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September 17, 2017

Sermon: A More Intercultural Church: True Unity

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Scripture Lesson

Genesis 11:1-9; Ephesians 4:11-13

The Tower of Babel
Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.’ And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’ The Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. And the Lord said, ‘Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.’ So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore it was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.

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Sermon Outline

Rev. Jonathan Swanson
A More Intercultural Church: True Unity
Genesis 11:1-9; Ephesians 4:11-13

I. Introduction:
II. Series: A More Intercultural Church
III. A classical interpretation of the “Tower of Babel”
     A. Human pride (11:4)
     B. The curse of God (11:7-8)
IV. Turning Babel right-side up
     A. “Scattering” is not a curse (11:4, 8, 9; 1:28; 9:1, 19; 10:5, 18, 32)
     B. The problem is uniformity (11:1)
     C. The scattering and different tongues
         1. Helps people fulfill God’s purpose (1:28; 9:1)
         2. Helps people achieve true unity
V. What does true unity look like?
     A. Diversity (4:11)
     B. True unity is found in
         1. “The faith” (4:13)
         2. “The knowledge of the Son of God” (4:13)
     C. True unity leads to
         1. “Maturity” (4:13)
         2. Christlikeness (4:13)
VI. How do we become more intercultural?
     A. Accept diversity
     B. Find unity in God
VII. Conclusion: A modern fable of cats


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