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Ephesians 2:1-10

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Amazing Grace | Grace that is Greater
John Newton CCLI# 22025
West Side #1408533  CSPL087031

Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I’m found was blind but now I see   (Ephesians 2:4)

Twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears released
How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed  (Ephesians 2:5)

Through many dangers toils and snares we have already come
His grace has brought us safe thus far and grace will lead us home   (Psalm 40:2-3)

Grace grace God’s grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace grace God’s graceGrace that is greater than all our sin (Ephesians 2:4)

The Lord has promised good to me His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be as long as life endures   (Psalm 119:9-11)

C O P O R A T E   P R A Y E R

(all) Almighty God, whose great power and eternal wisdom embraces the universe.
Watch over all policemen and law enforcement officers.

Father in Heaven please give them the strength, courage and perseverance to endure unjust condemnation, danger, and physical abuse to which they are sometimes subjected to.

Father we pray that they would walk humbly, love kindness and pursue justice. We recommend them to your loving care because their duty is dangerous.

Dear God, grant these brave men and women your almighty protection, and when their duty has ended, unite them safely with their families.

In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen

T E X T   R E A D I N G

Ephesians 2:11-22
11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 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 hostility 15 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,[a] 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 tog

This is the Word of the Lord.
West Side: Thanks be to God.

S E R M O N

“From Hostility to Unity” Ephesians 2:11-22 (Stand Alone)

INTRO> On June 19th 1865 Union Major General Grodon Granger rode into Galveston Texas and announced to a gathered crowd these words. “”In accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free!” This dates has become a state holiday in Texas as well as all other states but four. It is called “Juneteenth” It celebrates that a nation once in hostility and divided over the horrible issue of slavery, now had that hostility torn down and is working toward unity, “United States”. There is a problem, General Grodon makes his announcement two years after the emancipation proclamation written by Abraham Lincoln. So.. they were free… but needed somone to come and announce it to them!

CONTEXT> Today, my job is to be like General Grodon with our text. Ephesians 2:11-22 deals more concisely with the issue of division and unity in the church over the issue or race, more than any other passage in the bible. Paul is the author, he is writing to a big church that has Jewsish people and Non-Jewish people and he breaks down that famous passage, “By grace you have been saved” and shows us what the implications of that are on our lives.

Big Idea > When the church is unified, Jesus is glorified.

APP> He does this by using three key phrases in the passage, “v11at one time..” “v13 But now…” “v19 So then…”

  1. At one time – Separated.

“v11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Ephesians 2:11-12

– Gentiles are non Jews, a different ethnicity.

What we are without Jesus:

  1. Separated from God. (All other problems flow from this problem!)
  2. Aliens to Israel.
  3. Strangers to the Covenant.
  4. Without hope.

APP> For some of us, this is who we were, for some of us this is who we are.

APP> As a Christian, our past explains us but it doesn’t define us. “There are some things which Scripture tells us to forget… But there is one thing in particular which we are commanded to remember and never forget. This is what we were before God’s love reached down and found us. For if we remember our former alienation, distasteful as some of it may be to us, shall we be able to remember the greatness of the grace which forgave and is transforming us.” John Stott, The Message of Ephesians, page 96

2) But now – Reconciled.

“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 hostility 15 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.”

But now… in Christ! Jesus is the one who reconciles us!

False Reconcilers: 1) Political Party 2) Social Class 3) Social Causes 4) Skin Color

v14 “The dividing wall of hostility.” (Temple Pic) Gentiles hated Jews

– For this to make more sense, Pic of Black and White water fountains.

APP> Why do these things happen? Paul tells us, “the law of commandments” The law was a good thing right? Yep but Israel made an idol out of it, how?

APP> When good things become God things that’s a bad thing.

– We still do this today! We build new walls!

How was this reconciliation accomplished? The Cross!

APP> The cross has two beams, One vertical- God One horizontal – Others.

APP> The cross teaches us that peace comes at a cost of our own comfort.

APP> Unity is a reflection of the Trinity! v18!

3) So then- Unified

“19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, 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 the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22

– Paul uses 3 analogies to describe what this new unity looks like.

  1. God’s Kingdom “fellow citizens”
  2. God’s Family
  3. God’s Temple

Big Idea > When the church is unified, Jesus is glorified.

“I wonder if anything is more urgent today, for the honor of Christ and for the spread of the gospel, than that the church should be, and should be seen to be, what by God’s purpose and Christ’s achievement it already is- a single new humanity, a model community, a family of reconciled brothers and sisters who love their Father and love each other, the evident dwelling place of God by his Spirit. Only then will the world believe in Christ as Peacemaker. Only then will God receive the glory due to his name.” John Stott, Message of Ephesians, pg 11-112

Closing Question: How am I working towards unity with others in my life?

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, amen.

All the Poor and Powerless
David Leonard, Leslie Jordan
CCLI# 5881130
West Side  #1408533  CSPL087031

All the poor and powerless and all the lost and lonely
All the thieves will come confess and know that you are holy   (Philippians 2:11)

And all will sing out hallelujah
And we will cry out hallelujah   (Psalm 34:3)

All the hearts who are content and all who feel unworthy
All who hurt with nothing left will know that you are holy  (Isaiah 6:5)

Shout it go on and scream it from the mountains
Go on and tell it to the masses that he is God  (Psalm 100:3)

C O P O R A T E   P R A Y E R

Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made us one with your saints in heaven and on earth

(all) Help us to see your presence burning in the hearts of others; grant that we may be united in a fellowship of love and prayer; give us the courage to pick up our cross and respond to the needs of the world, give us the stamina to follow you, to be your hands and heart in the world; enable us to witness to your grace and mercy. Amen

We encourage you to pray this out loud yourself or with your family after the service and continue to pray this prayer daily.

Oh Lord, you who are the refuge of the poor and needy, we ask that you would save us from the pestilence that stalks in the darkness and the plague that destroys at midday. Be our sun and shield. Be our fortress. Be our comfort this day. May we not fear any evil but rather trust in your might to save and your wisdom to guide, so that we may rest always in the shadow of the Almighty. In the name of the One who heals our diseases, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

We give as a church because giving is an essential part of our worship.
In Matthew 6,  Jesus says, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. So, we invite you to joyfully give to the God who has given us everything.

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