Faithlife Sermons

A Body United

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →

Unity in the Body

Eph. 2:11-22

I.  Introduction

a. We have so many identities

     i.      Ethnicity, our faith, role in family, organizations, place of service in the community or church or even a sports offers identities

b.       Consider all our different identities

     i.      What brings us together?

1.       being a winner

a.       I’m a huge USC football fan

b.       Nothing like being in the Colesium 100k fans

                                                                                                                                       i.      Band wagon fan

                                                                                                                                      ii.      Only there for the winning

2.       I don’t have much in common with them other than the color of our jerseys

                                                              ii.      Isn’t that true about most of our identities?

1.       Certain commonality

a.       whether it is our work, or organization or school

b.       there really isn’t much that exists after our purpose is over

                                                                                                                                       i.      when the purpose of our gathering is over- there is no comradere, deepening of personal relationships

                                                                                                                                      ii.      rarely have our lives changed by a high five with a fellow fan at Dodger stadium

c.        That’s what we want to examine today- what brings true unity?

                                                               i.      Is it just a commonality?

1.       there is nothing like the excitement and fervor of sports fans

a.       is that true unity?

2.       is it the mere external appearance?

a.       Looking like a Korean- does it make me inherently loyal to another Korean?

3.       is it the way we live or dress?

a.       Kylie and Katelyn has recently joined a neighborhood cheerleading squad

4.       is it an organization or club with structured outline of responsibilities

a.       joined a fraternity in college

                                                                                                                                       i.      there were requirements for membership

1.       first you had to be chosen

2.       then you pledge

a.       learning the Greek alphabet

b.       learning all the brothers’ names and titles and background

c.        there was the hazing

                                                                                                                                      ii.      grow out of that- not much of a true sense of unity there

d.       What is it in life that possesses that true, lasting identity that gives us a sense of purpose?

                                                               i.      Family

1.       our immediate blood family

2.       and our spiritual family

Reading of the Passage

Opening Prayer

II.                  Overcoming Disunity

a.       Special headache for a pastor

                                                               i.      Biggest problems of a church is clichés

b.       Jesus faced the same headache

                                                               i.      Reflected in His intercessory prayer John 17

1.       three times “they would be one” vv. 11, 21, 22

2.       “that they be perfected in unity”  v. 23

                                                              ii.      Jesus’ prayers were always answered for He prayed in the Father’s will

1.       every believer has been made spiritually one with God positionally

a.       positionally we are one with Christ

b.       “The one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.”  1 Cor. 6:17

2.       just as a physical body has life flowing through him

a.       so does a spiritual body

                                                                                                                                       i.      God’s spirit put’s the life of God in the soul of every believer

                                                                                                                                      ii.      And is united with every other believer in the same eternal realm

c.        Practically

                                                               i.      It is often times very tragically different

1.       20 years ago, pastor of a prosperous white church in the South

a.       Began to have biblestudy with a  black janitor

2.       contemporary African church

a.       missionary was deeply moved when witnessing these bitter enemies who once loved to brag about how many men, women and children the killed, raped and mained were now praising and singing to God

b.       where they once loved to shed each other’s blood now they come to praise the Lord who had shed His blood for all of them

                                                              ii.      that is the type of unity only Jesus Christ can bring

therefore Paul commands for us to maintain “being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”  Eph. 4:3-6

III.               Division of the Passage

a.       Two sections

                                                               i.      Alienation Apart From Christ

                                                              ii.      Unity Through Christ

IV.                Alienation Apart From Christ, vv. 11-12

a.       Social Alienation, v.11

                                                               i.      “Therefore”

1.       Paul is referring to just covering how we have been brought to life from our “trespasses and sins”

2.       we have been saved through faith, which is a gift of God

                                                              ii.      for a believer to build upon the solid rock we must first credit that our foundation is Christ

1.       nothing inspires gratitude in a saved sinner than to look back from the pit which he was just saved from

b.       “formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called ‘Uncircumcision’”

                                                               i.      Paul is referring to the external, social identification of Gentiles and Jews

1.       most obvious identification was circumcision

a.       common medical practice

                                                                                                                                       i.      most unnecessary procedure done in medicine

b.       unheard of

                                                                                                                                       i.      once saw a movie on WWII

1.       Europa, Europa

a.       Young man who before being examined by doctor went into a stall to try to pull his foreskin over his penis

c.        Purpose in their physical distinction

                                                               i.      Sovereignly, God chose the Jews to be His special people

                                                              ii.      God made Israel distinct for two reasons

1.       to realize they were not to live nor act like other men

2.       they would never be amalgamated with other people

a.       God gave them very strict dietary, clothing, marriage and ceremonies that made them very difficult to fit into another society

3.       those distinctions like His special blessings were to be a tool for witnessing

a.       but rather Israel perverted them to be used as a source of pride, isolation and self glory

d.       Sinful Human Nature to shutout other people?

                                                               i.      Great wall of China

                                                              ii.      Boundries for political reasons- Korea

                                                            iii.      Boundries for religious reasons- Ireland

                                                            iv.      Build fences for personal property

                                                             v.      Build fences at work

1.       we have come to develop a jargon for privacy “personal space”

a.       what do you do when you go into an elevator?

                                                                                                                                       i.      That’s why we will never have a successful mass transit system in LA

b.       We brought that same mentality within church

                                                                                                                                       i.      We need to sit in our own pews

                                                                                                                                      ii.      Privacy of our hearts is not enough

2.       even calling our church- with an ethnic tone

a.       Korean-American church

                                                                                                                                       i.      Sense of pride with neglect of how divisive it truly is

                                                                                                                                      ii.      We don’t really care how others feel as long as we feel comfortable

e.        Pitfall Israel found itself

                                                               i.      Israel not only received special blessings, it was to channel those blessings to all the other nations

1.       from the very beginning, it was God’s plan to use Abraham and the nation of Israel “that all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

                                                              ii.      Unfortunately through it’s social pride, it never achieved that calling

1.       that is why Paul has a tone of disdain by describing the Jews, “the so-called circumcision”

                                                           iii.      this calling is now placed upon the church

1.       “walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,”  but “lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and to be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on the new self, which is in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”  Eph. 4:17, 22-24

2.       church can find itself in the danger of proudly perverting special blessings into means of pride, isolation and self-satisfaction

a.       we may walk like we are more special than others

                                                                                                                                       i.      we walk as if we know it all

                                                                                                                                     ii.      we walk as if we are higher than though

1.       that’s why Paul sues the word “therefore”

2.       beginning of this passage

a.       “we have been saved by grace through faith not of ourselves so that no man shall boast”

b.       May we never become a people who fall to arrogance and pride as the Jews and missed their calling


V.                  Spiritual Alienation, v. 12

a.       Much more important than the social alienation is the spiritual alienation

b.       Although there was no moral differences, for God does not show partiality

                                                               i.      There was a difference in how He dealt with them as men

                                                             ii.      Before Christ

1.       Jews were the people of promise from God

c.        but the Gentiles were cut off in five different ways

                                                               i.      “separate from Christ”

1.       there was no hope for a Messianic savior or deliverer

a.       there history had no purpose, no destiny- except the ultimate judgment of God

b.       Stoic philosophers believed that the universe operated on a three thousand year cycle, then burn up and start all over again

c.        Even their gods were a reflection of men’s own weaknesses and sins

                                                                                                                                       i.      Artemis, the patron goddess of Ephesus

1.       was not pictured as a beautiful woman but an ugly beast with nipples hanging down on which her brood of beasts suckled

2.       it always show itself as a repulsive and forbidding light

3.       it thrives on fear and despair rather than trust and hope

a.       their gods are evil and capricious rather than holy and gracious

                                                                                                                                     ii.      Christian is not totally segregated from that

1.       whenever we are spiritually separated from God in our own sins

a.       are we not cynical?  Are we not equally doubtful of the future and express hopelessness?

d.       whether we as a church or as an individual Christian

                                                                                                                                       i.      consider how your walk is effecting those who are spiritual alienated from God

                                                                                                                                     ii.      your friends may have no destiny, no purpose other than judgment

                                                             ii.       “excluded from the commonwealth of Israel”

1.       God created Israel to be a theocracy

a.       A nation to be governed and ruled by God

                                                                                                                                       i.      Not by king nor president or prime minister

                                                                                                                                     ii.      King Saul as chosen only by the desires of the people

b.       He gave them special blessings, His own protection through His law, 10 commandments, He gave them His covenants, His priesthood, His sacrifices, His promises, His guidance, His love

                                                                                                                                       i.      And had the other nations accepted God as the true, one and only God, they too would have received God’s love

2.       my father is having some green card problems

a.       something my grandmother will never have

                                                                                                                                       i.      she became a citizen

                                                           iii.      “strangers to the covenants of promise”

1.       divine covenant is an agreement made by God which binds Himself to carry out His personal promise to His people

a.       we see that through out all of chapter one of Ephesians

                                                                                                                                       i.      it is God who through Himself is our redemption

                                                                                                                                     ii.      it is God who through Himself is our inheritance

2.       But it is only the one who has been given this faith- to have the eyes of our hearts opened

a.       That we can see the power of restoration for our lives

                                                                                                                                       i.      For faith and obedience is sure marks of one who has experienced the fulfillment of the covenant of God

b.       Heard that saying, “the best thing about fighting is making up”

                                                                                                                                       i.      That’s the closest some people will ever get to knowing the power of restoration and reconciliation

                                                            iv.      They are hopeless

1.       they have no Christ, no commonwealth, no covenant, no hope

2.       true hope only relies upon the one who is able to perform

a.       if someone makes a promise

                                                                                                                                       i.      does not our hope, the degree of hope of the promise fulfilled based upon the character of the person making the promise?

b.       One of my favorite sayings of leadership is a quote by Napoleon “A leader is one who deals in hope.”

                                                                                                                                       i.      w/o hope, future joy and enrichment- man is reduced to meaningless blob of cells

1.       that’s why I find moral atheists to be the most intriguing paradox

a.       granted we may be a mere accident

b.       what if there is no hope for salvation?

c.        What is the point in living?

d.       Movie Groundhog Day is one of the most profound theological movies to capture this point exactly

                                                                                                                                                                                                               i.      Scene when Bill Murray’s character is so frustrated that each day is the same day, frustrated with the monotony- he decides to kill himself

2.       he then takes advantage of the situation

a.       becomes a thief, he becomes a seducer of women

3.       not one who has Christ

a.       not even one who is a suffering Christian

                                                                                                                                       i.      Paul said in Romans 5:1-5

                                                              v.      “without God in this world”

1.       most importantly, they were without God

a.       this is not because they were atheists, they believed in gods

b.       pantheists- believed gods was in everything

                                                                                                                                       i.      the problem is they were w/o the true and living God

2.       why was this?  It is not because God rejected the Gentiles, He shows no partiality

a.       it was because man rejected God

                                                                                                                                       i.      God didn’t write His laws upon stone tablets tot eh Gentiles but wrote them on men’s hearts, Rom. 2:15

                                                                                                                                     ii.      “because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” – Rom. 1:19-20

                                                                                                                                   iii.      For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks,  Romans 1:21

3.       I couldn’t imagine life w/o God

a.       Not to have hope, not to have this unconditional love

b.       Could you imagine life w/o the intervention, the divine protection from God?

                                                                                                                                       i.      Sin gone amuck?  That’s why I am a pretribulationist

1.       there will be a time when all of hell’s gates will be unleashed

4.       for people who are alienated from God

a.       we are not talking about missing out on great deal

                                                                                                                                       i.      like this is some great stock market tip

                                                                                                                                     ii.      legitimate way to lose weight

1.       this is not a change in life styles

2.       we are not talking about a better system of morality

3.       we are talking about salvation, heaven and hell

b.       but just look into our intimate lives without hope, w/o redemption

c.        I couldn’t possibly live this life that is hard and difficult w/o God to turn to

                                                                                                                                       i.      my wife and I are not the perfect couple

                                                                                                                                     ii.      each time we fight, I always think of the kids

1.       the first time we fought, Katelyn was about two- she came between us and just cried


                                                                                                                                   iii.      life w/o God is not a life worth living

Related Media
Related Sermons