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Why Church?

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Reading: Ephesians 2:11-22
And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:22 (NIV)

I.   Jesus’ Purpose

     A.  From “Them” to “We” (12-13)

           1.  Division is part of the past

                 a.  Circumcision (symbolically) divided

                 b.  Jews were separate from Gentiles

                 c.  Faithful were separate from Fallen

           2.  We were separate from Christ & them (2:12)

                 a.  We were excluded from citizenship

                 b.  We were far away (2:13)

                 c.  We were a hopeless/Godless cause

           3.  Now we are together in Christ

                 a.  We’ve been brought near (2:13)

                 b.  He is our peace (2:14)

                 c.  Jesus does away with our division

     B.  He creates a new Person (15)

           1.  Jesus is the one doing this!

                 a.  His death abolishes the dividing reg’s

                 b.  The cross is our common way to God

                 c.  His purpose: to create one new person

           2.  One new man/person = very unified!

                 a.  Not a new humanity/kind of person

                 b.  A new person–all of us are this person

                 c.  As in the metaphor: Christ’s bride

           3.  One body (2:16)

                 a.  We’re one person w/ one body!

                 b.  In the body, thru the cross

                 c.  He put to death our hostility

II.  We are God’s Household

     A.  We are fellow Citizens (19)

           1.  We are full citizens under the same King

                 a.  No longer foreigners & aliens!

                 b.  We have full rights in the Kingdom!

                 c.  Our identity is 1st with this Kingdom

                 d.  We’re a part of something big

           2.  Ethnicity & background aren’t barriers

                 a.  Cultural divisions run deep!

                 b.  Can we trust people of diff backgrounds

                 c.  Jesus has overcome these barriers too!

                 d.  If these barriers are gone for Him, they must be gone for us!

     B.  We are part of a Family (19)

           1.  Members of God’s big ol’ household

                 a.  Not just in the same country/city /block

                 b.  In the same house!

                 c.  We eat at His table, play in His yard, talk in His living room . . .

           2.  More than citizens—Family!

                 a.  We’re adopted into God’s family

                 b.  Just as much His children as anyone!

                 c.  We’re a part of something intimate

                 d.  We’ve come home.

III. We are God’s Temple

     A.  Jesus is the Cornerstone (20)

           1.  An integral part of us (not just over us)

                 a.  He is our Lord and King

                 b.  We’re part of that same building:
you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house (1Pet 2:5a)

                 c.  We are a part of Him/He of us!

           2.  The starting point of our being together.

                 a.  Cornerstone: beginning point of bldg.

                 b.  Cornerstone: the authority/starting point of apostles and prophets

                 c.  Cornerstone isn’t an idea, theology but Jesus Himself!

     B.  He is building us Together (21-22)

           1.  In Christ the Church rises=is built upward

                 a.  It doesn’t come pre-fab

                 b.  It’s being built upward

                 c.  It rises to the heavens, pointing to God

           2.  He is building/putting us together

                 a.  A loosely fitted building can’t go high

                 b.  We are joined in Him He is our mortar

                 c.  He’s the builder (Not us!)

           3.  What God joins together, let’s not separate

                 a.  Thru individual-ism

                 b.  Thru fighting, one-upping, egoism

                 c.  By joining only as much as we meet our own needs.

     C.  Together we are the Spirit’s Dwelling

           1.  We don’t just go to Church

                 a.  Church isn’t a spiritual store where we go to consume spiritual goods

                 b.  We don’t attend Church (we attend the activities of a Church)

           2.  We belong to a Church

                 a.  Church is a place to belong–be a part of

                 b.  Church is a home; a life-center

                 c.  We belong together because God put us together!

           3.  Together we are a dwelling of the Spirit

                 a.  Together we are a temple (even tho each of our bodies are a temple too!)

                 b.  As we serve each other, love each other, worship & fellowship together, God’s Spirit lives in/among us.

                 c.  The temple isn’t in Jerusalem anymore, it’s us. This is where God lives now.

The Bottom Line:

We gather to Worship God, Who’s Plan is to make us into His People.

(HoR: R#546 We Are God’s People)

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