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Summary: As we look at our church, our community and as we look beyond at the culture and nation in which we live a couple of questions come to my mind that relate to our church family. [1] Are we really a family? [2] An even more telling question: Do we even want

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LIVING IN CHRIST – We’re Family!

Ephesians 2:11-22 NIV

11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

INTRODUCTION:

Here at Praise we have a simple statement that sums up who we are and what we are about: WE’RE FAMILY—CONNECT, GROW AND SERVE WITH US. As we look at our church, our community and as we look beyond at the culture and nation in which we live a couple of questions come to my mind that relate to our church family. [1] Are we really a family? [2] An even more telling question: Do we even want to be a part of a family?

I. A Broken and Dysfunctional Family

1. “In the flesh” we are separated from God and one another.

a) We are separated from each other. “In the flesh” prejudice and conflict are inevitable (“sarx”—by birth, in the body).

Ephesians 2:11, 12 RSV

11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, [by birth] called the uncircumcision by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh [in the body] by hands – 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel [excluded from citizenship], and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

b) Family may not be the prettiest picture for many of us. We live among broken and dysfunctional families that are a vivid picture of our separation and alienation from one another and from God.

ILLUSTRATION: Tell the story of the Ebie family tree—this was not a family that you would want to be born into, and yet this was my Dad’s family. Would this be his legacy for his family as well?


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