Part 6 – The Bible and the Immigrant (Ephesians 2:11-22)
June 19, 2022 Ender Palencia, Pastor of Missions
In the Old Testament, God commands His people to love and care for the immigrant:
1. You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for youwere sojourners in the Land of Egypt. Exodus 22:21
2. When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:33-34
3. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. Deuteronomy 10:19
God called His people to love the immigrant for three primary reasons:
a. God wants His people to remember His saving grace.
b. God wants His people to shareHis mercy with others.
i. And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39
ii. So, whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12
c. God wants people from all nations to know Him and experience His love
Now we have an even higher goal than they had in the Old Testament.
Christ-followers are called by God to love immigrants for the same reasons, knowing that:
1. Our greatest identity is the one we find as children of God.
a. Therefore, remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:11-13 (ESV)
b. Before He saved us, we were separated and alienated from God’s blessings.
c. Christ’s sacrifice brought us near; we are now called children of God.
d. The most excellent standing any of us have is not our human attachments but our heavenly ones.
2. Our greatest goal is to help every person we can come to know Christ.
a. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. Ephesians 2:14-18
b. In Christ, we all belong to a greater family called the Church.
c. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
d. To Love and Lead ALL people to life change in Christ.
e. We then welcome every person from anywhere in the world to become part of God’s family in our church
3. Our greatest purpose is to build the Kingdom of God.
a. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22 ESV
b. Our mission is to help the immigrant experience a saving relationship with God through Christ.
c. As a church, we want to equip you and mobilize you to love and lead others to experience life change in Christ.
d. One day we will all gather around the Throne of God and give Him all the Glory and all the honor.
e. After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Revelation 7:9-10
f. Start by doing for one what you would like to do for many.
How can you love someone new to the country around you this week?