Title: Christian Racism

Purpose: To challenge the Hearers to love one another equally

	1.  Some believe the only solution to racism is a new race with no color or distinction
	2.  Paul talks about the creation of a new race
	3.  TEXT:  Eph 2:11-12
	4.  Context:  Textual, Problem of Jew and Gentile  (Paul striving for unity)
	5.  We should overcome “Racism”   How?    3 Rememberances: 	

I.  By remembering our past
	A.  We (Gentiles) are reminded of our previous condition before Christ came
	B.  Lets take a closer look at the past:
		1.  Historical differences between Jew and Gentile
			a.  Rabbi said God made Gentiles to fuel the fires of Gehenna
			b.  Jew could not give help to a Gentile woman giving birth
			c.  Jew married a Gentile, family would hold a funeral
		2.  TEXT:  You were
			a.  Separate from Christ
			b.  Excluded from the commonwealth of Israel (natural citizenship)
			c.  Strangers to the covenants of promise
			d.  Without hope
			e.  Without God
		3.  Before Jesus came, we had literally nothing!
	C.  ILL:  Russians had something to smile about (real faith)  They knew how to
			appreciate God’s grace.  Before they had nothing, now they have it all
	D.  This life can be described in one word - alienation
		1.  This world is not a one-for-all and all-for-one place
		2.  Strife between nations
		3.  Gang activity - territorial boundaries
		4.  Even our churches sometimes have unhealthy boundaries, are you 
			      ready to tear them down?

That’s the way things were, that was then, this is now . . .(v.13 - 18)

II.  By remembering our position
	A.  We were alienated, BUT now have been brought near IN CHRIST
	B.  How have we been brought near in Christ?
		1.  In Christ - “He himself” is our peace (v.14)
			a.  We didn’t make the peace
			b.  Jesus brought peace between us and God
			c.  Notice, that Jesus didn’t make peace, but he IS the peace
			d.  Jesus was the “payment” to make amends, we didn’t initiate it.
		2.  Broke down the dividing wall
			a.  Probably an allusion to the walls around the temple
			b.  There were signs around the temple to Gentiles that if any of 
			    them entered, they would be killed
			c.  Again, this wasn’t something we did, Jesus did it.
		3.  Real peace  (v.15) is to abolish the emnity, which came from the law
	C.  ILL:  Lived in Korea, there was supposed “peace”
		1.  But there was the wall DMZ
		2.  Anyone that got too close could get shot by a guard
		3.  In reality, that was not peace.  
		4.  When the walls come down, then there will be peace
	D.  The problem is that when God has broken down walls, we start building new ones
		1.  God united the two into one new MAN, that is our new POSITION
		2.  Lose your identity, can’t do that with walls
		3.  What walls do we have here in our church?
If you remember your position but forget your purpose, there still can be problems.  Therefore, we also need to:

III.  By remembering our purpose
	A.  v.19-22 - We are reminded that we are God’s household, a holy temple
	B.  Aspects of us as a building
		1.  Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets
			a.  They prophesied of a King, who would build his Kingdom
			b.  The reason it says Apostles and prophets is that they spoke of 
			    Jesus, the foundation
			c.  Paul taught that Jesus was the foundation in I Cor 3:11
		2.  Christ as the cornerstone
			a.  The building begins with Christ
			b.  We as God’s people can only exist in Jesus himself
			c.  This is not our church, but the church of CHRIST
		3.  We are being built and FITTED TOGETHER in Him
			a.  Fitting together can only take place in Him
			b.  How are we going to be fitted together?
			c.  Stones have to but cut
			d.  May have to cut away some of our petty differences
	C.  Buildings reflect aspirations of the designers
		1.  Take for example the buildings in Washington D.C.
			a.  These buildings had a lot of thought in their design
			b.  They were not thrown together
			c.  They were designed to evoke respect and honor
		2.  The Temple in Jerusalem evoked respect and honor
			a.  God gave very specific instructions on it
			b.  They were meticulously followed
	D. What do we reflect in us?
		1.  God does not throw together stones (he don’t make junk)
		2.  People used to go to Jerusalem to see the temple, and like the 
		    disciples of Jesus would stand in awe when they saw it
		3.  We are God’s temple today, what do they see in us?
		4.  Is it clear, by looking at the “building” what its purpose is?
		5.  Do we see God living in his temple?  Or a man made building?

May not have a Jew-Gentile problem, but
1.  Is the wall still up to the “ousiders”  
3.  I Cor 12:22-25  -  Who is he talking about?  It’s not the intellectual
				Giants, theologians, those with nice clothes, looks, popularity,
				It’s the simple minded, poor, of ill-repute, sickly, etc.
				  - The poor, unlearned, weak-minded, etc.
4.  We need to remember:  
	a.  Our  1) Past    2) Position   3) Purpose
	b.  Why?  Because you are here not because you are better, but 
	    because Jesus brought you here!
5.  Whatever the walls of differences, they come down today!
	a.  If it is a wall from differing social status, it comes down!
	b.  A wall from North South, (Yankee v.s. Redneck) it comes down
	c.  A wall from being brought up in church or not, it comes down!
	d.  A wall from growing up in this town, or not, it comes down!
	e.  A wall from who knows more Bible or not, it comes down!
	f.  A wall from more popular or not, it comes down!
6.  A church with walls that Christ has not built cannot be the church of Christ