Parkland First Baptist Church
August 15, 2021
      • 1 Kings 5–6ESV

      • 2 Chronicles 2–3ESV

      • 1 Kings 7ESV

      • 2 Chronicles 4ESV

      • 1 Kings 8ESV

      • 2 Chronicles 5ESV

      • 2 Chronicles 6–7ESV

      • Psalm 136ESV

      • Psalm 134ESV

      • Psalm 146–150ESV

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        Worship Service

        November 29, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 10:00 AM
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        November 29, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 10:00 AM
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        I Don't Have Faith To Be An Atheist

        July 11, 2021 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
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        I Don't Have Faith To Be An Atheist

        July 11, 2021 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
  • Our Corporate Identity

    Still in Ephesians as we are looking at God’s grace through the church.
    Today we’ll look at Ephesians 2:11-22
    Went to Arkansas, biggest rivalry was Univ. of Texas.
    During the week leading up the annual football game, there was a total dislike shown all across the campus.
    In fact, it was seen in the whole state.
    Our Junior year, AR beat Texas and goal post were torn down in the stadium
    Victories were tough during that time.
    We live in a world of rivalries: Republican vs. Democrat; North vs. South; PC vs. Mac; Coke vs. Pepsi;
    For Washington fans it’s the Cougars, for Auburn fans, it is Alabama.
    For Michigan, it is Ohio State.
    Rivalries are everywhere.
    Then there are violent rivals who kill each other due to cultural and racial hostilities.
    Today’s passage describes a deep, complex, hostile rivalry between Jews and Gentiles, non-Jews.
    This rivalry was religious: Gentiles did not know the God of Israel.
    It was cultural: Jews had rituals, feasts, and ceremonies that distinguished them from the nations.
    It was racial: the Jews could boast of having the blood of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob flowing in their veins.
    Yet through Christ these two enemies have become friends
    In the cross we two directions
    Vertical where we were reconciled to God
    Horizontal sees us being reconciled to each other.
    Paul urges the church to “remember” these things so they may live with a greater sense of gratitude to God and greater love for one another as members of the church.
    Let’s read the passage together.

    Separation: Who We Once Were Verses 11-12

    Like the passage we looked at last week, Paul begins by looking at the condition prior to salvation.
    It’s a dark picture of what life was like apart from Christ.
    We were separated from God and the people of God.
    He says, “So then” remember who you once were.
    You were the “uncircumcised” as the “circumcised” called you.
    Circumcision was a sign of the covenant God had with the Jews.
    It was sign of obedience to Him.
    It would identify a person that he was a Jew forever.
    Lastly, it was a symbol of “cutting off” the old life of sin, purifying one’s heart and dedicating himself to God.
    Pious Jews considered all non-Jews to be ceremoniously unclean.
    Paul is addressing the Gentiles in this section.
    Because they were Gentiles, he says they were Christless.
    They were without the Messiah indicating that they had no hope in Christ.
    Remember they worshipped the goddess Diana and knew nothing of the Gospel.
    Paul is telling them that this state is definitely a tragedy.
    But anyone who is unsaved or lost without Christ and under condemnation.
    Second, they were foreigners verse 12b.
    This means they were excluded from the citizenship of Israel—God’s people.
    They were alienated from Israel.
    They were not part of the covenant people of God.
    These covenants with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Israel, and David were unknown to them.
    God gave these promises to Israel and not to the Gentile nations.
    Third, they were hopeless and Godless 12c
    Historians tell us that a great cloud of hopelessness covered the ancient world.
    Philosophies were empty; traditions were disappearing; religions were powerless to help men face either life or death.
    People longed to pierce the veil and get some message of hope from the other side, but there was none.
    But Israel had hope because God had given them these promises which gave them hope.
    The Gentiles didn’t know of them therefore there was a cloud of hopelessness.
    Before we trusted in Christ for salvation, we were in the same tragic position.
    We were separated from God and His people.
    We too need to “remember” this fact!
    You at one time were separated from Christ and gospel community.
    If we continue to remember where we came from, we will live with constant gratitude toward God and love toward His people.

    Reconciliation: What Christ Has Done Verses 13-18

    In verse 4 there was a great statement, “But God.”
    Here’s another “but” statement that shows a dramatic change had taken place.
    It was through the blood of Christ shed on the cross that brought us near to God.
    Contrasting the Gentile’s state with the now joyous reconciliation with Christ.
    The far had been brought near.
    Christ has brought the peace of God and others.
    He is the peacemaker.
    Peace is found in a person, Jesus.
    Christ has made us one verses 14-16
    Paul says that He “tore down the dividing wall”.
    His blood obliterated the old, long-standing division between Jew and Gentile.
    There was a wall in the Jewish temple, separating the court of the Gentiles from the rest of the temple areas.
    Archeologists have discovered the inscription from Herod’s temple, and it reads like this:
    “No foreigner may enter within the barricade which surrounds the sanctuary and enclosure. Anyone who is caught doing so will have himself to blame for his ensuing death.”
    While Paul could be referencing a this literal wall, it seem likely he was referring the barrier of “law consisting of commands and expresses in regulations.”
    The circumcision, ceremonial law, questions about food and drink, the festivals and the Sabbath.
    These commandment as regulations put up a huge wall between Jew and Gentile.
    Jesus set them all aside by dying on the cross.
    Paul might also be saying that Jesus abolished the law as a means of salvation through His death on the cross.
    A person is only accepted by God through the work of Christ, not through his own work.
    Stott summarizes: “Jesus abolished both the regulations of the ceremonial law and the condemnation of the moral law. Both were divisive. Both were put aside by the cross” (Ephesians, 101).
    As a result verse 15 says Christ created a new humanity with these two groups.
    Christ has created one new man. In Christ and in Christ alone this new man exists.
    In Christ a new corporate entity exists, which is the church.
    It is not as though Gentiles have been transformed into Jews or vice versa, but rather God has created one new man.
    They did not merely become one (though that is true); they have become better.
    Let me just say that we like to build fences today.
    People do it in all types of ways, but the cross of Christ brings unity.
    Racism among believers cannot be justified, and it must be resisted.
    Diversity in the church is a glorious demonstration of the work of Christ.
    It is to be celebrated because it pictures heaven.
    It demonstrates the one new man.
    In verse 17, we come back the peace that was achieved on the cross.
    It is now being preached or announced.
    He “made peace”, and He “preached peace”.
    As the Judge, He could have come to declare war.
    But in His grace, He came with the message of peace (Luke 2:8–14; 4:16–19).
    Jew and Gentile are at peace with each other in Christ, and both have open access to God (Rom. 5:1–2).
    This reminds us of the rent veil at the time of Christ’s death (Matt. 27:50–51; Heb. 10:14–25).
    Reconciliation is complete!
    If I may, Tony Merida in his commentary gave this illustration of the peace here.
    Charles Simeon. He had no mother to nurture him. His father was an unbeliever.
    His boarding school was a godless and corrupt place.
    And he knew of no Christian at Cambridge for almost three years after his conversion! His acceptance of Christ was a miracle of grace.
    He was 19 years old, sitting in his dormitory room as Passion Week began at the end of March 1779. He wrote,
    But in Passion Week, as I was reading Bishop Wilson on the Lord’s Supper, I met with an expression to this effect—“That the Jews knew what they did, when they transferred their sin to the head of their offering.” The thought came into my mind, What, may I transfer all my guilt to another? Has God provided an Offering for me, that I may lay my sins on His head? Then, God willing, I will not bear them on my own soul one moment longer. Accordingly I sought to lay my sins upon the sacred head of Jesus; and on the Wednesday began to have a hope of mercy; on the Thursday that hope increased; on the Friday and Saturday it became more strong; and on the Sunday morning, Easter-day, April 4, I awoke early with those words upon my heart and lips, “Jesus Christ is risen to-day! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” From that hour peace flowed in rich abundance into my soul; and at the Lord’s Table in our Chapel I had the sweetest access to God through my blessed Saviour. (Moule, Charles Simeon, 13–15)
    We have access to God through Jesus and peace flow because of the Substitute.

    Identification: Who We Have Now Become Verses 19-22

    Paul concludes by reminding the Gentiles of they are now.
    They have joined together with the Jewish believers and now belong to a new community.
    Our identity is now linked with not just with Jesus but with other believers.
    First, Gentiles are no longer refugees; now they have a citizenship in the Kingdom of God.
    They a not second-class citizens, but are full members.
    When Paul wrote this, Roman citizenship was prized possession with all the rights and blessings.
    That’s the idea he trying to make, the Gentiles now are equal with the Jews and have all the rights and privileges of being a Kingdom citizen.
    Second, Gentiles are members of God’s family.
    Through faith in Christ, we enter into God’s family, and God becomes our Father.
    This wonderful family of God is found in two places, “in heaven and earth” (Eph. 3:15).
    Living believers are on earth; believers who have died are in heaven.
    We are all brothers and sisters in the one family, no matter what racial, national, or physical distinctions we may possess.
    Practically speaking, the church is not a building we go to or an event we attend.
    The church is family, living life together on mission.
    Be careful not to treat the church as a hotel—visiting a place occasionally, giving a tip if you are served well.
    Rather, see the church as part of your Christian identity, and understand that we all have a role in God’s household.
    Paul’s third metaphor for the readers is the focal point of all Israel the Temple of God.
    God’s household is built on the solid foundation of the apostles and prophets.
    That foundation is anchored by the cornerstone Jesus.
    Every well-built structure with a firm foundation has a cornerstone.
    A cornerstone is a valued architectural piece.
    Stonemasons choose just the right rock.
    The cornerstone anchors the building and gives all the walls their line.
    Jesus is the chief cornerstone of God’s building.
    When Paul says “You also” in verse 22, he is referring to the Gentiles being added to this building.
    Once the Gentiles were no allowed to enter the temple, but now they are part of it.
    Now His special presence that was once limited to the temple, is now in the new building.
    His presence in not limited to a place or a building or an ethnicity.
    God’s presence is spread worldwide, wherever people believe in Christ.
    A great temple stood in Ephesus, in Jerusalem a great temple stood.
    But Paul says, through Christ, by the Spirit, there is a better temple.
    It is made up of people from every tribe and tongue.
    We are joined together and built together.
    Each related to the other in a special ways and we are growing together in Christ.

    Application For Us Today

    Practically, that means every person counts.
    We need one another’s time, talent, treasure, love, resources, encouragement, and rebuke.
    We are to live the Christian life together as a multiethnic temple, centered in Christ, rooted in the teaching of Scripture.
    Let us elevate our concept of the local church.
    Jesus wants to create a people, not isolated individuals who believe in Him.
    Some do not take church membership seriously.
    Yet the New Testament assumes every Christian is part of the local church.
    God intends for us to live out our faith and love one another in community.
    Let us be part of a diverse church like out community.
    Value people of other ethnicities.
    Welcome new people, regardless of their skin color.
    We, I pray, are a welcoming and loving church not matter who you are, where you are from, or how much money you have.
    Since Paul is telling us that we are all one in Christ, let’s live like it.
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        I Don't Have Faith To Be An Atheist

        July 11, 2021 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
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        I Don't Have Faith To Be An Atheist

        July 11, 2021 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

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