Dear San Lo Community, an update for the week of January 28, 2018…
Thank you Pastor Rod for the message from Ephesians 2:11-22, “A Peace Apiece.” People are often more concerned about what portion we get compared to others, and when we consider God’s peace, each of us wants a piece of God’s peace. From this passage we ask, “How does God’s peace impact us?”
Peace Excluded: (vv.11-12) 11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands… Paul says to these Gentile Christians, remember, you have forgotten where you came from. You were in the flesh and that was the problem. We are full of selfishness, but fortunately Jesus, the solution, came to us in the flesh. “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision – Paul is not using a derogatory way but the common way regarding Jews and Gentiles who had a disdain for one another throughout history yet God brings them together. 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Remember – the Gentiles had no relation to Jesus Christ. They were involved with idol worship. Look at the words used to describe them: separate… excluded… strangers … no hope… without God. Consider their new high position in light of former low standing. They were excluded, like immigrants without full national benefits.
Peace Included: (vv. 13-18) 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Paul is talking about the Gentiles being far off have been brought near – a Hebrew expression describes positions of Gentiles and Jews. Since the Jews were near the Temple, they thought they were near to God, but their hearts were far away. Nearness to God is not in physical proximity but in spiritual priority. Being near to God is being near to Christ. By the blood of Christ is the reason we are granted this. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one. emphasis is on He Himself. He does not just bring peace but He is our peace, not by Old Testament Law, not by works, not by merit. God’s work of peace comes only through the sacrifice of Jesus. Peace is Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ is peace. >span class="text">14b and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall. The Court of Gentiles kept them separated from the Temple proper. It was used for merchants, the selling of sacrificial animals. There had long been a barrier of hatred and the Temple was an illustration of that, but God broke down the wall, which brought the Jew and Gentile together. He did this 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances. It was not the Word of God but a set of regulations that excluded Gentiles. 15b so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace… two into one new man – not a new man in a point of time but a new quality, something that did not exist before. 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. Jesus is the point of convergence for Jew and Gentile to be one body which is the church. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near. preached peace to you who were far away - to >span class="text"> near – reconciliation is accomplish after enmity is slain. There is an inner assurance that Christ covered the cost, took the punishment, and granted salvation 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. Now we have access, more than prayer, we can rest in Him and have the freedom to approach the Father in confidence that we have favor with Him. Jesus carried cost for us on the cross so we can have assurance and peace that salvation is ours.
Peace Concluded: (vv.19-22) 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household… The separation is now reversed, you are no longer strangers and aliens but now you are fellow citizens. Jewish converts are no greater than Gentile believers. Admittance into God’s kingdom is the same for all, it is about our faith and love in Jesus that we are of God’s household. 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone. Paul now moves his illustration from household to building. Jesus is the cornerstone in our foundation. Where the primary load bearing walls came together, all other stones adjust to cornerstone. The building blocks are not just inanimate blocks but living stones, where each stone contributes to growth and beauty of the building so that it becomes a holy sanctuary. 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. Paul, speaks of the church being fitted together, to be the dwelling place of God, with permanence, beauty, protection, love, and fellowship.
The Doomsday clock now says there are only two minutes before midnight, the closest we have ever been to world destruction. Our lives are fragile, there is only one thing that grants security, permanence, or peace, and that is Jesus Christ. Some people look to the world to find a solution, but the only peace comes from the blood for Jesus Christ. Receive Jesus, and then you will have the peace of God.
Thank you Pam Yata for sharing from Ephesians 2:18-22 where believers in Jesus Christ are like building blocks, with all kinds of different kinds for use to make up the building. Every building needs a foundation, and that is on Jesus
2/2 7:11pm B.A.M.
2/3 8:30am Mission Prayer
2/4 12:30pm NAOMI House Arizona Mission Information Meeting
2/9 5:30pm Little House Potluck and Fellowship Time
2/18 both services Missions Moment - Japan /Xian
2/25 12:15pm Joint Fellowship Hour
2/25 12:45pm Important Church Meeting!
2/25 T.B.D. Mission Team Meeting
2/25 4:00pm JSei Crab Feed Fundraiser at El Cerrito Community Center 7007 Moeser Lane, El Cerriito
3/2-3 Bay Area Sunday School Convention in Castro Valley
3/4 both services Mission Moment - Special Camp
3/10 10am – 12pm Special Camp Information Meeting
3/10-20 Hosting Young Life Homestay Group
3/25 12:15pm Palm Sunday annual photo and Joint Fellowship Hour
3/30 7:00pm Good Friday services
Have a peaceful week in the grace of God,
Stan , for slzjcc