“It’s About People: the Priority of Relationships”
May 31, 2015
Someone called this maze of relationships, “the theory of relativity:”
…consider the marriage mayhem created when 76-year-old Bill Baker of London recently wed Edna Harvey. She happened to be his granddaughter’s husband’s mother. That’s where the confusion began, according to Baker’s granddaughter, Lynn.
“My mother-in-law is now my step-grandmother. My grandfather is now my stepfather-in-law. My mom is my sister-in-law and my brother is my nephew. But even crazier is that I’m now married to my uncle and my own children are my cousins.”
From this experience, Lynn should gain profound insight into the theory of relativity. [Campus Life, March, 1981, p. 31.]
Relationships are confusing. And difficult. And it is often tempting to just give up on some relationships: “it’s just too hard…” But we need relationships. God has designed people for relationships. And even more importantly, God has designed the church to be a model for what relationships should be. It’s easy to leave a church and our relationships there. But it shouldn’t be easy.
This week, we are starting a four-part series that we will do on communion Sundays during the summer: “Forgotten Attributes of Ministry.” We have a list of core values that guide what we do, but sometimes we forget some of those essentials. And our goal this summer and fall is to create a greater atmosphere of fellowship and godly unity in our church body. And we’re going to do that by focusing on and remembering some of the things that are easy to forget.
And this morning we are going to do a survey of a variety of passages and then end up in 1 Corinthians 12, thinking about the priority of relationships: it’s about people. Ministry is about people. It’s easy to think about tasks and roles and responsibilities, but behind all those tasks are relationships and the simple, shepherding care of God’s people.
The church — this church — is designed by God to care for God’s people.
Here are four observations about the priority of people in the church:
- The New Testament Emphasis on Relationships in the Church
- We are brothers
- We are a family
- We are with one another
- The Church Body is One: the Hope of What Is and Should Be (1 Cor. 12:12)
- The Church Body is Diverse: Complications to Our Relationships (1 Cor. 12:12b-17)
- The Church Body in Harmony: God’s Provision for Our Diversity (1 Cor. 12:18-26)
- God has purposely made us diverse (vv. 18-20) [He made our relationships just as He wants them]
- God has made us diverse to protect our unity (vv. 21-26)
- God has made us diverse to extend our testimony (v. 27; Eph. 2:11-22)
Download the rest of this sermon on the purpose of the church body.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website later today.