We are continuing our look into Mark Demayz’s book on how to build a healthy multi-ethnic church and how that applies to Celebration. So far, we have looked at a couple of Biblical example on how we need to be a diverse church. The third chapter takes a look at the Ephesian church, a multi-ethnic church.
For background on this church please read Acts 19-21 and the letter Ephesians, Revelation 2:2-5.
As you read the letter you see incredibly inclusive language. For example Paul continually addresses both Jew and Gentiles (ch.2). In chapter 3 Paul talks of preaching the mystery of Christ. Most assume the mystery of Christ is his death and resurrection. Mark though challenges us on this thought by pointing out what Paul wrote in 3:6, “This mystery is that through the mystery of Christ the gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body and sharers in the promise of Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
The great mystery of Jesus is that all people, all ethnicities and races, are welcome into the church. According to 3:10 it is the churches responsibility to let it be known this incredible mystery of Christ, all people belong in His church. This unity is to be bound in love by the people in the local church loving each other.
In Revelation Jesus chastises the Ephesian church for leaving their first love. What was the first love they left? Or more correctly, “The love you had at first.” Their first love was for Jesus Christ and for all the saints. It was a love for one another, Jews and gentiles alike. Jesus has a great desire for his church to be multi-ethnic.
In the first three chapters I believe Mark makes an effective Biblical argument that the local church is to be diverse. I believe everyone can agree on that. The question is: how?
In part two Mark reveals seven core commitments we must make as a church to make that happen. I look forward to sharing them with you!