The first century church was almost failed from the start. What was the major issue? Circumcision! Those who were circumcised considered themselves full citizens of God’s realm. They did not believe those who were not circumcised could be full citizen’s of the kingdom of God. The division had nothing to do with Jesus and his teachings. It was a cultural thing. The writer of Ephesians shared extremely good news to the Gentile churches, “19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” There is one God and one Spirit. Jesus created a new reality. He did not come to destroy his religion. He attempted to help his people to transcend their religion in order to realize a higher spirituality. Jesus did not come to destroy humanity but rather, he modeled a whole new way to become human.
- My first Passport
- No VISA necessary
- Dr. Tolbert, “The problem is we are too much like the first century church.
- Where two or more are gathered there is an argument!
- Dividing the wall of hostility
- Setting aside the laws and regulations
- Christ set himself up to create a new humanity, making peace.
- Putting to death hostility
- Preached peace to those far away and those who are near
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,
- We all have access to God by one Spirit!
Call to Celebration
God of Peace, you have removed all barriers by living your truth. Your presence fills spaces and voids. As we share the gift of who we are with one another, may your peace be our guiding light to all we seek to transform personally and interpersonally.
Full Service Service July 18
Ephesians 2:11-22 NIV
Jew and Gentile Reconciled Through Christ
11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.