Last two weeks, we have been studying Ephesians chapter 1 and 2, specifically, about the love of God shown though Jesus Christ. We are chosen because God loves us (we are his children), wants us to be holy/blameless (to have relationship with God), according to his will (to build and expand God’s kingdom), and to praise His glorious grace. The main point was God wants to build and expand his kingdom through YOU, which means you are selected to be ambassadors of God to spread gospel to your non-Christian friends. And when you become the salt and the light of the world to expand the kingdom of God that is how God’s grace is praised and displayed.
What is kingdom? It is not a castle, or buildings, or regulations, or sets of rules… God’s kingdom is made of God’s people. Full of Christians, Christ followers.
So, where do we find this kingdom on this earth? Your local church. The church you attend. It is 밀알 church.
So, we are going to talk about the church. And interestingly enough, Paul is talking about the church from Ephesians 2: 11 to 3:13
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,[d] but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by[e] the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:13~22)
Before we dive into what the God’s church is all about, there is important thing that we must understand: Jesus is our peace. (14) We will study what this mean from today’s scripture and how this truth propagates to the true idea of church.
If one of God’s main objectives are building and expanding God’s kingdom, what would our enemy (Satan) do? He would try to destroy and abolish the kingdom, which is church. What would be the main thing that breaks up God’s church? What would divide up the local church? Fights, different ideas, different belief, different preference, different background and cultures…
NOT having the unity breaks up the church.
I want to bring up two points from the scripture today:
Let’s go back to our scripture: In verse 11, Paul said we were gentiles and strangers. Verse 12, we were separated from Christ and alienated from the commonwealth of Israel. In old days, if you want to know God and love God, we had to convert and become Jews.
Jewish people, they still do that, if you want to marry a Jewish, you must have the Jewish wedding and you must be Jewish before you marry. They are so prude of being Jewish and the chosen nation.
The Ephesian Gentile Christians, just like the Korean American Christians, we WERE foreigners to God, without hope and without God in the world.
In verse 13, we are brought near to God by the blood of Christ
In verse 14, Jesus is our Peace and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility
There are 10 foot wall around the Jewish temple separating Jews to gentile. They separate the good from the bad, the clean from the unclean, and the safe from the unsafe…
Here, I just want to think about Paul who is writing these words at that time:
We have “walls” in our minds to separate the “right-kind-of-people” from the “wrong-ones”
I do want to be very careful what I say here. Because God created the different cultures and background for his glory.
When it comes to God, there was only one category of people: SINNERS, as far as God was concerned we were all on the outside of the wall.
In verse 15, it says, He might create in himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace.
In verse 16 and 17, we are one body through the cross
In verse 18 and 19, we all have the same access to the Father in ONE Spirit, and we are all citizens and members of the household of God
In verse 20 to 22, Paul is describing what the church looks like:
ii.Only God is the judge, forgive and forget!
ii.Unless God intervenes, person will not change his way
ii.See with eyes of Jesus
No wonder society cannot do it!!
But what the law is unable to accomplish, the power of new life accomplishes in the gospel!
I want to encourage you to move beyond mere awareness of importance of unity.
There are 4 stages:
Many of you will walk away from this agreeing with everything that was said today.