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Build on a Firm Foundation (CC)

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www.ziontorrance.info Let us rise for the reading of this morning's sermon text recorded for us by the Apostle Paul in his Letter to the Ephesians where we read from Chapter 2, beginning with Verse 13: BUT NOW IN CHRIST JESUS YOU WHO WERE ONCE FAR AWAY HAVE BEEN BROUGHT NEAR THROUGH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST. FOR HE HIMSELF IS OUR PEACE, WHO HAD MADE THE TWO ONE AND HAS DESTROYED THE BARRIER, THE DIVIDING WALL OF HOSTILITY. 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, AND IN THIS ONE BODY TO RECONCILE BOTH OF THEM TO GOD THROUGH THE CROSS, BY WHICH HE PUT TO DEATH THEIR HOSTILITY. HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR. FOR THROUGH HIM WE BOTH HAVE ACCESS TO THE FATHER BY ONE SPIRIT. CONSEQUENTLY, YOU ARE NO LONGER FOREIGNERS AND ALIENS, BUT FELLOW CITIZENS WITH GOD'S PEOPLE AND MEMBERS OF GOD'S HOUSEHOLD, BUILT ON THE FOUNDATION OF THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS, WITH CHRIST JESUS HIMSELF AS THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE. IN HIM THE WHOLE BEING IS JOINED TOGETHER AND RISES TO BECOME A HOLY TEMPLE IN THE LORD. AND IN HIM YOU TOO ARE BEING BUILT TOGETHER TO BECOME A DWELLING IN WHICH GOD LIVES BY HIS SPIRIT. This is the Word of our Lord. Let us pray: Glorious and gracious God, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of each of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, our only source of hope and comfort. Amen. [Text taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.] Dear Followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: It seems today when people are putting up new buildings or erecting monuments, there isn't a lot of thought given to that cornerstone. Oh yes, I'm sure there are people who want a nice date on it to establish when that building was put up. Or people are going to go around and gather together a time capsule putting things in there from the news of the day and things that are important with what's going on that in future generations if the building is ever destroyed, that they will find this time capsule and look back on the days when it was erected. But other than that, a cornerstone, doesn't just seem to have the same importance nor the same purpose that it once did. The importance of that cornerstone to begin the building. To keep that structure plumb ... those walls straight ... those walls having a great foundation on which to be built. That selective process to find just the perfect stone to begin that building process. To erect that building so it would withstand against all of the assaults of nature and just the marking of time. God our Father took tremendous care in selecting the Cornerstone for His Church. The Cornerstone for His Holy Temple to make sure that that Temple would stand forever because it would be built on Jesus Christ as the Chief Cornerstone. The One that all of the prophets of the Old Testament prepared and proclaimed. Prepared the way for God to complete His Plan of Salvation by sending His Messiah. All of the apostles proclaiming who Jesus was ... that He was the Son of God and what He had done by coming to this world and accomplishing salvation ... God put that Plan into effect so that His Church would be built on Jesus Christ, His Son, the Savior of mankind. So that It would be able to withstand all of the assaults; the assaults of Satan whom Jesus Himself totally destroyed through His death on the cross of Calvary, and resurrection to eternal life. That Satan was no longer a threat to God's people because Jesus was the victor. He was the One who trampled him and totally destroyed him. That the Church built on Christ will withstand the attacks of Satan. Would withstand the attacks of how Satan uses the world itself to put the Church under a microscope. And we know those stories that come out in the media for us to hear. How many of us haven't cringed that there's another story about how leaders in the Church have misused their position. Have misused the trust of their congregation and its members. And once again, the members of the Church think: Why must we continue to fight against this? But we fight against it because Satan and the world is always there to attack! To want to destroy. To discredit the Church and to silence that message that Jesus Christ IS their Lord and Savior. There is tremendous hostility on the part of people who live in sin against God and, consequently, against those people who trust and believe in God; who profess Him as their Lord and Savior. Satan is going to come at us hard. The world wants us to be silent. But we are reminded that our foundation as the Church of God is built on Christ ... who silenced Satan by descending into hell in victory after His resurrection and proclaimed Himself to be the Lord and Savior! The Lord over life ... and over death! And He gives that eternal life to those who trust and believe in Him. He gives that to them freely; out of His love and His grace because of the difficult work He did. And the tremendous sacrifice that He made. And we are reminded that our foundation of our congregation, of our church, is also built on Jesus Christ. He is the One that we trust in; He is the One that we pray to for all of our needs. He is that Good Shepherd we are reminded of once again. He is the One who has saved us, and cares for us, and tends us in perfect providence; in perfect care. The One who truly knows what we need and He looks upon us and in love supplies those things so that we can remain strong in our faith. Healthy in our service being built together as part of that Holy Temple of God. On Christ, on the foundation of the apostles, and prophets. Built together to be active in living out that faith. Continuing to be like Christ. That when we look at that world, that is so filled with the hostility of sin, we see them as Christ saw them. As people who are lost who don't have a shepherd caring for them ... tending for them. Wandering aimlessly uncared for, unprotected. And we have compassion on them. But we understand what their greatest need is. To take that hostility to God and have that turned into the peace of God through faith by the working of the Holy Spirit. And all of us understand that battle because we were all the enemies of God before we came to faith. We were people who were hostile to God and what is still amazing, that sin that is in us still at times, makes us hostile to God. We want to fight with God. We will say that we don't believe some of the things that God has recorded for us or asked us. We will argue with God to be able to do the least amount of service to Him because He IS NOT Number 1 in our lives. How easy it is for us to just put God aside without any love or concern for Him, and do exactly what we want and continue to live exactly as we are, without a pang of conscience that we are living outside of God's Law and God's desire for our lives. That is that sin that battles in us each day. But thanks be to God that that gift of the Holy Spirit ... that faith is within us ... knows to turn to God in forgiveness. To admit the sin that is ours and to hear once again His love in the forgiveness of us. That He has removed that hostility and replaced it with the peace of God. The peace of God that truly goes beyond our understanding. But how can we even begin to grasp that God looks down on us, watches us, knows us each and every moment of every day ... of every thought and every action. And yet He loves us. Constantly. Continually. Knowing exactly what we are as we fall before Him in repentance He calms ourselves and He says: You are forgiven on the basis of what My Son Jesus Christ did. And I am with you. I am with you to continue to struggle and to continue to fight. We fight because we know we are at peace. We lay our heads at night on our pillows content in the grace of God. Knowing that our sins have been forgiven we can rest secure. Knowing that God will tend us and watch over us and if He grants us another day of life, we open our eyes to be with Him once again at peace with Him as members of His Holy Temple. And what a wonderful blessing that is for us. Because those who are outside of faith, don't have that peace. They're continually struggling. They're continually searching. They're continually looking for something else. They're going from thing to thing to thing to fulfill them and to make them happy. And to give them a foundation, but they're just bouncing from things that are not permanent. And Jesus Christ is permanent. The Church that is built on Him is solid because of what He has done and that the Holy Spirit keeps those members of that Church faithful to God's Word. Fighting the good fight of faith each and every day and sharing that peace that is so important to us. That truly brings us so much comfort and so much joy in our life. And we know that the Church in this world is not going to be perfect. There are going to continue to be shepherds, as pointed out in our Old Testament Lesson, who are not caring for the sheep. But God has sent us the Great Shepherd. The Good Shepherd ... His Son, Jesus Christ. He has gathered us together; brought us together to be a part of that glorious Church that will live forever with Him in eternity. And we remind ourselves that there is our future. There is also our strength. To continue to stand each and every day. To continue to live in our faith simply proclaiming what God has done by all the things that we say; all the things that we do. To not have fear, but to live in that love of God with the power of His Holy Spirit blessed by Jesus Christ. And we support each other in that work. We support each other in our Christian battle each and every day. For we know that the Church of God will stand forever. And that we ... will sing the praises of our Creator, and our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit who has brought us to faith. Not just as the Church here, but as the Church Triumphant forever. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 15 minutes and 33 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 38
Posted by: hischild on Aug 4, 2012

In this Closed-Captioned sermon, based on Ephesians 2:13-22, Pastor Dave shares the peace we have with God when we have built on Christ Jesus Himself as our Cornerstone for this life and for eternity. www.ziontorrance.info

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