Unity in Diversity

Guest speaker Ron Thomas

Luke 9:49-50 (ESV)

49John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” 50But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”

William Barclay: “It is one of the supreme achievements of Jesus that he can enable the most diverse people to live together without in the least losing their own personalities or qualities… There is nothing which the church needs more than to learn how to yoke in common harness the diverse temperaments and qualities of different people. If we are failing it is our own fault, for, in Christ, it can be done–and has been done… When men are really Christian the most diverse and divergent types can live at peace together. It is only in Christ that we can solve the problem of living together; because even the most opposite people may be united in their love for him. If we really love him, we will also love each other.”

1 John 4:7-12

7Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

Related:  Let Love Be Genuine


Discussion Starters

  1. What was the reason John gave Jesus for his attempt to stop the stranger from casting out demons in Jesus’s name?
  1. What do you think the concerns of John may have been, as he gave his report to Jesus about the man casting out demons in His name?
  1. Have you ever been ostracized or marginalized by another or a group? If so, how did it make you feel?
  1. What are the reasons behind the practice of exclusion?
  1. Does Dulin’s Grove Church show any evidence of exclusion?
  1. Look at 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. As we think about how the church is made up of so many different people, discuss how we are to work and serve together.
  1. How are we demonstrating inclusion of others in our personal lives; within the life of our church?
  1. “A faith that is afraid of other people is not faith at all.” – Thomas Merton –How does faith help us overcome being afraid of other people?
  2. Compare John’s attitude as reflected in the Luke 9:49-50 with his attitude expressed in 1st John 4:7-12. How would you define the differences between these to passages?
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