Grace Community Church
Confront Hatred (Ephesians 2:11-22)
Big Idea: We stand with God when we lovingly cross lines and confront situations that encourage division and hate.
Locations & Times
  • Grace Community Church
    9755 N La Cholla Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85742, USA
    Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:45 AM
Ephesians 2:11-18 (NLT)

11 Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. 12 In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. 13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. 14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death. 17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. 18 Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.

Article - Ancient Temple Mount ‘Warning’ Stone is ‘Closest Thing We Have to the Temple’

Carved in bold Greek letters, 2,000-year-old Herodian inscription marked off the section of Jerusalem’s most sacred site where gentiles couldn’t go — and shows they were welcome elsewhere in holy area. Read more in this online article from The Times of Israel.
God's Commands in the Old Testament:

Leviticus 19:33-34 (NLT)

33 “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. 34 Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 19:17 (HCSB)

“You must not harbor hatred against your brother. Rebuke your neighbor directly, and you will not incur guilt because of him.
Paul teaches the Ephesians that Jesus' work on the cross destroyed every wall and barrier of hatred once and for all.

Ephesians 2:15-16 (NLT)

15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.

Ephesians 3:6 (NLT)

And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.

Article - How the Green Book Helped African-American Tourists Navigate a Segregated Nation

Take a look at this article by Jacinda Townsend from The Smithsonian Magazine, and find out how this guide was invaluable for Jim-Crow era travelers to find hotels, restaurants and other businesses open to African-Americans.

Video - The Negro Motorist Green Book and Route 66

The “Green Book”, known variously as the Negro Motorist Green Book and the Negro Travelers’ Green Book, was an annual travel guide published from 1936 to 1964 by Victor H. Green. It was intended to provide African American travelers with lodging, dining, and other information necessary to stay safe and comfortable during the era of segregation prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The purpose of the Route 66 Green Book Project is to identify properties in Route 66 communities that were listed in the Green Book (as well as other negro traveler guides), and to determine if they are still standing. With this information, it is possible to promote the preservation and commemoration of these buildings, as well as gain additional research to better understand African American experiences of Route 66.
Discover more about Route 66 and the Green Book through the introductory film below, written and produced by Candacy Taylor in partnership with the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program.

ISIS almost run out of Mosul, after 3 years of occupation

After nearly eight months of fighting, Iraqi forces appear poised to retake what was once ISIS's largest stronghold in Iraq and the birthplace of its caliphate. Fighting, especially in the city’s west, has been ferocious, leaving Iraqi forces with thousands of casualties. Civilians, too, have been caught in the crossfire, leaving hundreds of thousands displaced and thousands dead.

Article and Video - “There is So much God Wants to Say to this Generation” – An Interview with Michael Chang

Find out more about Michael Chang here and why he made this powerful video, an open letter from a Christian perspective to ISIS.

Video - The Nine: Overcoming ISIS

On 6/9/14, ISIS invaded Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. Half a million people fled in the next two days, leaving behind everything they owned. From the ruins, 9 refugees dare to testify of a love that no one can take away. Watch their powerful story here.

My Next Step

How is God calling you to confront hatred? How can you use the voice and talents God has given you to stand with Him? Click here to take one step closer to Christ today.
For My Personal Time With God This Week:

[#1] Reread Ephesians 2, as Paul confronts the wall of hostility and hate and proclaims that Jesus has torn it down with his body on the cross (v. 14). What do you think Paul means by this? What insights from this chapter can you apply to the modern-day hatred you see in the world around you?
[#2] Get a sampling for the hatred of the day from the Bible in John 4 (note vs. 9 & 27); Acts 10 (note v. 28); Acts 11 (note vs. 2,3,8,9,18); and Galatians 2:11-21 (note vs. 11-12). What do you see? How is it different from the prejudice and hatred we see in our culture today? How is it similar?
[#3] Read the story of Paul confronting hatred, and all that happened as a result, in Acts 21-26. What stands out to you about His obedience to God here? Could you have done what Paul did? Why/why not?
[#4] Take a few minutes to watch the videos about racial segregation in the United States, and the modern-day religious hatred in the ISIS videos by Michael Chang in the online sermon notes at Better yet, watch them with a friend or family member and talk about them afterward, discussing what Christ might be asking of you.

Resource - Boundaries book

Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. A recommended resource by authors Henry Cloud and John Townsend is Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life. You can read more about it and order a copy from Amazon here.

Catch Up Here - Crossing the Line

If you've missed any sermons in our series, Crossing the Line, catch up here.

New Sermon Series - Build Your Kingdom Here: Haggai

God used Haggai to challenge Israel to take a good, hard look at their lives. And this little book, telling a story from centuries ago, can help us to do the same today.
Join us in June as we experience God’s Word through Haggai’s four short sermons — sermons that changed the lives of a whole generation of people.

How can we pray for you?

Our Grace prayer team is ready to join with you in prayer for whatever concerns you have. We take your requests seriously and would be honored to stand with you as you bring your concerns before our heavenly Father. Click here to submit a prayer request. All submissions are kept confidential unless you request otherwise.

Online Giving

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How was your experience today?

What helped you connect to God, and what could our teams have done even better? If you have any questions, please leave them here along with a way to contact you. We will be glad to do so this week .