North Anderson Baptist Church
Calvary Can Cause Change
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Welcome to the pre-Easter service! We call this Palm Sunday, which is the Sunday before the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary and His resurrection from the dead, on Easter Sunday. Today we will look at the subject “Calvary Can Cause Change.” The death by crucifixion of our Savior and Lord on the Friday of Passion Week is the subject of many sermons, books and even movies. We will look at a Scripture written by the Apostle Paul found in Ephesians 2:11-22 where he writes that both Jews and Gentiles can find a change in their lives because of Calvary. Surrendering one’s hearts and lives to Christ changes not only one’s life but how one looks and acts toward others. Paul says both Jews and Gentiles who were saved because of the cross became united into one body, the church! What made that possible, the Cross of Calvary! Let’s read our passage in parts as we look at three thoughts that Paul emphasizes in this full passage. The first passage will be

1. - “Separated from Christ without Hope”
Gentiles, were “foreigners” to the law of the Jews and the covenants of the promise. Why? They had little or no knowledge of Jehovah God and what the Jews went through to become God’s people, Israel. They were the “uncircumcised.” Circumcision was the ritual that God called on the Israelites to perform on all male Jews so as to fulfill the covenant with God. There was no relationship with God outside of being circumcised and following the law. Paul wanted the Gentiles to know that they were once separated from Christ and excluded from God’s family of Israel; they were not only separated from God, they were also without hope. When one is separated from Christ there is no hope in this life for eternity and there is no citizenship in heaven. Only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ allows us to know God, His hope and have our citizenship in heaven. The Gentiles, before they were saved, were excluded from both the Jews relationship with God through the law but also separated from Christ and salvation.

2. - “Through the Blood, by the Cross”
What happens because of the Blood and the Cross? Paul says that through the blood of Jesus that those (including us today) “who were once far away have been brought near.” What does he mean by that? Referring to the Gentiles and to the Jews, Paul is saying that both the groups of people, who have made a personal decision to receive Christ into their lives have been changed. Both groups were far from God but they were not far away anymore because of the blood that was spilled and Jesus’ death on the cross, their sins were forgiven and they were then made to be God’s children, close to His heart. (We too were once far away because of our sin but because of the blood of Jesus and His death on the cross we have been saved and brought near to God.) Notice that there was a barrier, between God and the Gentiles and Jews. Because of that barrier there was no peace between God and man. But there was also a barrier, a real wall of hostility, between Gentiles and Jews and that kept them from having peace between themselves, individually and culturally. Real peace, Godly peace, came to not only individuals of both groups and God but between these two warring factions and God. How did that peace come? It came from the blood shed on the cross by Jesus Christ!! They were reconciled to God by Jesus who died on the Cross and the two became one in Christ and therefore knew that peace of God between them and God and the peace of God in their hearts.
I loved what Paul had to say here, “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.” So, out of the Gentiles and the Jews, God created through the cross and Jesus’ blood, one new man in Christ. How powerful is that! How did God do that? God did it by “abolishing in His flesh, that is the death of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross, the law with its commandments and regulations.” According to the scholars, when Jesus died on the cross, His broken body and sacrificial death, caused the abolishment of “the law with its commands and regulations” that the Jews had been living by since Abraham started the nation of Jews. Those laws and commandments and regulations pointed to the cross where the perfect Lamb of God, the one and only Son of God, (John 1:29, The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!) would be the last sacrifice for sin to satisfy the Father and His wrath. Therefore the laws and regulations were then unnecessary.
If you are a saved child of God today, did you know that you were at one time far away and hostile to God? Do you know that if you are not a child of God, you are far away from God and not saved and that today you are experiencing hostility toward God?
As Jesus preached, He preached to the Jew and to the Gentile, saying that some are far away and some are near, but both groups need the peace with God which He could offer. When both entered into Christ, through salvation, they then had personal access to the Father through the Holy Spirit. Dear friend, when you enter into Christ through repentance and confess of your sin, then you too have personal access to God Almighty through the Holy Spirit who lives in you. Praise God that we are able to go to the Father because He has made us His children through the cross and the blood of Jesus.

3. - “God’s household, Christ the Chief Cornerstone”
When the Gentiles and the Jews both became believers, Paul says that they were not any longer far away or foreigners or aliens - two different groups, but one in Christ. They were now fellow citizens of God’s Kingdom, people of God and members of God’s household! They were all one in Christ because of the blood of Christ and the cross. This new household is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ as the Chief Cornerstone. Buildings have a cornerstone which is the primary stone; Jesus is the Cornerstone of God’s building and here we are standing on the Solid Rock, the Cornerstone - Jesus Christ! We are a part of God’s building!
This church Jesus died for to buy our life and then rose from the dead giving each who believe in Him new life, we are God’s church, His household, living and breathing, not brick and mortar but flesh and blood, redeemed by the Son of God who died upon the Cross.
The Bible says it is in Him this building is joined together and it rises up to become a holy temple, a sanctuary, for God.
Remember what 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says,
We are the Temple of God! We are “in the Lord.”
One of the most interesting things Paul says is that you and I are “being built together.” What does he mean? First, God desires a House to be built where His Holy Spirit can dwell and second, that this building grows. Since this is a living building made up of many believers, then growth must take place as righteousness takes hold of each part of this building of God. God continues to build us up in our faith so we can become mature.
There is an old children’s song that we used to sing with our kids and at church a lot.
“He’s Still Working On Me.”

He’s still working on me
To make me what I need to be
It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars
The Sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be
“Cause He’s still working on me.”
***
There really ought to be a sign upon my heart
Don’t judge him yet, there’s an unfinished part
But I’ll be better just according to His plan
Fashioned by the Master’s hands
***
Chorus
***
In the mirror of His word
Reflections that I see
Makes me wonder why He never gave up on me
But He loves me as I am and helps me when I pray
Remember He’s the potter, I’m the clay.
Chorus
***
You are in the process of being made into what God wants you to be. You are not there yet but you will be one day. Until then, others need to know “God’s working on me.”
How does that happen? Let’s go to the statement Paul makes in verses 19-20, “...but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.”
The church is built on Christ and His teachings through the apostles and prophets. We see that the first Christians, most Jews, were taught that way; Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching…” God gave us His Word, for with His Word we can grow and become mature, strong in the faith and the church then us built up. Let me finish by just reading this passage from Paul in Ephesians 4:11-16,
Read and study this passage and you will see how you are to grow.
Calvary has changed me! Can I get a witness that Calvary has changed you too! If you have not gone to the cross to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord then bow down to the Savior and Lord and receive Him into your heart today, right now!

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com