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A Unified Body Eph 2:11-22. A Unified Body Skilurus offered his 80 children a bundle of darts.

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Presentation on theme: "A Unified Body Eph 2:11-22. A Unified Body Skilurus offered his 80 children a bundle of darts."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Unified Body Eph 2:11-22

2 A Unified Body Skilurus offered his 80 children a bundle of darts.

3 A Unified Body Skilurus offered his 80 children a bundle of darts. Plutarch: “If they held together, they would continue strong, but if they fell out and were divided, they would become weak.”

4 A Unified Body In the church, unity is vitally important.

5 A Unified Body In the church, unity is vitally important. “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father as in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (Jn 17:20-21, ESV).

6 A Unified Body In the church, unity is vitally important. “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father as in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (Jn 17:20-21, ESV). “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Cor 1:10, ESV).

7 A Unified Body EPHESIANS 2:11-22

8 A Unified Body The church at Ephesus seems to have been made up mainly of Gentiles.

9 A Unified Body The church at Ephesus seems to have been made up mainly of Gentiles. “He entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him” (Acts 19:8-9, ESV).

10 A Unified Body The church at Ephesus seems to have been made up mainly of Gentiles. “He entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him” (Acts 19:8-9, ESV). Obviously, some Jews were converted, for Luke mentions “disciples.”

11 A Unified Body The church at Ephesus seems to have been made up mainly of Gentiles. “He entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him” (Acts 19:8-9, ESV). Obviously, some Jews were converted, for Luke mentions “disciples.” But, the synagogue quickly became hostile toward Paul’s preaching.

12 A Unified Body The church at Ephesus seems to have been made up mainly of Gentiles. Acts 19:8-9. Many sorcerers were converted in Ephesus.

13 A Unified Body The church at Ephesus seems to have been made up mainly of Gentiles. Acts 19:8-9. Many sorcerers were converted in Ephesus. “Many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver” (Acts 19:18-19, ESV).

14 A Unified Body The church at Ephesus seems to have been made up mainly of Gentiles. Acts 19:8-9. Many sorcerers were converted in Ephesus. “Many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver” (Acts 19:18-19, ESV). It’s difficult to see Jews as sorcerers.

15 A Unified Body The church at Ephesus seems to have been made up mainly of Gentiles. Acts 19:8-9. Many sorcerers were converted in Ephesus (Acts 19:18-19). The riot in Ephesus was over idols (Acts 19:21ff).

16 A Unified Body The church at Ephesus seems to have been made up mainly of Gentiles. Acts 19:8-9. Many sorcerers were converted in Ephesus (Acts 19:18-19). The riot in Ephesus was over idols (Acts 19:21ff). First- century Jews would not have been purchasing idols.

17 A Unified Body In this passage, Paul speaks of bringing Jews & Gentiles alike into “A Unified Body.”

18 A Unified Body In this passage, Paul speaks of bringing Jews & Gentiles alike into “A Unified Body.” We don’t know why Paul felt he needed to write to the Ephesians about being unified.

19 A Unified Body In this passage, Paul speaks of bringing Jews & Gentiles alike into “A Unified Body.” We don’t know why Paul felt he needed to write to the Ephesians about being unified. We know that some Jews were members of this church (Acts 19).

20 A Unified Body In this passage, Paul speaks of bringing Jews & Gentiles alike into “A Unified Body.” We don’t know why Paul felt he needed to write to the Ephesians about being unified. We know that some Jews were members of this church (Acts 19). Were they causing the Gentiles to feel inferior?

21 A Unified Body In this passage, Paul speaks of bringing Jews & Gentiles alike into “A Unified Body.” We don’t know why Paul felt he needed to write to the Ephesians about being unified. We know that some Jews were members of this church (Acts 19). Were they causing the Gentiles to feel inferior? Were other congregations—composed mostly of Jews— causing these Gentiles to feel inferior?

22 A Unified Body In this passage, Paul speaks of bringing Jews & Gentiles alike into “A Unified Body.” We don’t know why Paul felt he needed to write to the Ephesians about being unified. The historical situation might throw some light on the passage.

23 A Unified Body In this passage, Paul speaks of bringing Jews & Gentiles alike into “A Unified Body.” We don’t know why Paul felt he needed to write to the Ephesians about being unified. The historical situation might throw some light on the passage. But, our lack of knowledge doesn’t change the thrust of the text.

24 A Unified Body In this passage, Paul speaks of bringing Jews & Gentiles alike into “A Unified Body.” We don’t know why Paul felt he needed to write to the Ephesians about being unified. The historical situation might throw some light on the passage. But, our lack of knowledge doesn’t change the thrust of the text. Jew & Gentile alike can come to Christ is “A Unified Body.”

25 A Unified Body WE NEED THIS LESSON ON UNITY.

26 A Unified Body Each congregation has its own “culture.”

27 A Unified Body Each congregation has its own “culture.” Each congregation has its own history.

28 A Unified Body Each congregation has its own “culture.” Each congregation has its own history. Each congregation is constantly changing.

29 A Unified Body THIS MORNING’S TEXT PROVIDES A BASIS FOR UNITY.

30 A Unified Body THIS MORNING’S TEXT PROVIDES A BASIS FOR UNITY. A COMMON CURSE A COMMON CONCILIATOR A COMMON CORNERSTONE

31 A Unified Body A COMMON CURSE vv 11-12

32 A Unified Body “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— 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” (vv 11-12, ESV).

33 A Unified Body The Ephesian Gentiles together shared a common curse.

34 A Unified Body The Ephesian Gentiles together shared a common curse. Notice that Paul lumps these Gentiles together in their condemnation.

35 A Unified Body The Ephesian Gentiles together shared a common curse. Notice that Paul lumps these Gentiles together in their condemnation. “Remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh... were... separated from Christ.”

36 A Unified Body The Ephesian Gentiles together shared a common curse. Notice that Paul lumps these Gentiles together in their condemnation. “Remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh... were... separated from Christ.” It’s not that some of them were condemned & others were just fine.

37 A Unified Body Did not all of us share a common curse before our conversion?

38 A Unified Body Did not all of us share a common curse before our conversion? Is there a single one of us who wasn’t really that bad before we were washed in Jesus’ blood?

39 A Unified Body Did not all of us share a common curse before our conversion? Is there a single one of us who wasn’t really that bad before we were washed in Jesus’ blood? We often categorize our sins & think that we might not have been that bad without Jesus.

40 A Unified Body Did not all of us share a common curse before our conversion? Is there a single one of us who wasn’t really that bad before we were washed in Jesus’ blood? We often categorize our sins & think that we might not have been that bad without Jesus. Paul does not do that here.

41 A Unified Body Did not all of us share a common curse before our conversion? Is there a single one of us who wasn’t really that bad before we were washed in Jesus’ blood? We often categorize our sins & think that we might not have been that bad without Jesus. Paul does not do that here. Not a single one of these Gentiles had hope or God without Jesus!

42 A Unified Body We all stood under a common curse before Jesus.

43 A Unified Body We all stood under a common curse before Jesus. “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Rom 1:18, ESV).

44 A Unified Body We all stood under a common curse before Jesus. “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Rom 1:18, ESV). God doesn’t reveal his wrath against your sins, but not against mine.

45 A Unified Body We all stood under a common curse before Jesus. “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Rom 1:18, ESV). God doesn’t reveal his wrath against your sins, but not against mine. God’s wrath “is revealed... against all ungodliness and unrighteousness.”

46 A Unified Body We all stood under a common curse before Jesus. “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Rom 1:18, ESV). “All that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world” (1 Jn 2:16, ESV).

47 A Unified Body We all stood under a common curse before Jesus. “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Rom 1:18, ESV). “All that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world” (1 Jn 2:16, ESV). John doesn’t say that your desires were from the world, while mine were from the Father.

48 A Unified Body We all stood under a common curse before Jesus. “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Rom 1:18, ESV). “All that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world” (1 Jn 2:16, ESV). John doesn’t say that your desires were from the world, while mine were from the Father. “All that is in the world... is not from the Father.”

49 A Unified Body WHAT IS THE COMMON CURSE?

50 A Unified Body We were separated from Christ.

51 A Unified Body We were separated from Christ—we neither had fellowship with him, nor the blessings that fellowship brings.

52 A Unified Body We were separated from Christ. We were alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise.

53 A Unified Body We were separated from Christ. We were alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise. These Gentiles did not have God’s blessings because they were not numbered with God’s people.

54 A Unified Body We were separated from Christ. We were alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise. These Gentiles did not have God’s blessings because they were not numbered with God’s people. Before we were converted, we did not have God’s blessings because we were not numbered with God’s people.

55 A Unified Body We were separated from Christ. We were alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise. We had no hope.

56 A Unified Body We were separated from Christ. We were alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise. We had no hope. This world is largely a mass of humanity without hope.

57 A Unified Body We were separated from Christ. We were alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise. We had no hope. This world is largely a mass of humanity without hope. Much pop psychology is centered around how to help people “feel better.”

58 A Unified Body We were separated from Christ. We were alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise. We had no hope. This world is largely a mass of humanity without hope. Much pop psychology is centered around how to help people “feel better.” Regardless of what Dr. Phil says, without Jesus there cannot be true hope.

59 A Unified Body We were separated from Christ. We were alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise. We had no hope. We were without God in the world.

60 A Unified Body We were separated from Christ. We were alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise. We had no hope. We were without God in the world—we had no fellowship with God, nor did we have blessings resulting from that fellowship.

61 A Unified Body ARE YOU UNDER THE COMMON CURSE?

62 A Unified Body A COMMON CONCILIATOR vv 13-18

63 A Unified Body “Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 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, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father” (vv 13-18, ESV).

64 A Unified Body Rabbis used the contrast between “far off” & “near” to refer to Gentiles (“far off”) & Jews (“near”).

65 A Unified Body Rabbis used the contrast between “far off” & “near” to refer to Gentiles (“far off”) & Jews (“near”). The point is they were once estranged from God, but are now in fellowship with him.

66 A Unified Body These Gentiles were brought near by the blood of Christ.

67 A Unified Body These Gentiles were brought near by the blood of Christ. All of these Gentiles were brought near by the same means: the blood of Christ.

68 A Unified Body These Gentiles were brought near by the blood of Christ. All of these Gentiles were brought near by the same means: the blood of Christ. There isn’t a single person who has been brought near some other way.

69 A Unified Body The only way to find forgiveness is in Jesus’ blood.

70 A Unified Body The only way to find forgiveness is in Jesus’ blood. “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God” (Rom 5:9, ESV).

71 A Unified Body The only way to find forgiveness is in Jesus’ blood. “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God” (Rom 5:9, ESV). “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Pt 1:18- 19, ESV).

72 A Unified Body Jesus also brought conciliation by breaking down the religious & social barriers between people.

73 A Unified Body Jesus also brought conciliation by breaking down the religious & social barriers between people. Jesus did so by breaking down “the dividing wall of hostility.”

74 A Unified Body Jesus also brought conciliation by breaking down the religious & social barriers between people. Jesus did so by breaking down “the dividing wall of hostility.” At the edge of the Temple court was an inscription that warned Gentiles they would be killed if they went beyond the wall.

75 A Unified Body Jesus also brought conciliation by breaking down the religious & social barriers between people. Jesus did so by breaking down “the dividing wall of hostility.” At the edge of the Temple court was an inscription that warned Gentiles they would be killed if they went beyond the wall. The Jews took the “dividing wall” so seriously that they were allowed to kill Jews who went beyond it.

76 A Unified Body Jesus also brought conciliation by breaking down the religious & social barriers between people. Jesus did so by breaking down “the dividing wall of hostility.” Interestingly, Paul writes this Epistle from prison.

77 A Unified Body Jesus also brought conciliation by breaking down the religious & social barriers between people. Jesus did so by breaking down “the dividing wall of hostility.” Interestingly, Paul writes this Epistle from prison. His “crime?”

78 A Unified Body Jesus also brought conciliation by breaking down the religious & social barriers between people. Jesus did so by breaking down “the dividing wall of hostility.” Interestingly, Paul writes this Epistle from prison. His “crime?” He was falsely accused of taking a Gentile beyond the “dividing wall.”

79 A Unified Body Jesus also brought conciliation by breaking down the religious & social barriers between people. Jesus did so by breaking down “the dividing wall of hostility.” Interestingly, Paul writes this Epistle from prison. His “crime?” He was falsely accused of taking a Gentile beyond the “dividing wall.” The Jews said, “Moreover, he even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place” (Acts 21:28, ESV).

80 A Unified Body Jesus also brought conciliation by breaking down the religious & social barriers between people. Jesus did so by breaking down “the dividing wall of hostility.” Jesus broke down the “dividing wall of hostility” by abolishing the Law that separated Jew & Gentile.

81 A Unified Body Jesus also brought conciliation by breaking down the religious & social barriers between people. Jesus did so by breaking down “the dividing wall of hostility.” Jesus broke down the “dividing wall of hostility” by abolishing the Law that separated Jew & Gentile. Because that Law has been abolished, anyone can come to Christ.

82 A Unified Body EACH OF US COMES FROM A DIFFERENT RELIGIOUS & SOCIAL BACKGROUND.

83 A Unified Body EACH OF US COMES FROM A DIFFERENT RELIGIOUS & SOCIAL BACKGROUND. None of that matters in Jesus, for he is our Common Conciliator.

84 A Unified Body A COMMON CORNERSTONE vv 19-22

85 A Unified Body “You are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (vv 19-22, ESV).

86 A Unified Body Instead of being divided into different groups, we are now part of the church of the living God.

87 A Unified Body Instead of being divided into different groups, we are now part of the church of the living God. In this text, Paul uses three different images to speak of the church.

88 A Unified Body Instead of being divided into different groups, we are now part of the church of the living God. In this text, Paul uses three different images to speak of the church. The church is “the household of God.”

89 A Unified Body Instead of being divided into different groups, we are now part of the church of the living God. In this text, Paul uses three different images to speak of the church. The church is “the household of God”—this image expresses the unity of a family.

90 A Unified Body Instead of being divided into different groups, we are now part of the church of the living God. In this text, Paul uses three different images to speak of the church. The church is “the household of God.” The church is also a “structure.”

91 A Unified Body Instead of being divided into different groups, we are now part of the church of the living God. In this text, Paul uses three different images to speak of the church. The church is “the household of God.” The church is also a “structure.” Notice the use of the singular here—“the whole structure,” not “structures.”

92 A Unified Body Instead of being divided into different groups, we are now part of the church of the living God. In this text, Paul uses three different images to speak of the church. The church is “the household of God.” The church is also a “structure.” Notice the use of the singular here—“the whole structure,” not “structures.” When you build a “whole structure,” all the different parts work for the unity of that building.

93 A Unified Body Instead of being divided into different groups, we are now part of the church of the living God. In this text, Paul uses three different images to speak of the church. The church is “the household of God.” The church is also a “structure.” The church is also a “holy temple in the Lord.”

94 A Unified Body Instead of being divided into different groups, we are now part of the church of the living God. In this text, Paul uses three different images to speak of the church. The church is “the household of God.” The church is also a “structure.” The church is also a “holy temple in the Lord.” There was only one temple in Jerusalem.

95 A Unified Body WHAT UNIFIES THIS HOUSEHOLD, STRUCTURE, & TEMPLE?

96 A Unified Body WHAT UNIFIES THIS HOUSEHOLD, STRUCTURE, & TEMPLE? That structure is being “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone.”

97 A Unified Body “The apostles and prophets” are the foundation of the church in that the church is built on their words.

98 A Unified Body “The apostles and prophets” are the foundation of the church in that the church is built on their words. We are studying Paul’s words & have explored what Luke wrote in Acts 19.

99 A Unified Body “The apostles and prophets” are the foundation of the church in that the church is built on their words. We are studying Paul’s words & have explored what Luke wrote in Acts 19. Of course, the words of Paul & Luke are the words of God, not of Paul & Luke.

100 A Unified Body Jesus to the Apostles: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come” (Jn 16:13, ESV).

101 A Unified Body Jn 16:13. Paul always claimed to speak the very words of God.

102 A Unified Body Jn 16:13. Paul always claimed to speak the very words of God. “If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord” (1 Cor 14:37, ESV).

103 A Unified Body Jn 16:13. Paul always claimed to speak the very words of God. “If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord” (1 Cor 14:37, ESV). “We also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God” (1 Thess 2:13, ESV).

104 A Unified Body We are “A Unified Body” in that we follow the words of the Apostles.

105 A Unified Body We are “A Unified Body” in that we follow the words of the Apostles. You don’t follow your opinion, while I follow mine.

106 A Unified Body We are “A Unified Body” in that we follow the words of the Apostles. You don’t follow your opinion, while I follow mine. You don’t follow one creed book, while I follow another.

107 A Unified Body Jesus Christ is our common cornerstone.

108 A Unified Body Jesus Christ is our common cornerstone. We seek to honor & follow his words.

109 A Unified Body Jesus Christ is our common cornerstone. We seek to honor & follow his words. “Everyone... who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Mt 5:24, ESV).

110 A Unified Body Jesus Christ is our common cornerstone. We seek to honor & follow his words. “Everyone... who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Mt 5:24, ESV). Only the foolish fail to hear & heed Jesus’ words.

111 A Unified Body Jesus Christ is our common cornerstone. We seek to honor & follow his words. But, this means far more than following Jesus’ words.

112 A Unified Body Jesus Christ is our common cornerstone. We seek to honor & follow his words. But, this means far more than following Jesus’ words. Our allegiance is to him & him alone.

113 A Unified Body Jesus Christ is our common cornerstone. We seek to honor & follow his words. But, this means far more than following Jesus’ words. Our allegiance is to him & him alone. “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Lk 16:33, ESV).

114 A Unified Body Jesus Christ is our common cornerstone. We seek to honor & follow his words. But, this means far more than following Jesus’ words. Our allegiance is to him & him alone. “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Lk 16:33, ESV). “Whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Mt 10:38, ESV).

115 A Unified Body Jesus Christ is our common cornerstone. We seek to honor & follow his words. But, this means far more than following Jesus’ words. Our allegiance is to him & him alone. As a body, our allegiance is strictly to Jesus.

116 A Unified Body Jesus Christ is our common cornerstone. We seek to honor & follow his words. But, this means far more than following Jesus’ words. Our allegiance is to him & him alone. As a body, our allegiance is strictly to Jesus. I don’t follow a certain teacher, or preacher, or elder—I follow Jesus.

117 A Unified Body Jesus Christ is our common cornerstone. We seek to honor & follow his words. But, this means far more than following Jesus’ words. Our allegiance is to him & him alone. As a body, our allegiance is strictly to Jesus. I don’t follow a certain teacher, or preacher, or elder—I follow Jesus. I’m not concerned about that “hypocrite” next to me—I’m concerned with how closely I’m following Jesus.

118 A Unified Body Jesus Christ is our common cornerstone. We seek to honor & follow his words. But, this means far more than following Jesus’ words. Our allegiance is to him & him alone. As a body, our allegiance is strictly to Jesus. I don’t follow a certain teacher, or preacher, or elder—I follow Jesus. I’m not concerned about that “hypocrite” next to me—I’m concerned with how closely I’m following Jesus. I don’t have time to pay attention to you in worship—all of my energy is directed toward praising my Jesus.

119 A Unified Body HOW CLOSELY ARE YOU FOLLOWING JESUS?

120 A Unified Body HOW CLOSELY ARE YOU FOLLOWING JESUS? Do you need to come & begin following him with your all?

121 A Unified Body HOW CLOSELY ARE YOU FOLLOWING JESUS? Do you need to be washed in his blood because you are under the curse?


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