Bluewater Bay Community Church

Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen

Acceptance (week 1)

by Erik Momsen

HEARTLINES film - "The Miners" www.heartlines.org.za

Across the face of the planet and throughout time humanity has been divided along the lines of race, gender and economy. This was not God's plan. Acceptance and love of each other is at the heart of God's plan for us.

Each nation has its own set of challenges but South Africans must, with God's help, face all issues that divide and hence weaken us.

"MADE IN THE IMAGE & LIKENESS OF GOD"
In the biblical account the creation of humanity is the pinnacle. We were made to represent God on earth. Made to rule on His behalf and fill the earth. God only has one account of the creation of humanity. There is only one humanity.

THE TARNISHED IMAGE
The world as we know it today is not what God intended. Sin, pain and death entered our experience though Adam and Eve's disobedience (ps. we continue in disobedience). Everything changed. Even the nature of humanity. The image of God in us was replaced by a sad caricature. It is perhaps for this reason that we firstly see the worst in each other and especially focus on our differences.

THE LAW OF LOVE FROM THE BEGINNING
“You shall not wrong an alien, neither shall you oppress him, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt." (Exodus 22:21)
"You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am Yahweh. ... The stranger who lives as a foreigner with you shall be to you as the native-born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you lived as foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God." (Leviticus 19:18,34)

Jesus is clearly portrayed in the Gospels as associating and having a sepcial love for the outcasts. In fact the people he criticizes are almost exclusively the religious and politically powerful.

A NEW HUMANTITY THROUGH CHRIST
Paul describes Jesus as the New Adam and we understand that the "great exchange took place". Jesus became what we were so that we could become what He is.

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new. But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation; namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and having committed to us the word of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)

Christ reconciled us to God and each other and we are called to continue this work. Followers of Christ have been given the ministry of reconciliation

THE CHURCH WORKS OUT JESUS' RECONCILIATION
The purpose of the church is firstly to bring glory to God but part of this is to unite all people under one head, even Christ (Eph. 1:10). Believers are one under one King and we show the world this new Kingdom.

"For He (Christ) is our peace, He making us both (Jews & gentiles) one, and He has broken down the middle wall of partition between us , having abolished in His flesh the enmity (the Law of commandments contained in ordinances) so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, making peace between them ; and so that He might reconcile both to God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity in Himself." (Ephesians 2:14-16)

"For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many as were baptized into Christ, you put on Christ. There cannot be Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is no male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:26-28)

"and having put on the new, having been renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, foreigner, Scythian, slave or freeman, but Christ is all things in all." (Colossians 3:10,11)

- Christ died to abolish all partitions, enmity & sins (divisions are a product of sin).
- Believers now continue working this truth out in the world.

The New Humanity in Heaven
"After these things I looked, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palms in their hands." (Revelation 7:9).

PRACTICAL ACCEPTANCE
Division based on race, gender and economics (or age) is unGodly.
See the best in each person.
Look at their heart not the habits.
Look at them through the eyes of Christ - the eyes of Love.
Look at them as a perspective co-inhabiter of heaven.

HEARTLINES: www.heartlines.org.za

Erik Momsen

Date Added: 2006-07-18

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