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Sermon Quotes: "An End to Hostility"

“…with all humility and gentleness, with patience bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Eph. 4:2-3

“The portrait of the peacemaking Christ.” John Stott

“Keep in mind that the divide between Jews and Gentiles was not small or simple or shallow. It was huge and complex and deep. It was as intractable as any ethnic hostilities we experience today.” John Piper

“It is the wall that Jesus destroys by what he did with the law in his flesh-not the law itself, as aspects still have value, but the attitudes and conditions of separation that the law produced.” Darrell Bock 

“Men are opposed to God in their sin and God is opposed to men in his holiness.” J.I. Packer

“And only through the cross have both ‘hostilities’  been brought to an end, for when Christ bore our sin and judgment on the cross God turned away his own wrath, and we, seeing his great love, turned away ours also. Thus Christ (literally) ‘killed’ or ‘slew’ the hostility.” John Stott

“Paul ties the note of peace to Christ and not to Pax Romana. That would be a counter-cultural note. The way to bring people together was not through the structures of surrounding society but through what Christ has done.” Darrell Bock

“How did Jesus accomplish his mission to end ethnocentrism? How did he create the new people of God who would be defined not by ethnic features but by faith in Christ? He did it through his death. Probably no passage of Scripture is clearer than Ephesians 2:11-22 that horizontal reconciliation between alienated peoples happens through vertical reconciliation with God through the blood of Christ. The enemies in this text ‘have been brought near by the blood of Christ’ (v13)-near to God and near to each other…Few passages in all the Bible have greater implications not only for racial harmony, but also for how we understand the plan of God in history for the one people of God.” John Piper

“The New Testament proclaims that in Christ believers form a new humanity. The old barrier of hostility and division between ethnic groups has been demolished by the Cross, and now all peoples of all groups are to be one in Christ. Our primary identity as humans is to be based on our union with Christ, and no longer based on traditional human sociological connections. Christians of other races are not just equal to us; they are joined to us. We are both part of the same body, united by the presence of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us both.” J. Daniel Hays

“What has the church to say and do that no other institution can say and do?” Kevin Vanhoozer

“I long for Christians to know that even though these issues are exceedingly complex, the way forward can still be fairly simple. Read your Bible. Raise your children in the Lord. Stay married. Go to church and listen to your pastor. Love your neighbor. Do good to your enemies. Pray for govt. officials. DON’T JOIN A MOB! Just because an issue is truly multi-faceted and complex doesn’t mean the Christian life must also become a knot that is impossible to untangle.”