A bit of fun

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Oneness and peace in Christ Ephesians 2:11-17

Ephesians 2:11-17

Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.
He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.

Isn't this wonderful, we can all come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. No matter who we are, what we believe the gates have been opened to us to be united in oneness and peace through the Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. This is unity. This is our unity. The way forward for every person on this earth. No matter where we come from, what colour we are, what tradition we believe in, we have been promised unity through the Holy Spirit through the offering of Christ. 

So why are there still divisions, still judgments of who and who has not been saved. Has God divided us? No, we are the division. Our rules and regulations cause the split. Our perception of what is right or wrong as well as who is right or wrong. 

Christ came to save us all. When His chosen people declined His offer, everyone was invited. Today we must do the same. No rights or wrongs, just open arms to all of God's beloved children. No judgments, just compassion and mercy. Oneness and peace in Christ.

John 17:23
I in them and you in me, all being perfected into one. Then the world will know that you sent me and will understand that you love them as much as you love me.

This unity is what we must strive for. All our different traditions and denominations means nothing to God. Only oneness in Him. Our energies must surely be in bringing about this oneness, the unity of the Holy Spirit through Christ. Our fussing over whose church is the right one has no place in God's unity. God opened up His Kingdom to everyone when the Jews rejected Him. He put no limits on His love. He did not say this church is better than another, or that church will get you into Heaven quicker than another. God is above all of this. 

Ephesians 4:6
and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all. 

We are His creation, we are all from the same God and we will all return to the same God. The same hand feeds us, loves us and blesses us. His Love and His Love alone is oneness and peace. Our actions, our love and our blessings must be for all from our hearts, not from tradition or church. We must rejoice in our churches in the different ways God's Spirit has chosen to reveal Himself to us, but we need also to Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. (James 4:8) In other words our worship needs to become aligned with God's will rather than our traditions.

We must be careful not to grieve God. Not with eye service, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart (Ephesians 6:6). 

When God looks at us he does not see our churches he sees our hearts. When we judge someone by which church they go to we do not see as God sees. We allow our own personal judgment to cloud our opinion. God loves everyone. He has no favourites, we all belong to Him. 

Let us all then receive the heart God wants us to have as promised in Ezekiel 36:26  And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 

This is oneness and peace. When God gives us Christ he gave us freedom. May we now grant freedom to everyone who believes in Our Father in Heaven, by loving them in alignment with God. 

Unity in Christendom means accepting our differences and allowing God's Spirit to bring us all together. If a body only had hands or arms or legs there would be no body. We are all part of the one body, all blessed, all loved, all accepted by God. 

1 Corinthians 12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body.  And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.  If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. 

Let us therefore enjoy our diversity and proclaim it for the glory of God so that His Spirit may be free to change our lives and align them with the Power of Our Father and bring unity to all Christians. And may we use the power of this unity to heal our world and bring comfort to the ravaged and downtrodden, where sin has infected and injected hopelessness. 

God grant our eyes to see the bigger picture of your mercy and compassion towards our fellow man/woman.

God bless.