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Summary: The bible starts out with ACT 1 - Segregation Then it moves to ACT 2 - Desegregation Then it ends with ACT 3 - Reconciliation

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God’s Plan for De-Segregation

Eph. 2:11-22

Today's sermon is about the dominant theme of the bible…

You guess—Salvation???

DE-SEGREGATION

Most of you here know what de-segregation was…

When schools were integrated with white and black

You remember it was not a smooth time

The bible talks about de-segregation

But not the de-segregation championed by Martin Luther King, Jr.

You could say the champion of this de-segregation was Martin Luther

I’m not talking about ending racial segregation but I am talking about ending segregation

What do I mean

What is the problem of de-segregation today?

What segregation needs to be ended?

The greatest problem humans have is SEGREGATION

Jesus came to end segregation

What segregation??

The bible starts out with ACT 1 - Segregation

Then it moves to ACT 2 - Desegregation

Then it ends with ACT 3 - Reconciliation

1. It starts with the ACT 1 - story of segregation from God.

God and man had great relationship in the garden

Excited to be together

Then in chapter 3 of Genesis is the saddest story ever told

Verse 6 "she took the fruit and ate and gave it to her husband and he ate."

SIN SPOILED, DESTROYED THE RELATIONSHIP.

Verse 23,"Therefore, (because of their sin) the Lord God sent man out of the garden."

Man is estranged, segregated from God.

The break with God is the primal break,

Being estranged from God we can't be right with any of his creation either.

2. The bible next tells the story of man’s segregation from his fellow man.

This tragedy of separation from our brother is found in Genesis 6.

Abel lying in pool of warm blood.

Result of sin.

In Genesis 11, the split is widened.

Verses 7-8, because of their sin, God confused their languages and scattered them over the face of the earth.

Not just brother against brother, but

nation against nation, race against race.

Now the segregation is complete…

man is separated from God and fellow man.

So the scripture turns to the story of reconciliation

In the Jewish world the spiritual segregation is represented by two physical objects

The Veil of the Holy of Holies

And the dividing walls in the temple

THE VEIL

The veil is a 60 foot tall and 30 foot wide curtain made of extremely densely woven fibers which is 4 inches thick

Imagine how heavy that was

It hangs over the opening to the holy of holies to prevent anyone from seeing inside because behind that curtain is the mercy seat… the place where God sits to receive sacrifices

Actually inside there is a wooden box covered with gold

Inside the box are the tablets of the law that were given to Moses

Aaron’s rod which budded

And some of the manna

The lid of the box is extremely ornate with two winged seraphim and it is all covered with gold

Between those two seraphim, sort of like a saddle, is the very place where God sits

If a person were to see God, he would die

Even the High Priest

So, the veil was there to protect the priests from accidently seeing God

Why would a person die if they saw God? SIN

The veil hung there as a constant reminder to the people that they were separated from God… Unable to approach Him… hopelessness of intimacy with God

The second object was… the dividing wall

Actually the dividing walls

The temple was basically like this…

Show image boxes within boxes

There were a series of dividing walls that separated the people on different bases.

The outer box was the Court of GENTILES… they could only go this far and get this close to God

Next was the court of WOMEN (and girls and boys under 12)

Next was the court of ISRAEL (men)

Then the court of PRIESTS

Then the Holy Place

Finally the Holy of Holies

Each level took you closer and closer to God

But each was more and more restrictive… who could go in

So there were all these dividing walls that divided man from man

This wall symbolized the segregation between people because of sin

The whole temple was a giant object lesson about the segregation brought about by sin

God allowed this to exist for centuries because He was teaching them some lessons

The purity and holiness of God

The separation between man and God

The separation between men

This segregation was NOT GOD’S WILL

His will was DE-segregation…

Man reconciled to God

Man reconciled to man

So God got rid of the segregation

Through the incarnation, perfect life, vicarious death and glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ

God knew man could not be trusted so God accomplished this reconciliation without the help of man

HE supplied the lamb

He sacrificed it

He raised it to life

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