July 18, 2021: 8th Sunday after Pentecost

Let us pray: Dear Savior, thank You for coming and saving us.  Thank You for assuming our flesh into Yours and thus linking us to God.  For in the  process You’ve made us part of the most powerful, most glorious assembly in the universe—Your Holy Christian Church.  Amen


TEXT: Eph. 2: 13-22

Dearly Beloved By Christ: 

          How DID the New Testament Christian Church survive?  It started in a backwater country called Israel.  One obscure Man with a messiah complex gathered a few followers, did some supposed miracles, preached for 3 years and then the Romans crucified Him.  After that there were rumors about him coming back from the dead, but the Romans couldn’t verify it.  Then some of those disciples tried to spread his message of forgiving love across the empire.   They had little or no money.  No political clout.  They were imprisoned, beaten, and even put to death.  Yet within a lifetime Christians existed in every part of the known world.   How did this happen?  The Romans always sought to divide and conquer.  But these people stuck together like glue!  “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”


          Unlike all other human relationships, Christianity is between God and human beings.  It has a divine origin and divine unity.  It links us with God. How?  “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.”   It takes a very special person to admit when they’re wrong.  We hate swallowing our pride, which is bitter.—That should tell us something since it comes from inside us!  And so hostility is the usual result of people interacting and sharing their views about everything.  Think of our polarized society and how people shout others down today.  This is why America is ridden by strife and disunity.

          But not so when it comes the believers in Christ!  Why?  “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one (humanity and divinity were united together in Him at Christmas) and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law (God’s moral code) with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.”

          Selfish pride is born of sin.  Sin creates hostility—between people and between people and God.  We always think we’re right—even if God’s laws disagree with our view.  This, in turn, leads to violence and even death.  Truth is always right.  God, Who is Truth, is always right.  Swallowing our pride and admitting it is hard.  On our own we fail to perfectly do so.  This is the birth-parent of hostility.  It’s why when the world ends, the last Man standing is Jesus Christ!  For He conquered hostility between God and man by suffering death for us and then by rising to life—eternal.  Yes, “the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin.


          This truth is the most life-altering message in the universe! It is the most amazing Truth there is!  And this Truth sets souls free from pride and hostility and unites us with God.  Yes, “He came and preached peace to you who were far away (Gentiles) and peace to those who were near “Jews.” For through him we both have access to the Father by one  Spirit.”

          Remember the old dictum: “United we stand divided we fall”?  Christ is a Unifier.  When we believe in Him nothing else matters.  Not sickness, not money, not social status, not death.  This is why the early church grew and still survives and always will.  It survives, we survive, because Christ survives via His resurrection. 

          “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (the bible) with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.  In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

          As you walk out the door into this ravaged world, resolve to show and also tell them what real unity looks  like—and why….Amen THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH…..

Pastor Thomas H. Fox

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