Pastor Jacob looks at verses 4-6 in the 4th chapter of Ephesians. From July 4th 2021
today is the first Sunday of the Month, which here at Christ Community, is when we take Communion together.
1st Corinthians 11:23-26
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when 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 together of the Body of our King
25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
Let us partake together of the blood of our King
Can I have the Ushers come up for the Offering?
We have a few announcements before we dismiss the kids for Sunday School
Starting THIS tuesday from 1-4pm the Community Center will be open for kids to come and hang out
Were going to be starting a midweek Bible Study ----- after the Summer is over
So keep your ears open for updates about that
Today we’ll be looking at the 2nd half of verse 4.
 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,  with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,  eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism,  one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (ESV)
We are ONE body
We may be separated by geography or time
We may be separated by our understanding of non-essential doctrines
But we will never be divided from one another
Its like that, not because of our strength or intellect
We are ONE BODY not because of our numbers
But because the God who MADE us and SAVED us, ------ LIVES within us.
The 3r Person of the Trinity----
The Holy Spirit---
Indwells the hearts and minds of the repentant and binds them to one another in ways that boggle and baffle the deepest connections that humanity could ever conjure forth.
We are ONE body
United by ONE Spirit
 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—
There is one hope that belongs to our call
And hope ----- hope is in short supply these days
As we looked through the first few Chapters of Ephesians, we learned that if we believe, it is because God has called us----
There is a calling upon the life of every believer
And it is the call of God
A few weeks ago, we read that we are supposed to walk in a manner worthy of that calling
And today ------ we can see that there is one hope that belongs to our call
And spoiler alert ----- it is Jesus Christ
If we repent of our sin and believe in Him, then He will take the wrath that we deserve ------ there is one hope that belongs to our call
Everywhere we look ---------------- there is fake hope
Some people believe that hope can come from their children---
As if they have achieved nothing in their life, but if they have children ----- at least they have that
Their kids can do what they didn't
Their kids can achieve heights that they themselves never did
They lie to themselves and say that if their children go on and do this or that ------ then it means that they now have meaning because of the successes of their children
We can not place our hope on our children ------
If they mess up ---- If they succeed
If they go on to starry heights that we could only dream of
Of if they end up in the gutters of society
Do not place your hope of having a healthy, happy, meaningful life ------- on your children
Some of us place our hope on Counseling and Psychology and a deep dive into our own mind and childhood ---------
THEN we can live truly free and happy lives
Once we understand the inner workings of our ancestors and all the sins that they struggled with
All of their mistakes
How they think and act
And then we look at our childhood and all the stuff that has happened there
Then we can fashion and form our minds and finally move forward with a healthy life
Don't take this to mean that all counseling and psychology is inherently bad, if your counselor or your psychologist has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then it will be frutifull ----- but if that is where your hope lies------ then you will be let down and hurt and worse than when you started
Some of us place our hope in our jobs and careers------
We say things like: “I may not have done this or that in my life, but I am good at “fill in the blank”
We form our entire identities around the fact that we can gain and garner hope from the work we do with our hands or with our minds
We say “my life may be falling apart ------- but if I can just focus here on this job and this career that I have ----- and do my best at it ------ then everything in my life will fall into place”
Don't take this to mean that jobs and careers are bad ----
In fact, the Bible says that those who don't work, shouldn't eat
But if your hope rests on your profession, your job, or your career ------- like you can work your way into a healthy and happy life ------ then you will be let down and hurt
1 Timothy 6:17-19
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
I’m sure you all can see where this is going, you're in a Church ---- Ive already stated that Jesus Christ is the one place where our hope can come from ----- but there is more that needs to be discussed------ there are more flawed sources of hope that need to be discussed…...especially today
They tell us that hope comes from engaging in our hobbies and interests and things that make us happy and feel good.
Read the books // Watch the movies
Listen to the songs // Eat the nice food
Give in to the longing of our bodies and our minds
Have sex with the people we want to have sex with
Do the drugs that make you feel good
They tell us that hope can come from not denying the urges within us ------ and in fact, those urges are who we truly are!
They twist and distort Scripture to justify their wonton indulgence of the pleasures of life
We are told that hope comes from deep down inside of us---- the human spirit
They give large grandiose speeches about the human spirit conquering mountains and terraforming continents and building societies ----- but ignore the truth of Ephesians 2 that teaches us that without God we are by our very nature dead and evil by default
They tell us that humanity can all join together and overcome their collective obstacles
They use wars and discoveries to try and prop up their weak and flaccid claims
They point at Modern Society as evidence that humanity can overcome anything
But------ when they see that there are still problems ------ it damages their self made hope
Because that is what is truly the problem with the world’s definition of everything:
Be it morality // Sexuality
Governmental // Entertainment
Without the Standard of God and His unfailing Word ----- the only standard they appeal to, is self made
And self made hope is the most fragile and weak thing in all of existence.
The fragility of their self made hope ------- is plainly put on display for all to see ------ when they frantically scramble to try and fix it
When I was a kid ----- I had an original gameboy ------ it was the size of a literal brick and it could take a beating
I have a distinct memory of dropping it on concrete ----- it bounced ----- I caught it ----- and continued to play
My phone now, if it slides off my lap ----- I freak out because of how fragile it is
This world will try and sell us their self made hope------ but when we see them frantically trying to keep it from breaking ------- their foolishness is evident
And what does it look like ----- when they frantically scramble to try and inflate and prop up their self made hope?
There’s a virus spreading across the planet?
We humans ----- can fix it
We ---- can change it
There’s hatred and violence?
We are the ones who can fix it and change it
We are the most arrogant and hubristic society that has ever lived ----- so much so that we even believe we can control the very weather itself
So what does the World do when their self made hope begins to crumble and fall to pieces?
Do they look to God?
Do they admit their fault and fall on their knees in humility?
Do they turn from their wickedness?
Some people do ---- right?
Some people reach the end of their rope, and turn to God and cry out in their pain and confusion
Some people repent of their sins and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ ------
And see the only true and honest hope that exists in this world, comes from God.
They agree with the words of an old Document called the Heidelberg Catechism, which was written to help Christians understand Scripture-----
It says this:
What is your only comfort
in life and death?
That I am not my own,
but belong with body and soul,
both in life and in death,
to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
Every molecule of hope this world can offer anyone, is nothing but a wet paper bag compared to the robust and immovable hope gained from a relationship with Jesus Christ.
And that ------- having hope in Jesus Christ alone, not ourselves, not our ability, not our strength, not our children, not our jobs,
Hope in Christ and Christ alone ------- can be hard ---- especially for American Christians.
Those of us alive today, are in a unique situation, compared to Christians throughout the ages.
You see, other Nations already existed and had their own cultural norms and customs and laws and ways of living life ------ and then Christianity was introduced to them.
There was a time in their history, when the idea of Christian living, and Christian thinking and a Christian way of life ------- was new to them.
Loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you, was a foreign and alien idea
Some nations scoffed at it and killed the missionaries----
Some empires even waged war against the Christians----
Hunting them down---
Other Nations and Tribes accepted the Message----
And any Missionary can tell you that there are 2 dangers when it comes to introducing the Gospel to a Tribe or a Nation that has never heard of it before.
First ---- theres a danger in the Gospel coming in and bulldozing everything about that people
Wiping out their traditions and customs so much so, that the people group would then end up adopting the traditions, customs, and culture of the Missionaries who brought the message-----
Thats bad, because Missionaries should be bringing the Gospel ---- and not the culture of their homeland
The second bad thing that can happen ----is the opposite of the first ----- the culture of the people being approached, infiltrates the Gospel message, and waters it down
Things and beliefs necessary for salvation, get added on to the Gospel, based on the people’s culture, customs, and traditions.
The Gospel becomes watered down and ends up synchronized with the Culture
Going in either direction, wiping out their culture, or watering down the Gospel---- is bad.
And then we have America -----
America has never existed apart from an understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In fact, one could even argue that the ideals and truths of Scripture, are what led us to becoming a Nation to begin with.
Our founding document states that God created us.
We have no folklore about giant turtles holding up the planet
We have no myths in our ancestry about pretend and fictitious gods
No Missionaries had to come to our Nation to explain to us the truths of Scripture ------
From the very onset of America, we have believed in self evident truths that everyone is created equal and that our rights as human beings don't come from a nation or a collective, but they come from God Himself and the government’s purpose is to uphold and ensure our God given rights
Yes our foundation fathers may have not acted like this---- and lived in ways that contradict what they believe----
But the truth remains that America has never existed outside of an understanding of the Gospel message----
Ive said all that, to say this:
When we read the words of Ephesians 4:4 that tells us that we have one hope----
Or the words of Psalm 121:1-2 that says my help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and Earth----
We need to ask ourselves, how much Americanism is intertwined with our faith?
Do we place more hope than we should on our system of government?
Do we pledge our allegiance to a flag?
Do we pledge our allegiance to a Nation?
These are things we need to understand, because:
An attack against the Constitution or the Bill of Rights ---- ---- is not an attack against Christianity (x2)
We do not need America or all of her beautiful freedoms to practice our Christianity.
When the Bill of American rights falls on the ash heap of history ------ Christianity will still remain
Will our lives succumb to meaningless depression and hopeless despair ------ without America?
Or without God?
How much Americanism is there in your faith?
That doesn't mean we don't stand up for what we believe in, and the cultural values and traditions that have made America the Nation it is today ------
John Adams said this in 1798:
“But should the People of America, once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another and towards foreign nations, which assumes the Language of Justice and moderation while it is practicing Sin and Extravagance; and displays in the most captivating manner the charming Pictures of Candour, frankness & sincerity while it is rioting in the violent seizure of property and Insolence: this Country will be the most miserable Habitation in the World. Because We have no Government armed with Power capable of contending with human Passions unbridled by morality and Religion. Greed, Ambition, Revenge or Galantry, would break the strongest Cords of our Constitution as a Whale goes through a Net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
If we cannot govern ourselves justly and morally from within ------ then we will be governed tyrannically and immorally from without.
We have a duty to stand up for our Nation---------
But at what point ----- do we heed the words of Matthew 7 and not cast our pearls before swine?
At what point----- do we listen to Jesus in Matthew 10:14 when he says:
“...if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.”
You see, 2 things are happening here in our Country:
The god hating pagans that run our country ------
Are using self made hope to terraform our culture
They know no god but themselves -----
So they encourage the decapitation, disembowelment and ritualistic slaughter of the unborn
They have soaked our Nation in the blood of children for decades ------ and are too prideful to thank God for His patience
They they encourage sexuality in children and tell them its ok to mutilate their genitals according to their feelings
They use fear and racism as ammunition to hold more and more power
They say that we ourselves are the deciders of our fate and life and death is ours to control
And if there is ever any threat to our American hope ------
We burn cities to the ground
We murder in our streets
We invade other countries and prop up the leaders we want
We manipulate the election of our own leaders
We need to stop saying “God Bless America” and start saying “God save America”
Seeing all this ----- what does the American Church do?
Do we hold dearly the words of our Lord?
Do we press into Scripture and prayer and fasting like never before?
Do we see the coming judgment and warn people to repent of their sins and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Or do we complain that our american rights have been hurt?
Do we take our ball and go home when someone says bad stuff about our Country?
But remain silent when they blaspheme our God?
Do we hold comfort and convenience as idols?
And if im unhappy ---- then it means God doesn't love me?
Do we hold the Constitution as an idol?
And if someone tries to usurp the Constitution then ill scream and yell and march ----- but I shut my mouth when sexual immorality gets paraded down our streets?
Why do we defend America with our entire being ----- while the ways of God are ridiculed and pushed down before our very eyes?
We are not American Christians ------ we are Christians on a Mission trip to America
And we need to start acting like it
There is no hope outside of Jesus Christ
There is no happy ending to your story, if you do not repent of your sins and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Your children cannot save you // Your job cannot save you
Pleasure cannot save you // Money cannot save you
The government cannot save you
We can not have hope because someone’s son killed someone elses son in a foreign Country, and now my rights are protected-----
We can not have hope because we are really good and strong problem solvers who pull themselves up by their bootstraps-----
We can have hope because:
There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism,  one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (ESV)
Jesus Christ will never leave you
Never hurt you // Never betray you
He will never say one thing and do another -----
He will never use you for selfish gain----
He will ever manipulate you to further His own agenda----
He will never not be there in your hour of need----
When you need help, he is there,
When you are lost
Hurt // Broken
Needy // Hungry
Tired // Weak
Jesus Christ is the God of all Creation, repent of your Sins and be saved from the coming wrath
Id like to close with this, and then ill invite you all to stand with me as we sing the words of the Doxology
 Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD, O my soul!
 I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
 Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
 When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish.
 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God,
 who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
 who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets the prisoners free;
 The LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
the LORD loves the righteous.
 The LORD watches over the sojourners;
he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
 The LORD will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the LORD!