Speaker(s): Pastor Mark Minichiello, Brent Hellinga
Sermon # 11647
6:30 PM on 3/17/2019
P. Mark Minichiello
Good evening everyone. How are you doing? How many ate well today?
I remember in Bible school I didn’t often eat well but there was times I did, like before a class or service. Then the speaker’s head started to go like that. Did you ever experience that? You eat really well and then your body starts to slouch a little. You get a little tired so I developed all these strategies. One of them was the tip of my tongue behind my top gums behind my teeth. That really tickles. That was one way I stayed awake. Another was sitting as far in front of my chair as far as I could. Another one was pinching my thigh really hard. You can only pinch so much. If my head starts to do funny things, feel free to move around! I won’t get offended.
Eph. 2:14, He himself is our peace. I like that word “He himself.”
It reminded me of Jn 14. Remember when Jesus asked the disciples, ye said, you know where I’m going and the way I’m going. Thomas said we don’t know where you are going. And we don’t know the way. Jesus said I am the way the truth and life.
Jesus not only gives us peace like in Jn 14:27, my peace I give to you, my peace I leave with you not as the world. Let not your heart be troubled or be afraid. He not only gives us peace but is our peace.
I remember talking to my cousin and she said I wish I would have some peace. I could tell her family was driving her crazy.
Peace alludes many people in this world. If we found peace, we are very rich people. Peace in J.C. The peace of God which passes understanding, what does it do? It keeps, it guards our hearts and minds. Our hearts can be all over the place. I know mine can. Our heart is wily and crafty and tricks us.
Ralph Roe was saying our heart causes us to think illogical thoughts. At the moment of temptation, we think things not logically true.
He himself is our peace and made both one, Jew and Gentile and has broken down the middle wall of separation. There is a wall right in front of Craig. Imagine if he was considered unclean and doomed to sit behind this sinner’s Plexiglas for all to see. In some churches, they have sinner’s benches.
I remember in Romania, there was a Brethren church and they told me there was a sinner’s bench. If you were considered on the bad side, you stood there or sat there until the leadership deemed that you were – right Carolann? You heard those stories at the time? We were on the same team back in the 90s. Until the elders or administration determined you free from sin, I guess. You were set free from the sinner’s bench.
He’s broken down the middle wall of separation. In the temple in Jerusalem, there was an outer wall, and this inscription was found. It’s actually a footnote in my Bible here. This is what was written “no foreigner is to go beyond the [?] of the temple zone. Whoever is caught doing so will have himself to blame for his death which will follow.” That was a sign near the court of the gentiles warning them they were not to go in further.
Imagine being one of those unclean people at the time. Imagine being from Moab where Ruth was from, maybe wanting to be clean but not being clean.
Have you ever felt that others were clean and you weren’t? I felt like that at a birthday party recently. We have some neighbors who are part of a very strict denomination. We invited their children to the birthday party. They said they did not want their children to take part in pleasurable activities on the Sabbath. And I felt really unclean! Because I always see their kids having fun on the Sabbath, but with people from their own church. What they were saying was, you guys aren’t clean enough for our children to partake in pleasurable activities with. They know we are believers. We weren’t going to be watching questionable videos at the birthday party. For a moment, I thought, they think I’m unclean.
To be clean in Christ is a blessed feeling. It’s a blessed sense to have been cleaned up by the blood of Jesus Christ. He broke down the middle wall of separation that was between us.
vs.15. The church. The Body of Christ. So as to create in himself one new man.
Col 3:3 says that we, meaning our old man has died and we’ve been hid with Christ in God. Somehow in the mystery of God inside Christ, inside the protective covering of Christ, where God sees us pure is the Body of Christ. And we are not only members in the sense of being part of the organization, but we are part of Christ himself. We can’t un-body ourselves if we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. We are the fingers and the hands and the noses and the necks and the backs. It’s us. We’re this integral part of the Body of Christ. It’s an amazing thought, isn’t it? He abolished that hostility. He abolished that enmity in his body when the blood came pouring out of him when he died on the cross for us, so that we would never have to feel that sense of uncleanness. That little birthday illustration was kind of funny, but imagine being Ruth in Moab making a decision to follow Naomi to Bethlehem, leaving her country where they worshipped the god, Chemosh, where they sacrificed babies which were burned. Here she’s a widow. She’s poor. She’s unclean. She doesn’t know what she is walking into. That was intense. But then Jesus Christ comes and in his body with his scars with that amazing sacrificial death on the cross, he canceled, he did away with the hostility. He did away with the enmity. That’s a blessing. And created one new man, the Church. One translation put it, a new humanity the Body of Christ is. One new man.
Eph. 1:9, one day he will create a new heaven and a new earth. That’s the day we are all longing for. Amen! I’m longing for that day.
Heb. 1:10-11, Rev. 21:1, Rev. 11:36. Of him, to him and through him are all things.
Eph. 2:16, not only abolishing the enmity but thereby putting to death the enmity. He not only takes the hostility away, and kind of puts it in the other room, but he actually kills it.
Have you ever been invited to a party by someone who likes you and there are people at the party who don’t like you? Or maybe they didn’t know you were coming and kind of feel that maybe there isn’t enough room for you? Or there isn’t enough food? Your host is really happy that you’re there and you get those other looks in the room. Has that ever happen to anyone? Like maybe some eyebrows? Curt answers? Would you like some dip? There’s no affection. You’re not really welcomed.
He did not only take the hostility out of the way, he killed it. We’re welcomed to the party! The Plexiglas wall comes crashing down. Craig is welcome to the party. He can have as much dip as he wants!
Rom. 5:10, reconciled with each other but reconciled, big R, reconciled to God himself. Fully accepted. Fully welcomed. And now we cry, Abba, Father. We cry, Abba, Father.
When Christ who is our life shall appear, we shall also appear with him in glory, Col 3:4. What ministry have we received from Jesus Christ, each one of us, now that we’ve been reconciled? A ministry and a word of reconciliation. Right?
2 Cor. 5. He’s given us a ministry of reconciliation and a word of reconciliation. Is my face starting to do funny things? Anyone who has eaten well, you can move your shoulders a little. All is well. God is for us.
vs. 17. That was the Gentiles. I love that.
vs. 13. Through Jesus Christ we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Christ is our peace. He himself is our peace so we are never alone. He walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death. He will be with us until the end of the age. That can’t undo itself. Christ is there fully available to us and we seek him by faith. Now by his Spirit we have access.
Eph 3:12 we have boldness and access with confidence. I think of BAC without the K, – boldness and access with confidence. We can run to him with our burdens and cares and burdens for this lost world with incredible prayer requests.
We come before him and pour out our hearts before him like in Ps. 62. Trust in the Lord at all times you people. Pour out your hearts before him. God is a refuge for us. By him we have access by one Spirit. Hostility is gone and he’s given us his peace. We’ve been reconciled. He preached peace to those who are near and far away. So we have a word of reconciliation and now by one Spirit we draw near to the Father. And we bless him with all our hearts all because of what he’s done. God is for us.
P. Brent Hellinga
I’ve been waiting to do that for many years. I put the carpet on the bottom of this as a temporary thing. Praise the Lord. Thank you Colleen for that song. I was in bible school many decades ago with Colleen. It’s great to be here.
Just before we turn to Nu 13:28, I have a verse here that is sticking with me for a number of weeks,
Rom 15:4. One of these verses in the New looking towards the Old Testament. Things written beforehand were written for our learning, not necessarily for our doctrine. For our learning that through the patience and comfort of the S we might have hope. Everyone needs hope. We’ll talk a little bit about that today.
For some of you I’m sure if you know. My wife and I have moved back to Costa Rica living in Laurel and spending a lot of time in Silver Spring with P. Shibley and the crew down there. It’s great to be back on the other side I keep getting flights to Costa Rica. Dominic is doing a great job. It is growing in a beautiful way. Pray for visas because we have a lot of people want to come for the conference in June. They are tight with the visas but prayer can open the visa book. Just got to the visa shop right now.
Nu 13 this is where we had contradictory reports from the different spies. It’s like watching the news.
Ten spies are totally negative and they mix in a little bit of truth and a lot of exaggeration and in vs 28, you know things are a problem when they use nevertheless or buy.
vs. 28. We had a commission from God but we saw. Sometimes walking by sight you will go blind.
vs. 30. He’s saying everyone please be quiet. Listen to what Caleb says.
vs. 30. We are well able to overcome it. I like that report. Caleb was not saying that in the energy of his flesh. He was saying it in the response of the commission he heard from God.
There is a promise land and I‘m going to take you into as we go on, vs. 31. Here’s what the men are saying. We are not able to go against these people, they are stronger that we. They gave the children of Israel a bad report. I don’t want to walk by sight and not by faith and it produces a bad report in one of you. They didn’t care.
vs. 32-33. Remember, a lot of these things when written this was really happening in their lives but also depicted as a shadow of things to come that we can look back and learn from. Sometimes things are big in our life. Sometimes we have giants in our life. Maybe we want to get a job or every corner around…there are wrestlers over there and can’t go down there. You can’t go down town. You can’t go to Costa Rica. They’ll rob you. Of course they will! A theologian got robbed and said thank you Lord I wasn’t on the other end. What a perspective. I can’t come to church. It’s too far. It’s too cold. It’s too hot. It’s too perfect. With the perfect weather, I have to be outside. I kept thinking of the penalty box in the brethren church. The sinners row, right? Maybe it’s your first time here. This is not our penalty box. I wanted to clarify that! They repent as they go up the stairs! Exaggeration comes on.
Chapter 14. If we only died in the land of Egypt. Why has the Lord brought us in this land to fall by the sword that our wives and children become the victim. It’s no different than today. Anytime you want to make a strong point, the “children.” We love children. It’s not that. They even use it here. Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt? Can you see their problem here? They never jumped in with both feet with the Lord. One foot stuck in Egypt and trying to go forward with God. You keep doing that for too long. That’s what happens when you have one foot in Egypt and one trying to follow God. You get stretched in opposite directions and you fall back to sight. You come to a conclusion I guess we are better off to be a little bit comfortable. Are we learning from this?
There is a promise thread that began with Abraham in Ge 12 and runs all through the Bible to Revelation. If anyone desires to come and drink of the water freely. The promises of God.
Gal 3:8 it talks about this. The Scripture foresaw the Gentiles would come to the Lord by faith and be justified by faith. Therefore, he preached the gospel to Abraham. It jumped all over to the grace of God. By faith.
Gal 3:22, I can believe. We did a Bible study on Friday night and there are so many verses. We looked at about 20 of them that talked about believing. He sees it and knows it and knows it’s faith in him. He’s the one that produces salvation. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. What is this promise? Did Jesus come to bring a whole other set of rules and regulations to live by?
Jn 17 is clear. He came to give us the same relationship he had with the Father and put us in this same relationship. He broke down every wall there that we can be in Christ and in the Father. I still can’t understand it with my mind but it’s the truth, the desire, the relationship he has given us. Jesus defined it as a new position. Not a 50/50 hope.
1 Pet 3:5 it’s a living hope, according to his abundant mercy he has begotten us again through the resurrection. People need a living hope. Can you imagine P. Ray going out and someone says I have a friend who is a homeless guy. If you have hope without Christ as the substance, I can get you a Big Mac but you have no hope. This is it. He doesn’t do that. He gives them the hope that’s alive and living and one that comes from the word, from that relationship. Praise the Lord. Jesus Christ, my living hope.
Rom 15:13, not just to have a hope but abound in it by the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s not me trying to hold onto Christ to receive it. It’s Christ in you the hope of glory. He takes us with him. Praise the Lord for that. My grip would lose out many times.
We have a good friend in the Costa Rican church over 4 years now. He and his family came to Eurocon a couple years ago. Carlos. He was walking with his family and so disgruntled with the whole God thing. He couldn’t live the life according to what was being preached, law. Here is a Gentile trying to live according to the law. He left the church and said, I’ve had it. I’m not going back. You’ll have to show something magical to me. Guess where I met him? On the street doing the magic show! The last part of it, you grab the people with some fun things but the last part spells out the gospel very clearly. You use the robes and ribbons and he came by. The finished work was revealed to him through that message and he said I have to talk to you guys. The finished work is for unfinished people. A hope was stirred in his life. P. Mike was still down there and we’re being friends and meeting up with Carlos and his family. After the years of continually hearing, this message and this sound – at our last conference he gave a testimony and it was incredible. He is growing and abounding in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When we have a living hope, we have to realize it’s attached to a living Savior. This produces a result.
Rom 12:1 it is by the mercies of God we become a living sacrifice. The verse says it’s our reasonable service. We have the living word, a living God, a living sacrifice, a living hope and the whole purpose is so rivers of living water would flow out of our life. Not our opinions or walking by sight. It’s okay.
Let’s get filled with the joy of the Lord. Having God in every way and as we are walking, we are getting everybody wet. People should be receiving from us this life we have.
There is a song we sang today in Silver Spring by Phil Wickham. He says halleluiah, praise the one that sets us free. Death has lost its grip on me. He has broken every chain, salvation in your name, Jesus Christ our living hope.
Maybe you never experienced a living hope. Maybe you’ve heard of this person Jesus and seen some things and met some people. This is your time. The Creator of the universe will take up residence in your life.
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