June 23, 2022
“So, then, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets...”
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“So, then, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole building, being put together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you are also being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22
I love going to church! Every week, folks of varied ethnic, economic, and educational backgrounds come to worship the Lord together. I love it when people, who would otherwise never mingle, come together in close community simply to seek God. Most of us know Jesus in a saving way, and I pray the rest will know His salvation soon!
I didn’t grow up in a culture that readily embraced unity, even for the sake of the Gospel. I grew up in the Southern U.S., towards the end of an era of horrible racial division. I recall an instance when I was a fifth-grader in Mississippi. On the way to school, my school bus pulled to the side of the road. The door opened, and a member of the Ku Klux Klan, in full robe and hood, boarded our bus and passed out “hate literature.” You see, we were “white” kids being bussed to schools in “black” neighborhoods. That enraged an unsavory element in the backwoods culture.
The disgusting irony of the KKK is how they use the “cross” as their central icon, albeit a burning one. The argument that Jesus loves all people, regardless of race, to the point where He would die for them is lost on racists. Their actions and values are by no means “Christian.”
From reading the Bible, we understand that Jesus would never endorse the agenda of a group like the Klan! The same goes for the actions of the Nazis, medieval Crusaders, and Spanish Inquisition. While each of these “hate groups” claimed to speak on behalf of God, their agendas simply couldn’t jive with the life and teachings of Jesus.
That’s not to say Jesus won’t judge sin. I am simply saying that sin is not specific to any people group. Everyone, regardless of ethnic or social standing, is born into sin and needs atonement. Jesus makes His gracious plea of atonement, by His grace through our faith, to all men, regardless of ethnicity or socio-economic status.
I chose this passage today because the church continues to grow. We are expanding in terms of numbers by grace and knowledge of God’s Word. I believe God is building our group, human stone upon stone. The cornerstone of our group is the Cornerstone of our faith: Messiah, Himself. We are diverse but unified in the knowledge that Jesus is the only way to salvation for all who believe. Regardless of our sin origin, we share a common destination, and each of us has become an altogether new creation by His grace. We read the Word, and we sing His praises. It is evident He has brought us together because His Spirit abides within and among us!