From May 2nd 2021 - Real racial reconciliation
Today is the first Sunday of the Month, which means that we here at Christ Community take Communion together.
We join our minds and our hearts together in Worship and the proclamation of Scripture, and we join our bodies together in partaking of the bread and the wine.
We don't do this together because of tradition----
We don't eat the bread and drink the cup ------- because it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside
We don't do this, because we think it is necessary for salvation.
As if Christ on the Cross wasn't sufficient enough to atone for the sins of all who will believe in Him
We don't do it to make us holy, as if we can go out and live however we want, and once we take Communion, we are ok.
In fact → →
1st Corinthians 11:27-29 says:
“Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.”
So------- is there anything in your heart or in your life that shouldn't be there?
Are you holding on to your sin because it makes you feel good? Feel safe? Do you think that God is just going to ignore your sin because of how deeply ingrained it is in your life?
Are you holding on to anything in your life that Scripture says shouldn't be there?
If you are ----- you need to repent of it before you eat this bread and drink this cup.
You don't need to raise your hand
You don't need to fall to your knees
You don't need to do anything apart from saying in your head “God, please forgive me of my sin, take it away from me God, I hate it God.”
And He will----
Your sin will be nailed to the Cross with Jesus Christ
And the wrath of God that you deserve because of it ------ will be poured out on Him.
That is why we take Communion.
To remind us of who Jesus Christ is ----- and what He has done for us.
1st Corinthians 11:23 says this:
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Let us partake of the body of our King together.
25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Let us partake of the blood of our King together.
We have a few announcements this morning before the children are dismissed.
At the end of the Sermon today, Ill be inviting you all to stand with me and sing the words of the Doxology
We're still working on our Chicken BBQ fundraiser.
And the kids are dismissed
Before we get into our verses today, a little warning. We're going to talk about race. Racism. Racists.
Open in prayer
There is a huge divide in our Country right now, at least, that’s what some people will have you believe.
They want you to believe that there’s sides and differences and hate and love and right and wrong and innocent and guilty.
But in our verses today, we're going to see differences between races that are actually real.
You see, the actual difference between white, black, asian, hispanic, and every other ethnicity, is made up by us. We created our differences, and then used those differences to create a playground for our favorite sins to have somewhere to play.
We created our differences through time and culture and society and food and music and jobs and work and everything else that we use to say those people over there are different than me.
And because of those differences, we can treat them differently than we treat people who look like us.
But in our verses today, were going to see real differences----
Differences …...created by God...
 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 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.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility  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,  and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.  And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.  For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.  So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,  built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,  in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (ESV)
Now, that's a lot. There's a lot there. So i'm going to unpack it a little bit before we can move forward.
Israel was supposed to be a nation of priests, who would point everyone to the coming Messiah.
Their entire Nation was who you would go to, to:
Learn about God
Read the Scriptures
Give your sacrifices
Receive your blessing
Everything about being a follower of God, was through the Nation of Israel.
Do you want to hear from God?
Go to the Jews
Do you want to pray?
Go to the Jews
Did you sin and need to offer up a sacrifice?
Go to the Jews
That is why there were so many laws and restrictions and regulations that governed how Israel functioned.
They were to be set apart
Different from every other Nation
As a result, they had extra laws that didn't apply to every Nation
Who they married
How they worked
How they rested
When Israel was living how they should, other Nations could look at them and say to themselves:
“Their God is the one true God.”
All through the Old Testament, we see that God chose Israel out of everyone on Earth, to be His people and carry His message.
In Genesis 12, God specifically and intentionally chooses Abraham.
All tell us this truth and like we talked about last week, it’s not because they were special or holy or big or strong. There was nothing in the Jewish people that prompted God to choose them as His people, but He did so according to His own will and purposes.
And then in the New Testament, in:
Romans 9:4-5 says this about Israel:
“They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.”
In fact, Jesus Himself said in John 4:22 that salvation is from the Jews.
Jesus was an israelite, one of God’s chosen people.
They were literally a race chosen by God.
And anyone now, that is saved, is grafted in like a farmer grafting a branch on to a plant
So when we move through Scripture and we see this animosity between Jews and Gentiles, we need to understand that it is deeper than skin color.
They didn't create cultural differences themselves
There was a distinction between the Israelites and every other race …… and God is the one who put that there.
Not the people in power
God chose the Israelities, not the egyptians.
God chose abraham, not Lot // God chose Jacob, not Esau
God gave them laws and systems, ordinances and commandments ------- and set them apart from the other Nations
God created the differences between the Jews and the Gentiles
It was a God ordained division, beyond anything we have ever experienced.
Not that the division between races that existed at one time in this country wasn't bad.
But there's was worse
Slavery was bad, evil, sinful and immoral
The broken immigration system in our country is bad
The people who uses their influence against someone else based on skin color ------- need to repent or face the wrath of God
But in every situation of earthly division --------- there was earthly hope.
There were people willing to fight to make things right
There was even a Civil War fought in our country, brothers killing brothers to try and right the wrongs and stand up for the oppressed.
There was hope.
Even now, in our current political system and our current culture, there is hope.
But i'm going to tell you, that hope does not lie in voting for the right person
There is no hope in apologizing for the actions of people who had the same skin color as you
Hope does not lie in everyone understanding the sociology of interpersonal relationships and systems of power
There is no hope in everyone listening to those people over there, because they are the ones who have been oppressed for years, so we have to raise their voices up.
In fact, and I hope if there is one thing that you guys remember today, it is that there is no greater form of white supremacy at work in our world today, than to insist that only white people can solve the problems other races are facing.
The culture of the day will have you believe that white people, who are all deep down inside actually racist all the time….
And we don't need to ask if they're racist in that comment or action or behavior-----
But HOW they're racist.
The culture of the day wants you to believe that all white, heterosexual, able bodied people….. Are oppressors
Then they teach that because they are the oppressors, and the ones in charge, they have to elevate the voices and teachings of other races ---- who know more than us ----- but still need white people to lift them up and fix their problems
We have to be the ones to right the wrongs, we have to be the ones to change the laws and do everything we can.
They back handedly assert that white people are more capable, smarter, stronger and more able to fix things
White people are not better off, smarter, richer, more adapt, or more adult more professional or mature than any other race
White people aren't better than anyone else and to assume that only white people can fix racism ------ is the sneakiest and deadliest form of racism there is.
It is supremacy offered up as medicine.
You see, the divide between Jew and Gentile wasn't manufactured from someone’s sinful tendencies.
The divides we experience, are manifestations of our sin
We look at other people who look different than us, and our sin whispers in our ears
“Those people, over there are different”
“Those people, are loud and obnoxious, they need to be more like us”
“Those people over there are all racist , entitled, bigots….they need to be more like us”
“Those people over there are all arrogant and selfish and poor and lazy and fill in the blank ----- if only they were more like us.”
Their music is too loud
Their food is gross
They're plain and boring
They raise their kids wrong
They do things wrong
We create differences---- teach them to our children and they carry on for generations
And then we use our self made differences to divide other people away from us like we and people who like we do, do things the proper way.
Which is bad
There are people who honestly do hate and work against people of a different skin color, and some will even twist and distort scripture to support their hatred
There are real life evil racist people out there who need to repent or perish beneath the fist of an almighty God
But to swing that pendulum to the entire other side, is just as bad. ------ to say that nothing in our life is our responsibility
It’s not my fault Im angry and full of hate ----- it’s the system
It’s not my fault I act how I shouldn’t ----- look at my parents
Its not my fault I am attracted to the same sex ------ I was born this way
And if you tell me, that what I think and feel about the government, the culture, my biology, ------- then you are a racist, a bigot, and a homophobe
Our culture has elevated the individual to be the supreme decider of how their own life should be lived ------ and anything and anyone that says anything against them, is attacking them and deserves to be cancelled.
It’s not my fault I do the things I do ----- look at:
How I was born //// How i was raised
How the system works against me // How white people have treated me
How black people have treated me
How heterosexual people have treated me
How Christians have treated me
How the Church has oppressed me
Nothing I do is my fault
It’s not my fault I ate the fruit ------ the system YOU created ----- the Garden YOU created ------ the woman YOU created made me do it.
So when we look at what Scripture says about race ------- we need to understand that the division that exists between Jew and Gentile ------ was thousands of times deeper and more profound than anything our measly little country has ever experienced.
Right off the bat, we know that the divide between jew and gentile was 2000yrs old and had nothing to do with the color of their skin.
Was it a racial divide? Yes.
Was it based off of the melanin count in their skin cells? Not at all.
 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.
 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility  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,  and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility
The deepest, longest, most powerful and profound racial divide in the history of humanity --------- was crushed and unified by the blood of Jesus Christ
“for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[g] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.”
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
There is no racial divide ---- and any that exists is fictitious and made up by us
We do not need racial reconciliation in our country -- we need the blood of Jesus Christ
Our differences, are manufactured by us to divide us ------ they dont stand stand a chance against our God.
The systems of this world want us divided
Hating each other
Working against one another
Satan wants us to look at the color of the person’s skin to our left and right and think things in our heart that are manifested in actions against them
This world looks at families as being power structures by which individuals are against their will taught between right and wrong ------- and if that family is acting Biblically, then they are right.
For that is what a Family does
Parents are commanded to point their children to God
To celebrate the manner in which God created their children, be they black, white, asian, hispanic, male or female
God made us specifically and intentionally,
and to say that we are the ones who decide how we are made is blasphemous
This world looks at the Church, as a power structure that spreads its influence across its community, and if that Church is acting Biblically, then they are right.
For that is what a Church does
It transforms it’s community
It changes the lives of the people in the town that God planted it in
It stands on street corners, warning people about their destruction
It counsels families in pain // It feeds the hungry // Clothes the naked
And calls all within earshot to repent of their sins and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ
This broken culture looks at the Word of God as being a system of supremacy ……….and they are right.
There is no God but Jesus Christ
He is the sole sovereign Monarch of the Universe
He wasn't elected
He cant be taken out of office
He is accountable to no one but Himself
He is the King
He is right in all that He does and all that He does is right
He can not be fought against
He can not be overthrown
He can not be rebelled and toppled from His throne
They can burn our churches to the ground----
They can imprison us
They burn our Bibles and feed us to lions
But nothing can stop the God who created humanity
Who created the Human race
Who intentionally created the colors of our skin
Who holds each and every person responsible for their own sin, and not the sins of their ancestors -------- Or the sins of their society
In closing ------ there is no hope outside of Jesus Christ
Do not place your hope on white people
Do not place your hope on governments
Do not place your hope on politicians or presidents or counselors or therapists or authors or actors
 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,  built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,  in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (ESV)