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February 13, 2020 9:00 am
With Janie. Here's the good news with the laws unable to accomplish the power of new life accomplices in the gospel. The gospel shows us that were not ultimately defined by our culture, trusting in Jesus does not remove our cultural distinctives shows us listen that we are not ultimately defined by our cultures. We are defined first. We are in Christ. On the down shares or political convictions are someone who shares your faith in Jesus day. Pastor JD continues in Ephesians a quick reminder to stay tuned until the end of the program to learn about our new center like that really jump right in the best ways we can demonstrate the wisdom of the power of God is by being known for our unity in diversity again.
Ephesians 310. It's how we display multifaceted wisdom of God to our community. I think I told you a group of people all share one culture getting together is not miraculous that happens at any football game any rock concert in the political rally when you got a group of people who have little in common except for a common experience of grace that points to the magnitude of the gospel points to the power of the new man created in the resurrection that, unity is fun to talk about and it is hard to achieve, and it takes commitment to give you a handful reasons for personal reflection and observation. I think it's so hard. First of all, Satan tried them without saving. Satan hates us, unity, especially in the church. This is how God gets his best glory so you can better believe Satan wants to do everything he can to obscure it and we start, this he will pull out every weapon in the book, try to confuse and try to distort and try to make you angry because at its core. This is a spiritual battle. It is about the glory of Jesus, and you should always be aware that he is working in us to try and onto the good things here wants to do.
That's why A, Satan B. Pride. Pride racial, political, and educational characteristics tend to become core parts of her identity don't think these are what set us apart from others of what makes us feel significant. So whenever you got something about yourself that make you feel significant. Then you tend to feel proud about that thing and you start to resist anything that would threaten to undo or remover belittle that distinction. Consider with what makes up your core identity. What defines you.
I'm Hispanic I'm white on black.
I went to this school line. Rich, I have a PhD.
I ran a marathon right in a while since I complained about this went right, what other thing are you allowed to brag about on the back of your car and it socially acceptable. Other than a marathon right at me like a if you have 140 IQ can you put out about your car. 140 you know or 100 K is how much I made last year. Can you do that note 26.2. I'm awesome so it's a defining characteristic. I have several friends who do that and they know that on conductivity pride. Pride grows out of defining yourself primarily by things about you that set you apart from others again is nothing wrong with many of those things but were pride in them exist.
There will be no unity.
John Piper says it like this. Racial tensions are rife with pride. The pride of white supremacy is the pride of black power that the pride of intellectual analysis, the pride of anti-intellectual scorn the pride of loud verbal attack in the pride of despising silence, the pride that feel secure in the private mast fear where pride holds sway. There is no hope for the kind of listening and patience and understanding, and openness to correction the bees. Ephesians 2 relationships that were talking about required or the way that Chris re-one of our African-American pastor says that nothing so much more simply, the reason we have skin issues is because we have sin issues. C. Preference. Preference preferences for warships to look like. I looked around on weekends at the Berkeley campus where I was attending and was just amazed at the different people who come to our church. You got a lot of people who are I just raised this is a Southern Baptist and so when they're in the church. Here's what they do.
They seem boisterously and they really love to sing in a stand, there may belt out the songs when it's time for the message. They sit down and open your Bible may take out up here in the notebook because they're gonna take copious notes on God's word and occasionally a case by six of the really good they give a short punctuated right in what they do that's different than some of our African-American members because some of them talk back to me in full sentences with nouns and bird clauses and questions that I wonder if our first answer in the middle church and I'm listening like a monster to be talking back. Right now I don't know what to do here right now. I contrast that I contrast that with our we have a group of Korean believers that come in that it will sit together all times. One row together and I was watching them a lesson for several weeks because I'm telling you there's nobody in our church that warships with more passion and energy than a group of Korean believers. They don't sing the songs they shout the songs, but then every time I got up to preach and stand up to preach the whole roll of them would sit in silence and admits my feelings that you will hurt some thought. Maybe I'm just not connecting with maybe you know they love the worship but there kind of enduring the preaching inside. I just asked him one when we can like you sent me like you just not me talking too fast and he said he said in our culture and our culture when somebody that is in authority is speaking you don't say anything you listen and you you write things down the wood we we display in our culture is disrespectful to talk back to the person that is is talking. I have a friend was missionary in Japan and he said that the church that he planted over there in Japan. He said if you look at their faces and worship, they would have the most intense emotional feelings written on their face sometimes tear sometimes joint use of the everything they did in church was in a whisper and he asked why, why would you do that. He said we want to show our emotion to God, but you can see in our face and we don't want to disturb others who are doing the same.
Now I contrast that with some of our members to stretch before they come to church because if you ain't sweating you weight praising you know… Denali. Think about it and then we got a bunch more y'all in our church. You don't really know what you're doing, how you gonna like I'm not sure what this church is about you come in LOL Tim Hawkins describes is progressing. Your first Sunday are like you like this and then as you start to get used to. Here are doing the chicken wing. This is what you do not worship this is like the progression. Many get really bold and so you do the carrying the TV right. This is kind of the first force of posture and you moved to the widescreen TV okay and you graduate of the mind in a box, you know, sort of worship posture right here and then when you're really getting bold you go to the village people and then there's Rocky Balboa.
And then there's touchdown and that's Canada worship progression that we watch happen, and then we got our former Pentecostals and some of the lady Pentecostals are my favorite are out there and there like watching heavens windows as you know is you doing light bulbs going on up here in with this and then you got back to our Koreans were given a high five. Jesus every dominate their worship in and start about winter summoning this manual when I get done with all the services here. I won't back down there somebody in this manual and they're still on their personal set, because it didn't last like three or four hours and it is not really I is not really sure. Now here's a question, which one of those is God's favorite amen amen is what you would say that that not every Southern Baptist say amen right so let me say this lesson.
That means that in order for you to be a part of a multicultural church you have to be willing to be uncomfortable sometimes with people around you not doing things your way. My friend Vance Pittman, who spoke in here a couple times. He says the way to know the way to know that you're part of a multicultural church is that you frequently feel uncomfortable in church. If you don't feel uncomfortable you not part of a multicultural church. Many people who want a multicultural church only want a multicolored church, Brian Lorentz, African-American friend preacher who spoke in your couple times as we know, we know multiculturalism was a huge issue in the early church because of how much of Paul's letters talk about food. Food is not an issue in a homogenous church used eat your kosher meal and be happy.
But when you got Gentile starting to show up at the potluck holy start bringing in different dishes, swirl soufflé and sausage casserole and as usual I was really doing this whenever the Bible talks about food, you should sub in music. If you want to diverse sanctuary you got have a diverse dinnertable we want to diverse church to be things around the dinner table and things are customs that some of which are not to be your favorite writer is D apathy. I think this might be the biggest one. I'll talk about, though, it's just easier trauma tedious when we try this as we try this. It's difficult you get hurt. You get misunderstood your motives get thrown back at you going tell you I will get more emails in response to this message than anything operational. Your long semi for like I said too much so my thought out and say enough why did you say that you should know said that and that's okay but there are times to me that if I cannot just be easier to just forget all this and just do run in the lane that I know that I'm comfortable in the glory of Jesus and the success of the great commission is worth it to work in a press on right EE lack of empathy lack of empathy. Paul tells us very clearly throughout his epistles. We ought to bear each other's burdens, that certainly applies in this area we say something to those of you who are in the so-called majority culture. What we need to learn to do in this is to say to one another and to those who are not part of that culture.
I need you to help me understand how that feels. I need you to help me understand why you think that way, the book of James tells us that we ought to be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, if there were ever a place for us to apply this verse. It's in this arena. James and say there's never a place for you to speak. There's never a place for you to be able to give a perspective justice be slow to speak, slow to speak means that you listen a whole lot more than you talk you seek to understand more than you seek to be understood because to listen to somebody is to love them I love what Albert Tate, the great African-American pastor leader here in our country says it's hard for me to love.
It's hard for me to love when I'm so busy trying to defend myself.
We do not want to be a church that focuses so much on this relationship vertical that we ignore the neglect, the pain of each other on the horizontal sphere that Jesus told a parable just directly permitting that did me in Matthew five verse 24 hours should therefore your offering your gift to the altar, your church brought your offering and there you remember that your brother or sister is something against you. It's not even that you're mad at somebody you they have something against you. What you do this, this, by the way, this shows you Jesus understood pastors leave your gift there in front of the old swing leave offering my there's Leavitt and van Gogh and be reconciled to your brother, and then come back in office will be there will order taken itself, but that's how the Lord got to go is there's no it is insincere. Jesus says to God for there to be a robust vertical relationship with him while we neglect and ignore horizontal pain that is going on all around us. To say this, especially you, that are beginning so-called minority cultures.
I know that there are times that we have been blind to some of the struggles that you had to go through.
We do not want to be. We want to walk with you through these things we want to share your burdens even as you share ours, we want to fight together for each other because that's what family does and that's what the concerts want to be F unforgiveness, unforgiveness. Paul tells later in Ephesians for the failure to bestow forgiveness is one of Satan's primary ways of gaining a foothold in any relationship you tell us that a failure to forgive quickly on all sides is how the strife keeps going as Gandhi said reflected on Jesus's words that if we insist on justice always been an eye for an eye and eventually the whole world will be blind.
Somebody has to break the chain. Let me tell you a lie about forgiveness that many of you believe in multiple arenas of your life that keeps you firmly in Satan's grasp on this area belies this. I can't forgive you. Until I know that you know how much you hurt me. Think of it like a marriage. Your wife who hurts her husband she repents and ask for his forgiveness but he still doesn't think that she's understood the extent of his pain.
Now there are two sides to this. Maybe she hasn't and maybe he needs to continue to help her see that and see in love needs patiently to work at understanding his pain.
But, and this is key if he makes his forgiveness of her conditional on her understanding everything about his pain. He's going to be a holding himself Into a standard, she will likely never meet and be what exactly saying is I can't forgive you until you felt bad enough, which is a way of paying for your sin and that's payment is a might pay for their sin is not forgiveness. Forgiveness is extending grace even when somebody that deserve it the best teaching on this of course came from Jesus sermon on the mount.
He talked about turning the other cheek which is an image we all know but but very few of us may understand that she in Jewish kind of thought always represented the relationship. The face represent relationship so you smacked somebody's cheek.
You're not trying to kill him right and you know martial arts instructor ever says: for the cheek. You know it's like no they're insulting they're insulting the relationship they're breaking the relationship to what you while your options are. You stand up and smack their cheek right useful to me. I will break the relationship back. You could be passive_southern take take on the same cheek. What Jesus is saying is neither of those he say in the third thing which is I'm a standout and I want to turn the other cheek which means I'm going to confront you about what you did wrong, but I want to do so while extending to you the invitation to be rejoined in relationship that starts with forgiveness. So yes, I am telling you you can't smack my cheek as want turn it away from you. But even as I say that I want you to understand the pain but my forgiveness of you is not conditional on the pain you recognize and all that. It's just conditional on you saying yes let's be peaceable to walk together if there were ever a place that this needs to be applied. It's in this area because of how we stay in Satan's grasp thereof give you six things that keep us from being able to achieve this, it is it any wonder that our society can't do it missing. Here's the good news is the whole message of Ephesians, what the law what the law is unable to accomplish the power of new life accomplices in the gospel write this down. The gospel shows us that were not ultimately defined by our culture, trusting in Jesus does not remove our cultural distinctives, but it shows us a lesson that we are not ultimately defined by our cultures. We are defined first by who we are in Christ known to be really careful here because God created the rich beauties and diversities of culture and God is not on a mission to erase them.
It's just that when you become a Christian, God gives you an identity that goes beyond in deeper than any of your other cultural distinctives in saying that Christ is created one new man. We said that there Ephesians is introducing a concept that a lot of theologians call the concept of the third race hang with me here okay your first race. That is whatever race you are so for me it's a white Caucasian white southern that's me on my second race is whatever I'm not. I'm not Hispanic about Asian so whatever, I'm not as my second race my third race is what I am in Christ. This new man that he has created me in Christ when I become a Christian. It's not that my first race disappears, it's that my third race who I am and Jesus becomes more formative and becomes more significant than even not even my first race my first race becomes insignificant enough to me that I can lay it aside when I need to because it didn't ultimately defined me Paul himself as example here is probably my first review John Paul is talking about how he becomes all things all meant what he says listen to you. I became a Jew.
Paul was a Jew.
If you are a Jew.
How do you become a Jew to would you impulses in Paul's mind. His Jewishness was so light to him that he could take it on and off like a garment and savvy to become a Jew back to you.
And if I did take that off to become something else for somebody that I can do that because I become all things all meant I might by all means save some. The question is this.
Listen is your whiteness like that. Can you take it on and off like a garment is your blackness like that your Asian this can you leave that aside. When you need to because it's not ultimately a defining characteristic of who you are.
Again, it's not that our previous cultures disappear to something greater starts to defined in something deeper. Galatians 3 pulses of this wife for many years you were baptized in Christ not put on Christ. Neither is new concept, there is neither Jew or Greek, slave or free. No male or female. You are all one now in Christ Jesus didn't mean that I cease to be Jew or Greek anymore than he means.
I cease to be male or female. He needs yes you're still a male, but what you are in Christ is more defining than even your gender is certainly more than your skin color in your blood type.
Your job if you're Christ you're actually Abraham's offspring not ethnically Abraham's offspring of faith and that is your most defining race. Your heirs according to the promise.
You don't get what you get from your culture. You get what you get from God.
If you still feel division with other believers who love Jesus.
It just shows of the gospel has not gone deep enough in your heart.
For example, he financed my shares the same political convictions of you BE with this person. What that shows you is you feel a kinship with them that may go deeper than that of kinship you feel the gospel. It ought to be that I look at some azaleas that you do that missing it out yet, since we should talk about that sometime, but you love Jesus I love Jesus that puts us together in a unity that goes beyond anything else and I'm happy to call you brother and sister even as we talk about those very very things the gospel teaches us to subjugate our preferences for other salvation.
Matthew today is what it's about right. The gospel teaches me to subjugate my preferences rather salvation. How many of Jesus's preferences and he laid down he came to save you all of you know the hypocrisy of standing in here in this place. Worshiping the Savior who laid down every preference he had to save you and you worship that Savior while you insist that everybody else around you worship that Savior according to the style that you prefer. Do you think of a greater absurdity. If we worship a Savior who laid down his references. Of course, will lay down our preferences to see other people reach for the gospel, Churchill wants to be committed to this essay, I want to applaud those of you who are especially those of you who are not part of the majority culture and you've chosen to come to this church. I know it's not been easy for you, but I believe that what you're doing is glorifying to Jesus, and I believe it is a great benefit to the great commission, and Paul went into a new city to plant a church. Not one time did he ever go to Gentile sections of the planter to Riordan or the Jewish section plant a church over here hope that they get along one day always went right to the middle and set on planet church were Jew and Gentile going to come together because that's him to bring glory to Jesus and what you've done you that are not the majority culture as you come across town, metaphorically speaking, and you sat down in a culture that may not be as familiar to use your own and you done it for the glory of Jesus and you've done it for the great commission and I just want to say thank you because I believe it is given us a vision of what the future ought to look like I want to encourage the rest of you all of us to move beyond mere awareness to engagement gap between awareness and gospel community is intentionality you to be aware of it you post on your Facebook municipal activist, but if you want to not you want gospel community.
There's got to be a intentionality near many of you do need to pursue this by starting relationships of people that are different than you. The point of all this is not always have different colored faces in this audience of the weekend. The point of this is that we know each other and love each other and show the world the greatness of our Christ that far exceeds any of our cultural differences or preferences. Amen amen amen we want to live multicultural lives not host multicultural event the real community awareness and intentionality. Pastor JD Greer and this ascetic life. Even the pastor and the Senate church for most of the 2000 your church look like before you yeah I became pastor in December 2001 churches planted by man named Sam James in 1962 Sam would only preach one official sermon at that church and it was on Isaiah 54, two and three, which was William Carey famous missionary text that God was telling Israel to expand the borders of the tank as he wanted to use them to bring salvation to a lot more than just their household and that's the same challenges are. Snoopy said God founded this church with with the mission in mind and then he left that afternoon to go to Richmond, Virginia where he was appointed by the international mission board to be a missionary in Vietnam where he would serve for 40 years, God used that vision. Even though it's really dormant in the church for several decades to use that vision to help revitalize that church. And that's one of the stories +7 others that we tell in this in this book hidden graces is talk about how God transformed sleepy plateaued, declining dying church how God used faith and faithfulness on behalf of the members in some vision to revitalize at church. It's it's that story was much others I think will bless you and encourage you to go inspire you for what is taking place and in the church that you're going to be something you have even pass on your pastor and so if you reach out to JD Greer.com would love to put this this resource in your hands Greer.com street with a donation of $25 or more when you came to light. You're really getting this program to your fellow listeners making sure we stay on your station and on the land is just my way of saying thank you for your support and your copy of our explicit stories that led to the dying church is 335-335-2980 Greer.com doing