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"The Call to Hope"

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Only through Christ there is hope

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2272 Hopeless Story Of Noah
A little boy heard the noted American preacher, Howard Thurman, preach in India. One night after he and Mrs. Thurman had gone to bed, there was a knock at the door. Opening it, there stood a lad whose clothing marked him as an untouchable. In broken, but polite, English he said: “I stood outside the building and listened to your lecture, Sahib Doctor. Tell me, please, can you give some hope to a nobody?” Whereupon the Indian boy dropped to his knees in admiration and reverence as the compassionate black Christian attempted to communicate the meaning of Christ’s invitation: “Please come, everything is now ready” (, NEB).
And the Lord said unto Noah: “Where is the ark which I have commanded thee to build?”
And Noah said unto the Lord: “Verily, I have had three carpenters off ill. The gopher-wood supplier hath let me down—yea, even though the gopher wood hath been on order for high upon 12 months. What can I do, O Lord?”
NEB The New English Bible
And God said unto Noah: “I want that ark finished even after seven days and seven nights.”
G. Curtis Jones, 1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1986), 120–121.
And Noah said: “It will be so.”
And it was not so. And the Lord said unto Noah: “What seemeth to be the trouble this time?”
And Noah said unto the Lord: “Mine subcontractor hath gone bankrupt. The pitch which Thou commandest me to put on the outside and on the inside of the ark hath not arrived. The plumber hath gone on strike. Shem, my son who helpeth me on the ark side of the business, hath formed a pop group with his brothers Ham and Japheth. Lord, I am undone.”
And the Lord grew angry and said: “And what about the animals, the male and the female of every sort that I ordered to come unto thee to keep their seed alive upon the face of the earth?”
And Noah said: “They have been delivered unto the wrong address but should arrive on Friday.”
And the Lord said: “How about the unicorns, and the fowls of the air by sevens?”
And Noah wrung his hands and wept, saying: “Lord, unicorns are a discontinued line; thou canst not get them for love nor money. And fowls of the air are sold only in half-dozens, Lord. Lord, Thou knowest how it is.”
And the Lord in His wisdom said: “Noah, my son, I knowest. Why else dost thou think I have caused a flood to descend upon the earth?”
Journal of Royal Institute of British Architects
We now come in this twelfth verse to look at, and to deal in detail with namely, how could these Ephesians who were Gentiles, uncircumcised—how could they possibly be brought into the Christian Church and be joined with Jewish Christians to form one new body, the Christian Church? That is the question with which the apostle deals here.

(NKJV) 12that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

12that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
For us to understand the passage must have a clear mind on what the distinction between Jews and Gentiles means and what it represents. It was at that point that the Jews had gone astray.
The external sign alone meant everything. It was something in the flesh.
Is a man circumcised? Then he is all right, he is one of God’s people.
Is he uncircumcised? Then he is all wrong and has no hope.
The Jews had completely misunderstood the point, the purpose, and the spirit of circumcision.

The Failure: Could not see or realize that the whole object of this was something spiritual in the mind of God.

(NKJV)
28For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;
29but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
Paul’s Concerns: When some people hear that there is no longer circumcision or uncircumcision, Jew or Gentile, and so on, are prone to say:
“Well then, we need pay no attention to these things
Some Christians have been foolish enough to say that because we are Christians we do not need the Old Testament.
Paul addresses the Ephesians in Chapter 2:11-18, teaching on “Remember what life is like Since Christ Came.” His approach is to look at the negative before the positive:

Note: “No man will ever rejoice in Christ as he should unless he realizes what his position was before he became a Christian.”

Six Things kept us from God, before Christ: 1. We were barricaded from God by the Jews 2. We were without Christ 3. We were “aliens” from God’s people, that is, from Israel. 4. We were “strangers from the covenant and promises of God.” 5. We had “no hope.” 6. We were “without God in the world.”

We were barricaded from God by the Jews
We were without Christ
1. We were barricaded from God by the Jews
fail in there mission, became exclusive, super-spiritual, prideful, and boastful in their religion and failed to reach out to the other people of the world.
We were “aliens” from God’s people, that is, from Israel.
2. We were without Christ
We as Gentiles neither knew nor expected the Messiah. We had no hope of the the coming Saviour for the world
3. We were “aliens” from God’s people, that is, from Israel. We were not citizens of God’s people—the nation of people being built by God himself.
We were “strangers from the covenant and promises of God.”
4. We were “strangers from the covenant and promises of God.” We were not the covenant of God.
We had “no hope.”
5. We had “no hope.” We as Gentiles lived in all the fears and the anxieties of life and in constant expectancy of death.
We were “without God in the world.”
We had no hope of a life beyond this world beyond human history
6. We were “without God in the world.”
We stood alone in this world.
We had no source of strength or hope beyond ourselves
We had “gods many, and lords many” (), but we were aliened from the only living and true God
(NKJV)
8‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.
(NKJV)
20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
21because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22Professing to be wise, they became fools,
(NKJV)
25who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
(NKJV)
17This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind,
18having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;
19who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Hope for Nobodys
A little boy heard the noted American preacher, Howard Thurman, preach in India. One night after he and Mrs. Thurman had gone to bed, there was a knock at the door. Opening it, there stood a lad whose clothing marked him as an untouchable. In broken, but polite, English he said: “I stood outside the building and listened to your lecture, Sahib Doctor. Tell me, please, can you give some hope to a nobody?” Whereupon the Indian boy dropped to his knees in admiration and reverence as the compassionate black Christian attempted to communicate the meaning of Christ’s invitation: “Please come, everything is now ready” (
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