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Working Together

Unity Spiritual Gifts Influence

Source: Ministry Toolbox, Sept 5, 2001

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2021-10-28

Scripture: Matthew 18:20 ; 1 Corinthians 12:12

Author: Vance Havner/Illustration Exchange
18

ILLUSTRATION

Snowflakes are frail, but if enough of them stick together, they can stop traffic.

APPLICATION

Likewise, by God's design, the lone Christian has little impact on the world.  But when two or three are gathered together, that's when Christ's presence is felt (Matthew 18:20).  When the diverse gifts of the individual members of a local church begin operating cooperatively, that's when impactful ministry takes place (1Corinthians 12:12).  

"Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many" (1 Corinthians 12:12-14).

Sharing Trade Secrets Or Sharing The Wealth?

Outreach Evangelism Unity

Source: Denver Post, Nicki Jhabvala, 6/29/17

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2017-08-03

Scripture: Philippians 1:18

Author: Neal Pollard
5

ILLUSTRATION

Last month, Von Miller gathered some of the NFL’s elite sack specialists at Stanford University for what he called a “pass rush summit.” The participates were star defensive players from around the league, with several different teams represented. Addressing concerns that each man was sharing his trade secrets, Miller replied that it was more like sharing the wealth. He said, “A sack is a sack. I’m going to get sacks, they’re going to get sacks. You really can’t stop that. You really benefit more from really just sharing that knowledge and just trying to be the best players that you can possibly be."

APPLICATION

God has endowed the Church with the mission of reaching the unreached, showing charity and compassion to the world, and helping to strengthen those already in Christ. We achieve this through various ministries, programs, and outreach efforts. Unlike the NFL, this is not a competition.  We are all on the same team. 

So, why not band together to more effectively reach the world for Christ? If NFL players can do it, why not God's people? 

"But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice" (Philippians 1:18). 

Division Is Never Good

Unity Love (Human) Fellowship

Contributed By: Corey Sawyers | Date Posted: 2017-03-17

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:10 ; Matthew 12:25

Author: Corey Sawyers
5

ILLUSTRATION

I have always loved math. It is concrete. It has rules. Unlike grammar, there are not hundreds of exceptions and exceptions to the exceptions. 2 + 2 is always 4. Yet even in math, there is a negative (no pun intended). Adding and subtracting are basic and needed. Multiplication is fun and exciting. Division, however, is not so good. That is especially true in the church. In the church, division is never, ever good. 

There is a place for addition in the church. Adding to God's word is wrong (Rev. 22:18). But there are still so many good additions to be made in the church. It was - and is - always a blessing to have members added to the body of Christ (Acts 2:41, 47; 5:14; 11:24). Adding to our faith is necessary and good (II Peter 1:5ff). Yet, in the church, division is never, ever good. 

There is a place for subtraction in the church. Taking away from God's word is wrong (Rev. 22:19). But there are still so many good subtractions made in the church. Through Christ, we can have our sins subtracted (Rom. 11:27; I John 3:5). The veil that separated us from God has been taken away (II Cor. 3:16). The Old Covenant was taken away for a better one (Heb. 10:9). Yet, in the church, division is never, ever good.

There is a place for multiplication in the church. It is great when the word of God is multiplied (Acts 12:24). It is great that a knowledge of that word multiplies grace and peace (II Pet. 1:2). It is great that God can take what little we can offer and multiply it to great things (II Cor. 9:10). Through Christ, mercy, peace, and love are multiplied (Jude 2). Yet, in the church, division is never, ever good.

APPLICATION

No, in the church, division is never, ever good. Division is caused because people will not accept nor submit to Christ (Lk. 12:51; Jn. 7:43; 9:16; 10:19; Acts 14:4). Division within the church - no matter the reason for which one might try to justify it - is always condemned (I Cor. 1:10). A divided house cannot stand (Mt. 12:25). Division keeps brethren from worshipping together (I Cor. 11:18). It causes brethren not to care for each other (I Cor. 12:25). 

Christ has not been divided (I Cor. 1:13). Yet there are a great many who seek to divide His body. They come in the name of skin color, politics, social standing, nationality, occupation, background, etc. In reality the ones who cause divisions are "worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit" (Jude 9). They teach us to be so swelled up with pride that we can never put ourself in another's shoes and see from their standpoint. Instead of following the example of Christ (I Pet. 2:21), we allow division to cause us to commit sin against one another. We play fast and loose with facts and deceive. We return revile for revile. We utter threats. We forget to entrust ourselves to Him who judges righteously (I Peter 2:22-23). You see, in the church, division is never, ever good.

Evil forces work to divide our country and our communities. No, it is not worse than it has ever been - man has been divided since Cain and Able. That we are allowing it to fester in the church, though, is truly sad. This is also not new. From the Jew-Gentile struggles of the First Century to the segregated congregations of the 20th and 21st Centuries, we keep trying to bring division into the Lord's Church. Still, in the church, division is never, ever good.

Let's stop arguing. Let's stop finger pointing. Let's stop being brought down into the muck of the world. My allegiance to my race, my state, my country, my family, my political party, my occupation, my school - even my allegiance to myself - should have been put aside when I pledged my allegiance to Christ. May we set the example of Christ in order to ADD to His body. May we SUBTRACT the hate, prejudice, arguments, and improper allegiances in our lives. May we MULTIPLY God's Word, peace, love, mercy, and grace wherever we go. And may it never be said of us - not for one second - we were guilty of bringing DIVISION into the church. You see, in the church, division is never, ever good.

Unity In The Church

Unity Divisiveness Discipleship

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-12-16

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:10

Author: A. W. Tozer / Illustration Exchange
18

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The Church Is The People

Unity Church/Body of Christ Submission

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-11-09

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:16

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

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Turning In The Competition

Unity Pride Communion

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-10-04

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:3 ; Ephesians 2:8

Author: Illustration Exchange
11

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The F Word

Forgiveness Unity Humor

Contributed By: Ryan Follis | Date Posted: 2015-04-16

Scripture: Ephesians 4:32

Author: Ryan Follis
10

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The Big Toe

Spiritual Gifts Church Health/Growth Unity

Contributed By: Chris Horton | Date Posted: 2015-03-08

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:21

Author: Ray C. Stedman
12

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When Will We All Sit Down To Eat

Marriage Supper of the Lamb Unity Peace

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-01-12

Scripture: Revelation 19:9

Author: Madeleine L'Engle / Illustration Exchange
7

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Incubator Churches

Church Health/Growth Fellowship Unity

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-03-14

Scripture: Romans 14:19

Author: Rick Warren
7

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