Last week we were introduced to the concept of Imago Dei as the first lens required to faithfully engage with our new sermon series Reach United. This week, Pastor Brian added a second lens to frame this series under this banner: “same family, same King”.
We read Ephesians 2:12-22 and unpacked the central theme that there is no unity without the gospel of Jesus Christ. The forgiveness and commonality we all need only comes through the cross. Jesus is the person who can tear down the wall of hostility between us.
The further we chase Jesus, the closer we get to one another. So let’s go further and get closer by reading together.
Read this from the Bible together:
12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Some key statements and questions put forward that are important for us to talk about…
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. The family we belong to is anyone who trusts God. In what ways have you been tempted to define family in any other way? Why do you think that is?
For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. This should blow your mind, that the Father gives you access to himself through his Son. If we are called to be imitators of our Father, can you identify areas where you’ve been an avoider, challenger, or ignorer of Him instead?
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. How does Jesus treat members of his “household”? We see that Jesus gives his disciples “grace upon grace upon grace”. Why is grace one of the most important gifts we can give each other as we navigate the clumsy, but vital work of unity in our family?
“We can’t be gospel people without being kingdom people.” Pastor Brian reminded us that there is no gospel without building God’s kingdom here on earth. What role does adoption play in kingdom building? If were all orphans in the spiritual sense, how can we build the kingdom by “adopting” others spiritually or physically as well?
”Jesus endured the ignorance and arrogance of his people.” We are all ignorant and arrogant at times. As you navigate the theme of unity in a culturally polarized time, can you identify any blind spots you may have in extending grace to others? If not, ask your friends to help you see them. We’ve all got them.
“Washing people’s feet. That’s our playbook.” If we really are God’s people than we must adopt a posture of humility towards one another. Share a story when you “washed” someone’s feet or someone “washed” yours. What was the result of that action?