07 Nov 2021

Men Disunited. Gospel United [1Corinthians 1:10-17]


Divisions happen everywhere. Whether in companies, or families, or even the church. Apostle Paul wrote to arrest the problem of divisions in the Corinthian Church, and we will do well to learn. The number 1 danger that threatens church unity is human pride. This carnal fleshly arrogance manifests in a superiority complex that parades itself in forming sects or gangs, thereby tearing the church apart. Instead of being one people in Christ, the church is broken up into different little pieces glorifying man. So what is the solution? It will take us 4 chapters to discover more, but this sermon focuses on how the gospel must be the framework to the restoring of unity in the church.


Sermon Transcript

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Well, this morning with all that announcements done, let's come to the book of 1st Corinthians. This is our second sermon in this series. I like to start with a Chinese saying or proverb, "家和万事兴" [jiā hé wàn shì xìng]. For non-Chinese speakers, this simply means - all affairs prosper when the family lives in harmony.

So, for the Chinese people, we put a huge premium on harmony at home, and so it is very sad when we hear about quarrels and squabbles and fights in the family. For example, I read about the sons of our former President, Mr. Ong Teng Cheong, having to sue each other in court. Now, that is very sad for many people, not just I think the Chinese but for many cultures around the world. Or maybe you'll be more familiar with a very public spat with regards to 38 Oxley Road, in the family of our late Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.

These are very sad things when we hear about fights and divisions in the family, but do you realize that divisions and splits do not only happen in the family, they also take place in the church of Jesus Christ!

We are looking at the book of 1st Corinthians, and I would say, that the church at Corinth is a rather problematic church. I'm not saying, that they are particularly problematic. We ourselves have our fair share of problems, but they do struggle with many problems. But the number one problem, and the first problem that Paul would have to deal with in his letter written to the church at Corinth, is that of divisions and splits.

So, we are going to look at the various problems through the book of 1st Corinthians, and see how it should be solved from Gospel-centered lens. But the first problem we will have to tackle is that of schisms or splits or divisions. Instead of one united people, they are a disunited people. It is an ugly sight! It is sorrowful! It is sad! It requires urgent attention!

And that's why Paul, amongst many other reasons, wrote the book of 1st Corinthians. So today, the title is simply, "Men Disunited, Gospel United". And in a very simple way, I'm going to take you to a very introductory look into the problem of schisms, divisions, splits and tears.

[1] The Rents
So the first thing, I'd like us to look at is that of - Rents.

In verses 10 to 17, we see Paul talking about the church being rent or torn or split apart. He says in verse 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."

The word, 'divisions' is the what schisma in the Greek, from which you get the word, 'schisms'. So the church here is split, it's going through schisms, it's being torn apart. The word, 'schisma' is translated elsewhere in the Bible to refer to clothes or cloth being torn apart; rent apart.

So, that's what is happening in the church at Corinth! Instead of one united people, they are divided up into different pockets of people. The church is split! Now, why is it divided? Is it because there is a lot of persecution and external pressure upon the church? No! They are split not because of external forces, but because of internal problems.

And what are the internal problems? Verse 11, "There is quarreling among you." They're fighting amongst each ... one another. Now, the word, 'quarreling' in the Greek refers to debates, or contentions, or having strife. It is about being at variance. So, they are fighting amongst themselves, but what are they fighting about?

Fighting about the economy, about their jobs, about politics, about the Roman Empire? No! They were quarreling along these lines, "I follow Paul. I follow Apollos. I follow Cephas, I follow Christ." [1 Cor 1:12] So, what's happening here again is, instead of saying, "We are all one in Christ," we are saying, "We are all different."

There's this sectarian mindset that, "I belong to this gang. I belong to that sect. You are not like me and I am not like you!" That's the problem there. They have become very partisan. They've become very divided. They say, that they belong to different gangs, be it they belong to Paul. "I ... I do not belong to Apollos. He does not befit my standing or I belong to Cephas. You guys are inferior to me." So, they now have this very divided mentality.

Now, Paul then says, "Is Christ divided?" [1 Cor 1:13] "Did Christ come to you in different body parts? Then why are you divided? Why is this church divided? Why is His people divided? Why is His body divided? Doesn't make sense! This is preposterous! It should not be like this!"

"Now, why would you want to follow me?" Paul says. "Why would you want to follow me for me? Was Paul crucified for you? When you say, "I belong to Paul," as if Paul is your savior. Did I die for you? Was I crucified for you? Of course not! And ... and who says that there's this gang called the Pauline gang? No, there's none like this!"'

"Were you baptized in the name of Paul?" [1 Cor 1:13] "I mean, why do you follow me and say that, "I belong to Paul."' In fact, Paul says, "I thank God that I baptized none of you, except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name." [1 Cor 1:14] "I'm so glad I actually baptized very, very few of you."

He goes on to say, "I did baptize also the house of Stephanus. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else." [1 Cor 1:16] "I ... I baptized so few of you that it does not justify anybody saying, "I belong to Paul." Huh! I was careful not to do too many baptisms actually, because I realized; I know that, "Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel."' [1 Cor 1:17]

Now, I'm not thinking, I don't think Paul is saying, it is wrong for him to baptize. It's not wrong, he did baptized some, but he's glad he did not baptize many of them, so that they will have less of an excuse to form a mini cult around Paul.

He says, "My goal is not to have a following for my sake. My goal is not to have a mini cult who worships me. My goal is to simply be a messenger to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That's all I want! So why are you guys saying, "I belong to Paul? And why are some of you saying, "I belong to Apollos?" And why are some of you saying, "I belong to Cephas or to Christ," as if everyone else does not follow Christ."'

So, when he heard about this from some of the members from Chloe's house, he was compelled to write a letter. It is a serious problem - there are divisions, there are strives, there are rents in the church. And he had to deal with it, so Paul is going to write a lot about this problem. In fact, it's going to stretch all the way to chapter 4.

So, we have four chapters of looking at this problem of divisions from different angles. A lot of content, must be something serious! And it is also something that is repeated elsewhere. The church at Ephesus, the church at Philippi, they also have this disunity problem. So, that's what we see in the rents.

[2] The Root
But secondly, I'd like us to notice - The root.

Why do they split up? Why do they divide amongst themselves? What is the root cause? Now, I would say to you, it's very easy to discern, that when they say, "I follow Paul, I follow Apollos." It's all because of human pride, because of carnal; fleshly human pride.

They have this air of superiority. They think when they say, "I belong to Paul," I mean, there are human reasons why it will be attractive, it will be quite cool to say, "I belong to Paul." After all, Paul was the man that God used to pioneer Gospel missionary in the Gentile territories.

In my opinion, even though he would say, that he's the greatest of sinners, I think Paul is one of the greatest apostles, if not the greatest, because God used him in a tremendous way. And in a sense, you and I coming to faith today is in no small measure because of Paul and his ministry.

So in those days, I'm sure people will recognize the ministry and the influence God has given to Apostle Paul and they will be of great pride to say, "I belong to Paul," but that is where the problem is. When you say, "I belong to Paul," you're saying, that others who do not have the same allegiance to Paul like you do, are deemed inferior. So you are the superior class, you're the smart one who has chosen Paul.

But there are others who say,"I follow Apollos." Who is Apollos? Well, you can read about him in Acts, chapter 18, in particular, verse 24 that says that, "Apollos was a very eloquent speaker." So there may be those who say, "I don't like Paul, his speech is contemptible. He ... his bodily presence is weak. He's not quite a specimen of a man. Yes, I know God used him, but he's such a eloquent speaker, is not charismatic. He doesn't look good, but I like Apollos, he's eloquent, he's smart, he's intelligent. I like to be associated with Apollos and for all of you who belong to Paul, you are not up to my taste."

Again, there's this superiority complex, I believe. And then there may be others who say, "No! No! No! I do not want to belong to Paul or Apollos, I want to follow the original one, not spicy but original." The original recipe is Peter, Cephas is Peter, it's the other name that he has, he's Simon Peter or Cephas, which God gave that name to or Jesus gave that name to him. And so they say, "I belong to Peter because he's the leader of the Jerusalem church - the first church, the Jewish church."

Then there are those who say, "I follow Christ." Now, you may think that's a good thing, but I think when Paul writes this,"I follow Christ," he's talking about people who say that, "I follow Christ, but the rest of you don't!" So again, there's this pride.

Now, this smell of exclusivism, this smell of pride runs through the entire four chapters that deals with schisms or divisions. Let me take you on a little journey here.

In verse 17, we read that Paul says, "I understand that Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel and not with words of eloquent wisdom." So, Paul is very careful here. He doesn't want to distract from the Gospel, the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He ... he doesn't want people to be enamored by how eloquently he speaks, because he knows that God is against human arrogance or pride, even in the way they preach or deliver the message.

Now, I'm not saying, that people cannot preach in a clear and understandable way. But there's a difference between preaching in a clear way and wanting people to be caught up with how well you preach. So Paul says, "God is against human pride." And verse 19, goes on to say, "For it is written, "I'll destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I'll thwart."

So Paul is saying again, that the key, one of the important factors about the Gospel is that it is such a simple message, that it destroys the wisdom of the wise. Because the Gospel is so simple, it can be summarized as this - Christ died for your sins. Not complicated! Very simple! Even a child can understand - Christ died for our sins. And it is a total contradiction to many complicated systems of ethics and laws, that many religions; that elite people love would follow.

So God says, "I give you the Gospel, the Gospel is the message of salvation." Why? "Because it is the message that destroys the wisdom of the wise because I hate human pride," God says. "I want to slay human pride, but that is exactly the reason why you're dividing amongst yourself, because you are filled with carnal pride."

So Paul says, "Don't you know that's wrong? Don't you know that's what the Gospel is against? Don't you know that that's what God is against?" What's the root cause of divisions in the church? Pride. He goes on to say, "Look at how God opposes pride, not only in a message that says, but even in a way and the people He calls to be saved."

"Consider your calling brothers: not many of you were wise ..." [1 Cor 1:26] God did not save all the smart people! God did not save all the powerful people! God did not save all the people of noble birth! Why? So that no one can boast in God's presence. "God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.]" [1 Cor 1:28-29]

"So, the way the Gospel works is to bring down human pride. And so why are you guys squabbling and fighting because of pride?" You see, the root cause is that of pride because Paul is repeatedly targeting this point.

Now, he goes on to say, "Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord." [1 Cor 1:31] "Don't be proud that you belong to Paul. Don't be proud that you belong to Apollos. That is utter rubbish! That is utter offense before the eyes of the Holy God! If you should boast boast only in the Lord."

Paul goes on to say because of the aversion to pride, "This is my goal in ministry. I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.[1 Cor 2:1-2] "I'm not here to ... to ... to throw out my eloquence and my humanistic logics reasonings, I'm here just to give the Gospel. That's my principle for ministry against human pride.

"For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh? [1 Cor 2:3-4] Why are they dividing? Fleshly human pride that manifests in jealousy and strife.

"So neither he who plants nor he waters is anything." [1 Cor 3:7] "Paul is not anything. Apollos is not anything. Cephas is not anything. We are just the farmers. Why are you so proud of us? Why are you saying, "I belong to Paul and Apollos?" It's God who gives the increase, there is no reason, no good reason for you to be fighting because of human pride."'

"Let no one deceive himself. If any one among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool again." [1 Cor 3:18] That theme of human pride that is being put down. "So let no one boast," in chapter 3:21.

We go on to chapter 4:1, it again goes on to say, "This is how one should regard us ..." "Don't lift us up, don't form sects and gangs and parties that are waving the flag of Paul or Apollos or Cephas. Just look at us as servants, as stewards as very, very menial slaves." That's literally what Paul is saying!

And verse 6, "None of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another."

So in a very quick way, I've taken you from chapter 1 to Chapter 4, to show you that the root of the problem here is simply human; fleshly carnal pride.

Why is the church tearing up? Persecution from the outside? No! But because of pride on the inside, wanting to be seen as better than the other. So, it is in this context that Paul therefore says in verse 10, "Be of the same mind and the same judgment." What do you mean by that?

In other words, we are not to think of ourselves better than the others. We are not to be lifted up into human pride, but we are to have this humble mindset. Now, I think this is the best understanding of what Paul says or means with same mind and the same judgment. It's a Gospel mindset that recognizes that we are to not view others as inferior, but indeed as more important than ourselves. To have this same mindset of the Lord Jesus Christ - a humble servant mindset.

I think this is corroborated when very similar lines of reasoning are given in Philippians, chapter 2:2. Again, like I said, Philippi or the church at Philippi is also a church that struggles with disunity. Likewise, Paul wrote to them and say, "You've got to be of the same mind. You've got to have the same love. You've got to be in full accord and of one mind."

You've got to be in unity, but what is this mindset that allows us to live in unity? He goes on to say, "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit ..." [Phil 2:3] So, don't live in fleshly, carnal human pride, "... but in humility ..." [Phil 2:3] "This is the mindset I, I think you should have, a humble mindset."

What do you mean by a humble mindset? Wear tattered clothes, wear broken shoes? No! No! What a humble mindset means, is that, "We will count others as more significant or important than ourselves." [Phil 2:3] This is not running yourself down, as if, "No lah! No lah! I'm lousy, you're good." No! No! No! No! No! You may be better than others, that's not the point. The point is that you treat others as more important than yourself.

In other words, you may be good in certain areas, but you're willing to use all that not to abuse the other, not to take advantage of the other, but to serve the other. "You count them as more significant than yourselves." [Phil 2:3]

And that is exactly verse 4, it goes on to explain, "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." So, you're looking to serve them, you're looking to be of benefit to them. That's the mindset! Not putting yourself on a pedestal, but putting yourself into the shoes of a servant, taking a basin of water to wash the feet of the other.

After all, "This mind is in Christ Jesus." [Phil 2:5] This is the same mindset of the Lord Jesus Christ! And if you read on from verse 6 onwards, you will read about the 'kenosis' of Jesus Christ, the Greek word for the emptying of Jesus Christ, how Jesus humbled himself to serve others.

So, this is the mindset that Paul is encouraging the Philippians and I think the Corinthians to adopt. This same mindset of humility of considering others more important than us, to take on the form of a servant, because the opposite of that is carnal; fleshly human pride.

"What is the reason for church splits?, you say?" One word - pride. In my experience, I've witnessed several people leave church. I've only been to one church in my whole life, I've only been a part of one church in my whole life, that's right here in Gospel Light. But I've had the experience of seeing people go from church.

I would say, some may go for good reasons, but most I think go not for very good reasons. And most of the time when they say, "Pastor, I'm leaving," they will not tell you that it's because of pride, that they can get along with someone, and they are very upset with someone that they have to go. Most of the time they will throw out a smoke screen, if I may say. "Oh, this doctrine is not good here! Or maybe this teaching is not so good there."

Well, I'm not saying, that we are perfect in theology, but maybe those are not good enough theological differences for leaving the church, for church division. After all, they are not core fundamentals of the faith. It may be very secondary or even tertiary matters, but to them, no ... no bother! They will use that as an excuse, as a smoke screen, because it's very hard for anyone to say, "I'm leaving the church because I think I'm better than the church. I'm leaving the church because of human pride." No one was going to admit that!

But the reality is if you peel away the surface, a lot of times church splits happen because of pride. Now, that's not what God wants! You must understand that when God gave His Son Jesus Christ, to die on a cross, it is to redeem a people united in the Gospel. And when pride, human pride comes into the picture and causes a church to be split up; to be divided, I don't think that honors God at all!

So I think we must be very careful here, as a people. We must be careful to say, to not to say, "Oh, I follow Pastor Jason, or I follow Pastor Paul, or follow Pastor Chee Kin or I follow Pastor Mike." I think those are very dangerous statements to make. Did Jason die for you? Did I baptize all of you? No! I'm not interested the form a mini cult. I don't think any of the Pastors here in Gospel Light want that, but it is sad when God's people find some reason to show their superiority or their good taste, when that actually dishonors God.

Now, let me say this also, maybe some of us won't compare the pastors, but some of us compare our Care Groups. "Hah, I belong to so and so Care Group! It's a better Care Group than your Care Group. Your Care Group meets so infrequently, your Care Group does not study the Bible, your Care Group is not so intellectually astute, my care group is better. My Care Group goes through the Bible line by line, verse by verse, we are very scholarly, I'm better than yours!" Is that honoring to God? I don't think so.

On the other hand, there are those who say, "Aiyah, your Care Group only study the Bible! Our care group, more relational. We are more fun, we eat together, we have happy times, it's better than your care group." Is that better too? No! It's also a cartel mindset.

Now, different care groups may have different emphasis. Now I believe all Care Groups should be about CARE. It shouldn't be about connecting, should be about adoring God, should be about reaching out, should be edifying one another, building up one another in the word and in the faith, should be about serving one another.

That's why we call them care group. C A R E S, connect adore, edify, reach out ... reach out, edify and to serve. But different care groups may have stronger emphasis on some of the aspects, and I don't think it's right for any one of us to then pass a judgement that your CG is worse or not as good. I think that's fleshly pride! And we've got to be very careful about this.

Not just our Care Groups, but maybe our Discipleship Groups. "Wah, your Care Group or your DG got this! Wah, your DG don't have this!" And we start to be elevated in our human assessments. Or maybe ministries, "I serve in this ministry, you serve in ministry, but your ministry is not as important as my ministry. This ministry is better! This ministry is more on the ball!" Well, we got to be careful of such language. We've got to be careful of such thinking, because that springs out of carnal pride.

And I hope that as a church, we will not be comparing churches with others. "Oh, your church is this or your church is that!" Well, I'm not saying, throw your assessments out of the window, be blur about things. Be objective about things, but be careful about the attitude and the spirit of a superiority complex of carnal pride. That's all I'm saying.

So Paul, in this first 8 verses, verses 10 to 17, after the introductory remarks, talks about the splits and rents in the church. He allows us to understand that the root problem is that of human pride, which he continuously writes to warn against.

[3] The Remedy
And then finally, I'd like us to consider - The remedy.

How can we be healed from human pride? How can we be reunited if there should be splits in the church? Well, that's the problem in Corinth, and so Paul says, "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 may be united." [1 Cor 1:10]

The word, 'united' here is the word in a Greek, 'katariso', which means to be putting back or to restore. So, the implication here is that when God first started the church, it is one united people. But now, fractures have come in, divisions have come in because of human pride.

So Paul says, "You were united, you are now disunited, I urge you to be united again." That's the idea! To bring them back into the state of unity. But to be brought back to the state of unity, Paul cannot just say, "Stop arguing! Be together again." Now, he could do that but that would not be enough, isn't it?
I mean, if every problem is solved by saying, stop it, well, we would have a very short Bible. But the fact is, Paul is going to explain how you can stop all that and be reunited in chapters 1 to 4. We're going to take our time to slowly go through them in a meaningful way.

But as a form of introduction, I just like to remind you that the key to being united is to remember what Paul has said in verses 1-9. Remember? The A B C approach to church problems. And it's ... it's kind of a brought in to the problem of schism. When Paul says, "I appeal to you brothers, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I appeal to you by the authority that is vested in me as a apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ."

So Paul is saying, "I'm appealing to you. This is serious! I'm not just appealing to you as 'kawan, kawan' - friend, I'm appealing to you as an apostle. This is something you really need to listen by the authority vested in me as a minister of Jesus Christ."

And then he says, "By the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ ..." [1 Cor 1:10], on behalf of Christ. Who is Christ? The One who died for you. The One who gave His life to save you from your sins. The One who poured out His blood, His life, so that God's blessings may come upon you!

"So I appeal to you by the authority, and by the blessings because of Christ. And one more I think, "By the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will come back for you." In other words, Paul is saying, "Stop it! Stop dividing amongst yourself! Stop this partisan, sectarian, exclusive, superior-thinking, superiority-thinking. Stop all this carnal divisions!"

Why? Because God wants you to. "I'm His messenger. I'm telling you stop this. Look at what Christ has done for you, it is so incongruent that you should divide His body in this way. And remember Jesus is coming for you and because of this, because of the Gospel, stop it."

Now, in a nutshell, I think that's what Paul is going to say. But just to kind of a lend support again, I bring you to the other epistle that talks about divisions. And Paul pretty much says the same thing. In the church of Ephesus, he says, "Maintain the unity of the Spirit." [Eph 4:3]

This is very important to Paul. This is the first instruction given to the Ephesians, as to what they are to do. First 3 chapters of Ephesians, is about what God has done in Jesus Christ. And in chapter 4, the first thing Paul says, "You must do is maintain the unity." So, it's very important in God's mind, unity. Division is very grievous to God, unity is what God desires.

And in order to maintain the unity, you've got to have this mindset, isn't it? "You've got to be humble, you got to be gentle. You got to be patient, you've got to be willing to bear with one another." [Eph 4:2-3]] Again, very, very similar to Philippians 2, where we do not have this mindset, that others are to serve me because I'm the most important, but I am to serve others that they are more important than myself. I take on this humble can kenosis-mindset like that of the Lord Jesus Christ.

And not only must I ... I have ... not only must I have this posture and attitude, I must be, "Eager to maintain." [Eph 4:3] The word, 'eager' here is the word, 'spoude' in the Greek which well, I think a swimming company uses it, to give its own brand - Speedo. The word, 'spoude' is a word that means to be quick, to have alacrity, to be putting in strong effort, to be diligent.

So Paul is saying, "Unity is not a natural product, a natural outcome that is easily achieved, it takes effort, it takes diligence. You must be 'spoude' to maintain the unity of the Spirit." So we know the posture that is needed, we know the effort that is needed, but the question is why? Why should I be so diligent to maintain unity in the church?

Well, again, "I therefore ..." [Eph 4:1] The 'therefore' is there for a reason, and the therefore is connecting as I've mentioned, the first 3 chapters of Ephesians, that talks about what God has done. "So in the light of what God has done for you in Jesus Christ, in the light of the Gospel, in the light of the blessings poured out upon you. Oh, may this grace, lead you to gratitude, that lead you to true godliness in maintaining unity."

In other words, the real reason why we should slay pride, is because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So my dear friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, well, Gospel Light today does not look divided, because we don't even gather much, we are all online. But I'm pretty sure, we will face threats of divisions soon enough. It must be! Because we are sinful people, with sinful flesh, and if not careful, sinful flesh, would manifests itself in carnal divisions.

I urge you today, however that we will continue to pray that as a church, we will be a people humble before God. That we will not have this superiority mindset, but that we would consider others more important than ourselves. And the reason why we would want to do that is because of Jesus and what He has done for us. Look at His love! Look at His sacrifice on the cross! How can we allow fleshly pride to tear apart the body of Christ?

So, let us drink in the Gospel, that our hearts would be settled in a servant's posture. That we will in our minds be willing to gird up our loins, take that basin and wash one another's feet. Instead of saying, "I belong to Paul. I belong to PJ. I belong to PC or whatever..." We say, "We all serve Jesus and we serve one another." And in the way we love one another and serve one another, the world will know that we are His or Jesus' disciples, and in that God will be glorified."

Some of you today struggle because you want to leave the church, and let me tell you a lot of times it's not theological, it's personal, it's relational because it's about pride. If there's someone today you cannot forgive, I want to ask you, I appeal to you, therefore to look to the cross and see how God has forgiven you. And instead of leaving that person, leaving that Care Group, leaving that group of people that you feel aggrieved with, may God's love fill your heart to forgive, to reconcile.

It is not a compatibility issue. It's not a chemistry issue. It's a Gospel issue. It's a discipleship issue. It's a Jesus issue. Would you forgive? Would you love? Would you serve because of Gospel because of Jesus? May that be true for all of us.

If you're here today, I want to tell you, that one of the greatest evidences of the power of God and His saving grace is the church. I love Gospel Light because we are a very diverse people. Whether you are Chinese or Filipino, Indian, whatever race you come in, it doesn't matter! Because in the Gospel, in Christ, there is no more Jew or Gentile, male or female, born or free, but we are one in Christ. What unites us is His love.

I pray that Gospel Light will continue to be a diverse people. Nothing wrong with diversity, as long as we have unity in the Gospel. And I pray that as you see the diversity of people in church, you would see the reality of the Gospel that saves. And I pray one day, you will see your sin, turn from sin and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

He is not a Chinese God, He is not a Malay God, He's not an Indian God, He's not a Jewish God, He's the God of the world. He says, "I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father, but by Me." And all nations can be blessed through Him. Will you be blessed through Him?

Let's bow for a word of prayer together.

Father, we thank You this morning for the reminder about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Forgive us if there be any carnal pride or sectarianism here at Gospel Light. And I pray that You will melt our hearts with Your love, so that we will not be a people lifted up in ego and carnal arrogance. We will be a people who will take on the form of a servant and serve others.

We pray also that You will help us to be eager, diligent to maintain the unity here in this church. May we continue to pray for that humbling. May we continue to be a people who walk in Your Spirit.

We also want to pray for friends who may not know Jesus as yet. Lord, we ask that they would see the love of Your people and from there see the love of God. Help them to repent and believe in Your Son. Thank You. We pray all this in Jesus' Name. Amen. God bless.


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