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Are you one of “Us” or are you one of “Them”?

Series: Hot Topics


Guest speaker Ken Harvey teaches on race and how to view everyone biblically. Has my gratitude to God for loving someone as flawed as me been enough to fuel me to be a reconciler? Has the grace and mercy and forgiveness I didn’t deserve been enough to inspire and fuel me to pass on the same gift of grace and forgiveness to others? Do they deserve it? Did I?

Speaker: Ken Harvey

July 23, 2023

Sermon Notes

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Follow Along with the Message

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;

that they may all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

And the glory that You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one just as We are one.

I in them and You in Me. That they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you love me.

--John 17:20-23 (ESV)

“For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.”

--Hebrews 12:6 (ESV)

The Lord disciplines or chastens those He loves.

--Hebrews 12:6

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

--Hebrews 12:11 (ESV)

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility…that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace…that He might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.”

--Ephesians 2:13-16,(ESV)

Jesus is our Peace and he has made both (Jews and Gentiles) one by  the wall between us.  us both to God into one body through the cross and putting to death the hostility between us.

  • Are you one of “Us” or are you one of “Them”?
  • What about the person in front of you or behind you (Us or a Them)?

Reconciling definition: “Overcoming distrust or hostility by bringing together, by uniting, or gathering together.”

That’s what Jesus did for us (or was supposed to).

  • Has His love for me been enough to get me to love ?
  • Has it enabled me to stop thinking that I am than them?
  • Has becoming a Christian or coming to this church made me ?

“-ZATION” Viruses:

  • Generalization lumps individuals into groups and judges them by assumptions and prejudice.
  • Marginalization keeps others we don’t care about out of our circles and groups.
  • Depersonalization dehumanizes those we don’t like, so we can think of them as someone beneath us.
  • Demonization infects us, we begin to treat others as despicable, as devils, as evil and threats to eliminate.

If we are not being transformed by the renewing of our , we are being  to this world.

If we are not being transformed by the renewing of our , we are conforming to the preferences and prejudices and bigotries of this world against each other.

If we are not working to , we are  against the very prayer and heart of Jesus and further wounding those that he died and rose to save.

One Shepherd

“I am the Good Shepherd: the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.”

--John 10:11

“But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.”

--Psalm 79:13 (ESV)

“But a certain traveling Samaritan came upon him, and seeing him, he was filled with pity. And coming near, he bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine, and set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And going on the next day, he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, Take care of him. And whatever more you spend, when I come again I will repay you.” ]

--Luke 10:33-35

And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

--John 10:16

One Flock One Shepherd One Circle

And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

--John 10:16

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

--John 13:34-35

How will they know we are his disciples?

  • If we have love for one another.

What kind of love is He talking about?

  • Lovey-dovey romantic love?
  • I’ll be your friend if you’ll be my friend kind of love?
  • Or Sam’s kind of love?

Are you one of the Good Sams or Samanthas in this place?

  • Can someone desperate for love, for visibility, someone beaten up, assaulted, wounded and hurting, come to you, come here, and find it?
  •  love and  love are two entirely different things.
  • When love becomes a , it shows up.

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you step outside your comfort zone and choose to give of yourself sacrificially, provide supportive care, be patient, be attentive, be merciful, forgive and invest in one an/other.”

--The Unofficial Ken Harvey Unauthorized Standard Version

Who should be in your circle?

  • Everyone who will be in  circle around the Throne.
  • God does not hear our prayers, receive our worship or honor our rituals when we close our hearts to those who suffer around us.
  • It is not a suggestion. It’s a command.

So don’t tell me you love me. Show me and show each other you care.

Reading Materials Related to this Sermon

  • A Cry For Help, Marvin Williams, The Daily Bread, July 9, 2023
  • Living Reconciliation, Melissa Morgan Kelly, Christianity Today, July/August 2023
  • The Bread of Unity, Jamaal E. Williams & Timothy Paul Jones, Christianity Today, July/August 2023
  • Same Kind of Different As Me, Ron Hall & Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent, Thomas Nelson Publisher, 2006
  • White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy. Isenberg, Penguin Books, 2016
  • Superior: the return of race science, Angela Saini, HarperCollins Publishers, 2019
  • Paper Angels, a novel, Billy Coffey, FaithWords, 2011


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