Message Monday 9/4/17 – Love Your Neighbor Through The Church: Church On Display

Chuck Foreman – Teaching / Missions Pastor

Because we have Christ in common, we are experiencing a new, restored community where barriers, dividing walls and hostility between people are all being broken down and replaced by genuine reconciliation and true brotherhood. This does not happen in our world, but it is the norm in the Family of God—or at least it should be. If it isn’t, we are not the Family God is building on earth.

I the Book of Ephesians we see a remarkable story unfold about the unique organism God has conceived on earth to remedy a giant problem. You see, his plan to redeem lost humanity was veering off course because the people he brought about to share his love to the nations, hated the nations and the pagan, gentile nations hated them, God’s People, Israel. The new, united humanity God intended to create was not happening because his own people didn’t get it!  It was a mystery to them and only in Christ could they begin to understand what God had up his sleeve for them and for all humanity. It all becomes very clear in Ephesians chapter 3. I’ve outlined it for you here, but you should really read it for yourself to get the full, wonderful scope of what God has and is continuing to do on earth in our midst, among us and through us.

GOD’s Story— Church on Display, Ephesians 3:2-11

  1. The Mystery, Ephesians 3:6

No more division, but a New Humanity!

  1. The Display, Ephesians 3:10a

The Church is the Display.  People, that’s us!

  1. The Spectators, Ephesians 3:10b-11

The rulers & authorities in heavenly realms will look down and observe all the wonderful things that God is doing on earth through His People. The holy angels will rejoice and affirm that what they see is good and in line with God’s plan—his eternal purpose.

And the ‘spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms (Eph. 6:12), Satan and his demons, will look on and witness the undoing of all they have done to destroy God’s good world. They will see the fulfillment of the Apostle John’s words, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”  (1 John 3:8)  And God will say to them, “See, I told you that I would make all things new, and I’m doing it thru my people!”

And here’s what they will see:

  • Men & women of every race, estranged from their Creator and hating each other, coming together and learning to love each other in Christ.
  • Marriages and families healed.
  • Addicts delivered from their bondage to drugs and alcohol.
  • Prisoners set free and living productive, godly lives.
  • The poor/homeless cared for and their dignity restored so they can lift themselves out of poverty.
  • The illiterate hearing and learning to tell God’s Story to their families and neighbors so that entire communities are transformed by the Good News.
  • Native American reservations transformed by their own tribal members who are making their land and their people productive so that their nation flourishes all because of the liberating love and wisdom of God.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ being built in dark places like the Mathare Slum so that what was once the Valley of Darkness will be called the Mountain of God.
  • And they will see forsaken communities like Sunnyslope in Phoenix transformed into Eden in the Desert.

Question: When the rulers & authorities look down on all the good that’s happening in our world, do they see you right in the middle of the marvelous fray?  Are you part of God’s Grand Display of the undoing of the Enemy’s work—the restoration of lives and communities in your world? Are you? You can be!  Join us here at FCC because we are NECK DEEP in solving these big problems. It’s challenging, but it’s great, fulfilling fun— and there’s no better way to live than to know you are partnering with your Creator to fulfill his eternal purpose on earth, now!

The Church is on display. We are being watched. May we, like Jesus, always be about our Father’s business, so that those who see what we do and how we live are eyewitnesses of a transformed people who are transforming their world! We can do it. It’s what we were created for!

 

Right On!             

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