Christ Multi-Ethnic Church (Ephesians 2:14-18)

(For accuracy of this transcript, please refer to the audio file)

 

What exactly is a multi-ethnic church? I think that’s an important question, we have the word “International” and the very title of what we call ourselves, as a body. That’s pretty similar, international/multi ethnic for many of us. I’m going to guess that, ICMK has been a bit of a different church experience than your previous churches you been in. Maybe you grew up in a predominantly Chinese Malaysian church. I grew up in an almost all white American, but you came to ICMK. We would call these single ethnic churches, which are definitely needed, and God certainly uses for very good purposes. But I think there’s something about a multi-cultural, multi ethnic church that gives us a fuller, more accurate picture of the what the entire global church is supposed to be. Because Christ Church, God’s people, it is a multi-ethnic family and so certainly an international congregation like our own should be a beautiful reflection of God’s intention for the church. Are we? Does ICMK, model what God intends for a multi-ethnic church? That’s what I wanted to consider this morning. And perhaps there’s no better place in the Bible, we could go to for this question then, Ephesians 2:14-18. My prayer this week has been as a congregation, we would see such relevance and depth in the word of God as we sit before it this morning. Because Christ Church is multi-ethnic. Now, before I read our passage this morning, let’s just remember how the verses we looked at last week verses 11th through 13, lead right into our theme this morning. So, let me actually read it to remind us Ephesians 2:11, read like this, “Therefore remember that at one time you gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands – remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the Commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” We saw last week in these rich verses that, Jesus is for the nations. We all of us here, we who are gentiles. Remember that word means all of the other nations besides the Jews, we all used to be far away. But now we’ve been brought near in Christ. Now the next step of that explanation. What we saw last week is that God has brought us near in Jesus to be near to him but also to be near one another. How is it that God has done this. Well, Jesus gives us peace, peace with God and peace with one another. Hear the word of God, Ephesians 2:14-18, “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two so making peace and might reconcile us both to God in one body, through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and he preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.” Now I hope you’re going to see, there’s all sorts of practical takeaways for an international church in this passage this morning, but the main emphasis in these verses is theological. And so, we’re going to look at two main theological points in the passage this morning as our outline, it’s these.