exalting one leader over another when they all have been called into the fellowship of Jesus Christ (1:9)
These questions reveal the madness of such divisions over leaders. These leaders are equal in their status before God. They all needed to be summoned by God into Christ. And now, they are dividing over these leaders?
When Martin Luther found out, that the first Protestants were being called “Lutherans,” Luther said:
“What is Luther? The teaching is not mine. Nor was I crucified for anyone… . How did I, poor stinking bag of maggots that I am, come to the point where people call the children of Christ by my evil name?”
What is Luther? The teaching is not mine. Nor was I crucified for anyone… . How did I, poor stinking bag of maggots that I am, come to the point where people call the children of Christ by my evil name?
It was John Calvin who said, “Where God's Spirit does not reign, there is no humility, and men ever swell with inward pride.”
For those who are true, godly leaders of the church…it is an unthinkable thing, to think of individuals creating factions, around them.
But Corinth’s pride, and self-exaltation, becomes evident in many areas. They consistently divide up the body of Christ by economic status, by particular gifts (so you have the haves and the have-nots), and here by particular leaders.
Paul’s first question, provides us with an image of the church as Christ’s own body. An image he will return to throughout the letter. But here, he does so to paint a vividly gruesome image…that of Christ’s body being torn to pieces.
See that imagery....feel that imagery.....to divide from other Christians, others with which you have been called by God into fellowship, or common-union with Christ…is essentially saying that Christ Himself is being torn to pieces.
Paul’s next questions, “Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul?” reveal a great deal as well.
There is only ONE ultimate leader of the church. One Head of the church. And we aren’t it. Neither are these other leaders.
So for Corinth to divide up over personalities, over styles, over preferences, over these leaders themselves....would be the same as replacing Christ, with these leaders.
But Paul says, in hindsight, he gives thanks to God, that he didn’t even baptize many…so that he couldn’t fall prey to such accusations, as creating Paul-ites
1 Corinthians 1:14–15 ESV
14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name.
1 Corinthians 1:14 ESV
14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
You’ll remember from week 1, Crispus was the ruler of the synagogue that was converted early on in Paul’s ministry in Corinth. We don’t know much about Gaius, other than when he is mentioned in other portions of Scripture…and Stephanas in the next verse, is in the same position.
1 Corinthians 1:16 ESV
16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.)
1 Corinthians
Paul said, looking back on it, I’m thankful to God, that He providentially guided our affairs so that I did not baptize but only a handful of people. So that no one would be able to say, “Paul baptized into Paul…creating followers of Paul.”
Because to do so, would replace Christ with Paul....and it would ultimately divide up Christ’s body in gruesome fashion.
Apply
I don’t know brothers and sisters, if that vivid picture of WHO we are in Christ, and what it means when we parse up the body of Christ, is ingrained convictionally as deeply within us as it ought to be.
Think about the way that would impact how we DO church together....
Think of parents in today’s church, and how they are pressured to put recreation with their children over Lord’s Day worship with their children.
With this conviction deeply ingrained in the core of who they are, it would be unthinkable for them, as part of THE assembled people of God in Christ, to consistently not assemble with the people of God in Christ
But there are very serious reasons why you can’t give into that pressure. Not out of any sense of legalistic moralism. But because Christ is the Head of His church. And God’s assembly, assemble on the Lord’s Day, in the Lord’s name, for worship, and for edifying one another. You can’t consistently choose recreation over gathering with God’s gathered people, and then testify of your common-union you have in Christ.
We are Christ’s body!
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR US AS A CHURCH? Well, for one…it’s reason we stress church membership in the manner we do here.
Because thinking along the lines of these questions from Paul, causes us to ask, “What does this mean for us as a church?”
It means we’re going to covenant together in membership. By covenant together, I mean we’re going to make real, meaningful promises to one another that we will work hard together, by God’s grace, to make sure this factionalism doesn’t arise within our ranks.
We end up having celebrity preachers. We like certain preachers…which there’s nothing wrong with. But if we’re not careful, our like becomes allegiance. And our allegiance, divides us into camps…not doctrinal camps, but style/preference camps. And that is an attack on Christ Himself.
Like the members of this church, who have made the promise to one another like that which is found in our membership covenant:
We will carry each other’s burdens, rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep. (;
We will eagerly maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace by walking together in love and in the Spirit and by putting away all bitterness, anger, and injurious speech. (; , ; ,
We will eagerly maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace by walking together in love and in the Spirit and by putting away all bitterness, anger, and injurious speech. (; , ; ,
We will be devoted to one another in brotherly love, with humility and gentleness we will patiently bear with each other, forgiving, encouraging and building one another up, exercising watchfulness over each other and admonishing one another when necessary. (; ; ;
We will be devoted to one another in brotherly love, with humility and gentleness we will patiently bear with each other, forgiving, encouraging and building one another up, exercising watchfulness over each other and admonishing one another when necessary. (; ; ;
And if you’re not a member of a local church, with commitments made like those to other Christians....I encourage you, to consider becoming one soon.
So…for Paul, dividing over issues such as preference, or style, or favorite preachers…is MADNESS. But that is precisely the Makeup of the divisions in Corinth. So Paul, after talking about the few he baptized in Corinth, reminds them of that which contradicts the divisions.

3. The Message Contradicting the Divisions

We see that, in verse 17
1 Corinthians 1:17 ESV
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
What Paul’s not saying:
Paul’s not saying, that baptism is unimportant
Baptism, is essentially the entrance into the church, from the human perspective.
Before the last few hundred years, when everyone goes from church to church, baptism was how one “joined the church.” In fact, baptism is the way one RESPONDED to the gospel…not with a prayer, or a verbal affirmation of a decision…but with coming to those leading the Christians at some point and saying, “I’d like to be baptized.”
They were then examined over a period of time to see if fruit was visible, then they were baptized, and that is what caused them to become a part of the church
So baptism is essential…our Lord commanded it, and you must obey....and if you’ve been saved by God, you NEED to be baptized.
It symbolizes what took place in your salvation, death, burial, and resurrection
It is done in the presence of the congregation... one as a public testimony from the baptizee....two as an affirmation from the congregation
Baptism tells the congregation, this is our brother or sister
Baptism tells the baptizee, you are our brother or sister
It is a sign from God, to the person being baptized, as to what has truly happened to them
Baptism....is vital to the Christian…and as such, Paul is not saying that we make sure we prioritize preaching in our churches, even if that means we don’t baptize.
So what WAS Paul saying in this statement?
Paul is just following along with his argument thus far…he’s not giving us a doctrinal position, or doctrinal comparison, of preaching and baptism....he’s just continuing the flow of thought. Or really returning to the main flow of thought after this aside, after this inspired rabbit trail, on baptism.
Paul:
Your divisions are crazy
I didn’t baptize any in my name…and I’m thankful I didn’t baptize many at all, so that it couldn’t be said of me that I did baptize in my name
In fact, that wasn’t my mission....my mission was to preach…which is the point I’m making with you, that this preaching is that which unites you
Jesus Himself mentioned, that His mission was to proclaim the gospel…even if that means He leaves some people in a city that needed to be physically healed ()
The apostles recognized, as the sent ones of Christ, that their mission was to preach. Even with the power to command healings like they did, they never prioritized healings. Miracles always served to confirm the content of the message…miracles were never, EVER, the focal point, or even a PRIMARY point, of the ministry.
Paul is expressing this same conviction to the Corinthians here...
Notice the content he is to preach, “The Gospel.”
Gospel meaning, “good news.” It is the good news, about Jesus Christ
It is everything included in the Person and work of Jesus.
His Person: eternally God, becoming man by being born of a Virgin, therefore truly God and truly man.
His Work: He lived perfectly in our place. He died in our place. He rose again from the dead.
In other words, as Paul seems to be stressing in this passage, the message of the gospel, can be summed up in the statement, “the cross of Christ.”
You’ll want to pay attention to that phrase....because the theme of, “the cross of Christ,” and especially PROCLAIMING the theme of, “the cross of Christ,” as the simple, but powerful message to always be preached in God’s assembly…is a theme introduced here, that will carry on predominantly throughout at least chapter 4.
Paul stresses to the Corinthians in this section, where he faces the problem of division head on, that the message of the cross is the glue that unites the Corinthians.
It is God’s wisdom and power on display, that causes us to be separate from the world....but separate from the world together
Illustration
Think for a moment about our solar system. How the sun’s gravitational pull (or God’s providential Word), holds the planets in their orbit. Now think, if you could pause the universe, you could pull out the sun, and replace it with the moon. When you hit play, things would not move so fluently.
Paul said, that’s what’s happening, when you deemphasize the cross, and begin to prioritize the speakers instead. Nothing can be held together for long…and that’s why it’s all spiraling out of control.
The power of the cross cannot be enhanced by the people who preach it
The power of the cross cannot be enhanced by the packaging that presents it (words of wisdom)
Attempting to attach worldly wisdom to it, empties the cross of its power, in the presentation
David Garland said:
“Clever rhetoric is superficial. It shortcuts the transformation of listeners by simply gaining their assent. It appeals to emotions without touching the spiritual depths. It may reap numerous baptisms but not many true conversions.”
3. Clever rhetoric is superficial. It shortcuts the transformation of listeners by simply gaining their assent. It appeals to emotions without touching the spiritual depths. It may reap numerous baptisms but not many true conversions.
“To preach the gospel intending to charm and captivate the crowds with clever wordsmithery in order to enhance one’s own prestige only empties (κενόω, kenoō) the cross of its effect. Preaching the cross, Paul articulates in 1:18–25, invites derision, not applause. In the cross, God seeks not human ovations but contrition. What is inspired is not the preacher but the word that is preached.”
The power of the cross, is powerful, because it’s God’s wisdom and power. And it is that ALONE, which is the church’s unity.
Apply
The cross of Christ, that is our unity....it is HOW we obey the command in verse 10
The cross of Christ is our message (that’s the way we “say the same thing”)
The cross of Christ is our mindset, and our mission
God’s Assembly, Comes Together, in the Power of the Cross
Let me also say here....
And it’s that reason, that we cannot unite with the unbeliever
This is the reason we can’t invite the unbeliever to share the meal of the Lord’s Supper…because if you’re not a true Christian, then you’ve never truly received the sign of baptism as entrance into this community, we therefore cannot invite you to receive the ongoing sign of membership in God’s assembly
But what you desperately need to hear, is this message about the cross of Christ
GOSPEL
God created us, and we failed to live up to His glory. We have consistently failed to fulfill our true purpose, of enjoying God and glorifying Him forever
We are trapped in the worship of ourselves
Yet as we’ve already noted, our message as Christians is that Jesus came…lived perfectly…went to this cross that Paul is writing about, to suffer for sinners…to suffer for those who have failed Him.....so that now, WHOEVER turns to Him in faith, turns to Him trusting in Him....trusting those promises of forgiveness and salvation, they will be saved
Dear unbeliever, this is what we urge you to do today....we urge you, be reconciled to God…trust in Christ, and be saved
And for all of us in Christ, this is the very reason, attempting to formulate a unity outside of the cross of Christ, never works
How that this message, proclaims the Person and Work, which is to be the church’s gravity center keeping us together.
For starters, unity isn’t something we are trying to achieve. It’s something we HAVE because of God’s work of salvation, placing us all in Christ. And it’s something then we are to LIVE OUT.
It comes from God’s work...
Jesus prayed for it...
John 17:22–23 ESV
22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
It comes through the Holy Spirit’s work
Ephesians 4:3 ESV
3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
We come into it, when God calls us into Christ
1 Corinthians 1:9 ESV
9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
So then…based upon this reality of WHO you are....fix WHAT you’ve become, by (v.10) being united, saying the same thing, having the same purpose and mindset in the church.
So, when the style or preference or leader isn’t your favorite…keep doing the Christ-like thing. Focus upon the message of the cross that is being proclaimed.
Continue to fight against, what Paul calls your carnal, fleshly nature, and engage in worship together, engage in conversation together, engage in the active listening to expository preaching together with your brothers and sisters in Christ.
You can’t afford to do anything else
God’s assembly doesn’t come together over music styles and preferences....over service length…or over things that aren’t connected to the church (politics, etc.).
God’s assembly, comes together, in the power of the cross.
So don’t drift from your brothers and sisters, over something that isn’t clearly laid out in His Word....to do so is to begin the process of appearing to “tear Christ to pieces.”
Come together, in the power of the cross!
Conclusion
Charles Spurgeon is known as the prince of preachers. Spurgeon could easily draw 10,000 people to hear him preach, which is why PT Barnum asked him to join his circus. But Spurgeon once told the story of a time when he had a preaching engagement in another town. The train broke down along the way which ended up making him quite late to the service. As he entered the church, he heard that someone had already begun preaching, and as he came closer, he realized that the preacher was his grandfather. As Spurgeon made his way down the aisle to his seat, his grandfather called out: "Here comes my grandson! He may preach the gospel better than I can, but he cannot preach a better gospel.”
Charles Spurgeon is known as the prince of preachers. Spurgeon could easily draw 10,000 people to hear him preach, which is why PT Barnum asked him to join his circus. But Spurgeon once told the story of a time when he had a preaching engagement in another town. The train broke down along the way which ended up making him quite late to the service. As he entered the church, he heard that someone had already begun preaching, and as he came closer, he realized that the preacher was his grandfather. As Spurgeon made his way down the aisle to his seat, his grandfather called out: "Here comes my grandson! He may preach the gospel better than I can, but he cannot preach a better gospel.”
That is true of me as well. I may not be able to preach the gospel as skillfully as some, but they cannot preach a better gospel.
And it’s this precious, powerful gospel, that is where we unite. God’s assembly, comes together, in the power of the cross.
And the common-union to which God has summoned us to in Christ, we enter and are held there, by this united message and mission.
May God help us always, say the same thing, have the same mind, and have the same purpose....the message of the powerful cross of Christ.
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