Music Special: Teen Choir Conductor: Peter Bard
Choir: Joe, Julia, Analyse, Ross, Roberto, Kyle, Raquel, & Michael on piano
Key Verse: 1 Cor 1:10 “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
Pastor’s Opening Comments: Pastor Giardino expressed his gratification with the spiritual fitness and unity within our church. For the evenings message, he wished that we “be open to the message individually.”
Followup Verse: Phil 3:15 “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”
Followup Comments: Our pastor spoke of the diverse backgrounds and skills that each of us bring into the church. He said “things are going well”, as we all work together using our individual talents for the common good of the church. We all have “the same spirit”, we use “the same bible” and he saluted us as a ministry for carrying out the great commission. Where the Spirit of God is working, wondrous things can be done in His name.
Introductory Story: Ronnie and Donnie Galyon, conjoined twins for 6 decades, born in 1951. Pastor commented that “they fight as all siblings do, but they can’t storm off as others can.” “The vast majority of time though, they get along … there is brotherly love … they just seem like brothers”, Pastor continued.Pastor’s Sermon (semi-condensed version): A “spiritual truth” underlies the story of the conjoined twins. In contrast to our relatively petty problems, how do we cope with each other. Pastor pointed out that we, as a church, “are joined together as brothers and sisters in a spiritual body” and that we should “respect and love each other”. “We as a body ought to have unity on how to get things done”, he said. Further, “those that sin within the body of the church, they have to be judged”, Pastor G. cautioned. If issues arise, there will be judgment, publicly or privately, i.e. “a nice warning”, because the bible says to address these issues.
Pastor read I Cor 6:15-17, stressing that we are “joined unto the Lord” when we are saved. (He advised us not to speed-read through these passages). When we have mutual respect and honor for one another, there is synergy in the church. He spoke about the power in a church that is “on the same page” and has the same “purpose”.
Pastor also warned of divisions in the church, reading Rom 12:16, which says to “be not wise in your own conceits”. People who are “stroking their own genius … puffed up”, because their knowledge goes to their head, rise up and disrupt the church. “Who is running the show here, you or the Lord?” Pastor G. asked hypothetically. “The Lord will pop their balloon”, he added. Speaking of the past, he said, “Sometimes God is taking people out of the church who have a bad spirit. Let God do his work. If we are of the same mind, God will do things here.”
I Cor 14:23-25 was used to illustrate how important a church’s spirit is in regard to being a true testimony to visitors and “unbelievers”, who will “worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth”. “That’s what we want at Gospel Light!”, Pastor declared.
II Cor 8:16-20 was used to show how important it is to chose the right man to lead a church. Without prayer and diligence, the wrong man can cause a church to split or lead it to ruin. Phil 2:19-21 also warns about choosing the right man: “For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s”. Pastor Giardino explained that “there is a lot more to a church than taking care of a building. Gospel Light is a place of refuge and revival for those of other churches.” For new members, he said “it is very easy to serve here … to find a place to serve … to plug in.”
Pastor G. continued his sermon by going through the entire chapter of I Cor 12 (1-31). Although we have “diversities of gifts”, we have “the same Spirit” 1 Cor 12:4. And though we at Gospel Light are “many members”, we are “but one body” 1 Cor 12:20. Even those that have passed away, in glory, are still part of the body of our church, Pastor reminded us. He emphasized that those “which seem to be more feeble, are necessary” 1 Cor 12:22. “There are no big shots at Gospel Light – God is the main deal, He’s what it is all about,” our pastor stated.
“God hath tempered the body together” 1 Cor 12:24. As metals are tempered through heat, so is a church tempered through trials. “The tempering process unifies us”, Pastor G. explained, “This is what pleases God, when we are one body.” When we come together as one body, “God can really use this church”, Pastor said confidently.Closing Story: A young man’s first job was at a body shop. He was asked to fix a fender but his efforts were futile. He went to the shop’s boss with excuses. The boss’s response was, “ Young fella, we only allow two ‘can’t’s in this shop: If you can’t do it, you can’t stay.” The point of the story was to encourage us to participate and be a willing and enthusiastic member of Gospel Light – willing to give, willing to be a servant for the Lord, and willing to get out and spread God’s Word.