Sexual Identity Issues: Towards Graciousness and Inclusion (Ephesians 2:11-3:7)Phillip Hopwood, August 23, 2015
Part of the Social Issues series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
One of the most intrinsic and core aspects of our "being" is our identity, one aspect that plays a major part is our sexuality. Today Christians are divided on our attitude towards those with a different sexual preference.
How do we view and treat LGBTIQ+ people? This is a highly controversial topic, and one in which this sermon seeks to seek a Christlike approach, and to see all people as God's creation, beloved by him in Christ. It emphasises our need to focus on our common identity in Christ rather than in sexuality, and not to divide over our views on sexuality.
Are we following Jesus, or following religious people down through the millennia who ungraciously condemn and separate those who don't "measure up" to their standards?
Are we part of the kingdom that seeks to include and bring wholeness, healing and reconciliation, or the anti-kingdom that separates, hurts and condemns?
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11Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to youward: 3How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. (KJV)