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The Three R's: Relationships, Rifts and Restoration (25 of 26)
Series: Truths That Transform
2 Corinthians 12:19-13:4
Message Truth: Conflict is a reality even within the community of faith. However, God desires that we seek to resolve our conflicts in a way that builds up the body of Christ. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. 1 John 4:21
Introduction: A witness was called to the stand to testify about a head- on automobile collision. Whose fault was this accident? the lawyer asked. As near as I could tell, replied the witness, they hit each other at about the same time.
Sometimes people crash into one another. It is not always clear whose fault it is. There can be some real damage to the relationship. It takes the grace and love of God to heal the hurts and mend the bent feelings. In a relationship the right temperature is maintained by warm hearts not hotheads.
A. It has been said that Christians are a lot like porcupines. They have many good points, but they're hard to get close to. The main reason is that their prickly personalities keep needling each other with skewers of sarcasm and criticism.
B. Not only are individual believers difficult to bring together, but so are their institutions. We have so many splinter groups which have parted fellowship that even the splinters have splinters. From the Church of the Way to the Church of The Better Way to the Church of the Only Way, the body of Christ has become dismembered.
C. Within our own denomination we have names like First, Second, and Third Baptist. Names like Harmony or Faith are often aligned with groups who have left churches in conflict. I particularly enjoy names like New Hope, Little Hope, and No Hope Baptist Church, Unbelievable!
D. Romans 12 gives us some practical advice on how to live together without hurting each other. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference ...
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