Finding Identity in sexual union vs union with Christ

Sexual sin- pornography, fornication, same sex encounters, and debilitating shame because of sexual sin- is perhaps the primary sin issue I encounter discipling men on campus. Overcoming this sin is further complicated by a culture so obsessed with sex, that many students define themselves by their sexuality. This includes their sexual preference and their sexual experience.

 

When a person seeks identity in sexual relationship, every goal and pursuit will be to find fulfillment in another person. Thus, when a person experiences a break up or rejection, they may go through a period of depression and are unable to function.

Some feel they are not truly a man until they’ve had sex.

If they are denied the opportunity to express their sexuality, they feel repressed and resentful. Some may feel they are denied their ability to be fully human because they cannot act on their urges.

 

Others have been marred by sexual encounters. Because of something they did or something done to them, they are overwhelmed by shame. They feel powerless to overcome temptation.

 

Throughout history we see people defined by their relationships. Even Scripture introduces characters as someone’s child or one’s wife or husband.

We still define ourselves often by relationships, as can be seen on a facebook profile.

This lends to reason why many want same-sex marriages legalized – it gives a sense of identity.

Further, because sex is associated with love, one may feel we can not experience love apart from sexual encounter.

 

We were created, with specific design, by God, so He defines us.

Unfortunately, in Adam we have all sinned and as a result every part of us is distorted by the fall – Our bodies and emotions were affected, and thus our sexuality.

 

Sexual encounter is a special union of body.These relationships do shape and form a part of our identity.  

We needed our identity to be restored. As we place our faith in Christ, we are no longer in Adam, we are united in Christ. This Union with Christ now defines us. Understanding this doctrine is foundational to overcoming sexual sin.

 

Wayne Grudem1 states four aspects to our union with Christ as

  1. We are in Christ.
  2. Christ is in us.
  3. We are like Christ.
  4. We are with Christ.

 

Dealing with sexual sin, we apply:

  1. We are with Christ –  Relationship does define us, but it is not sexual relationship, it is the most meaningful and most loving relationship we can experience- relationship with God.
  2. We are in Christ. No longer do we need to be marred in shame because of past sexual sin. For Christ’s righteousness was imputed to us. We are not seen by what we did or what was done to us, but what Christ did.
  3. Furthermore Christ is in us, empowering us to overcome sexual sin. We are not slaves to our desires, nor to our past.
  4. We are to be like Christ – thus we look to Him and follow His example.

 

I Thessalonians 4 states God’s will for our lives is our sanctification(be like Christ). Immediately afterwards Paul urges them to flee sexual immorality. God restores everything broken by sin, including our sexuality.

The false conclusion is to say one must exchange an immoral relationship for a moral relationship. Rather, we should seek identity in our union with Christ, becoming like Him. The single person does not need to find identity in marriage. The person with homosexual inclinations does not need to become heterosexual. God’s desire is to make us holy.

 

Jesus was fully human, He was not part human, part God. He lived on earth with a fully human body and human emotions. He experienced sadness, loneliness, rejection. The Bible explicitly tells us that He experienced hunger, tiredness, feelings of rejection, emotional and physical pain, and temptation. Hebrews tells us He encountered every temptation, yet without sin. Thus, He lived the way God intended our lives to be more than any other person in human history. Though He never married and never engaged in sexual activity, He was able to experience love, joy and the fullness of life or be human.

 

He can relate to us – every feeling and every temptation we face, including the area of sex.

We can come to Him with our pain and problems and He can empathize.

He gives hope we can be fully human and pursue holiness.

Jesus was never married, never had sex. Yet, He lived with purpose and joy and experienced intimacy in relationships.

We can look to Jesus example in the midst of temptation and follow in His footsteps and find encouragement in Him.

Our sexuality is not what defines us. Expressing sexual urges doesn’t satisfy. Sexual relationships will not gives us meaning.  Union with Christ is what we long for and what we need.

 

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Footnotes

  1. Grudem, Wayne Systematic Theology Ch 43 pages 840-841

If God is Sovereign & Jesus is King, then what should we have to do with politics?

Back when I started walking with God I read a book called the Jesus I Never Knew. The author Philip Yancy noted how Jesus never seemed to care much about politics but about people knowing Him. He was not interested in an earthly kingdom but a heavenly one.

And with that,  I never cared about politics.
…Not that I cared for it much before that.

This year more than any other – perhaps because of social media, perhaps because of my age- politics seems to be more center stage.

Much is made about the religious right and then how you don’t need to be republican to follow Jesus… politics seems to be a big issue.

At other points many Christians have called upon others to vote – that is until the Christians voted for a candidate or policy they didn’t like…

And perhaps when things don’t seem to go right you hear people say,  Jesus is King. Or God is sovereign.

And that’s true. No matter who the president is, Jesus is still King. And no matter what happens- God is sovereign.

So if God is sovereign- does that mean it doesn’t matter? We don’t need to vote or we don’t need to care?

If Jesus is King, does it matter who president is?

What are we to do?

I don’t pretend to have all the answers or to have researched this topic extensively, but here are some thoughts

 

  1. Place hope in God
  2. People are more important than policies (or opinions)
  3. Pray
  4. Prepare yourself to make wise decisions
  5. Personally work to bring about change

Place your Hope in God

Jesus is King and God is sovereign. He is our Savior, our shield, our shelter, our strong tower. He is our help, our hope.

He really is the only one we can trust – in the sense of His trustworthiness, honesty & faithfulness – as well as in his ability to deliver.

Peter, addressing a group of exiles – people who were facing opposition because of the government and living in a culture that was not helping them writes this

set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Set your hope FULLY on the Coming King, on the Kingdom HE is going to establish.

If we’re honest we hope in many other things. We hope for many other things. We hope for relief from our trials. We hope in money or policies or our plans or ideas. We need to hope in Jesus and for Jesus.

He is the one we need to rely on, and look to.
This means we need to find our peace in Him and joy in Him.
And this means the thing we should be talking about most, pointing others to most, campaigning for is Christ.

There is Good News for us living in a broken world – Jesus.

This may seem like mere words, or at worst can lead to ignorance & uninvolvement. However, it is important for us to remember and constantly fix our eyes on Jesus. We need this to be foundational to who we are and how we live and act amongst others.

People are more important than policies and our opinions

We may think we know the answers, the solutions to our problems- but when we allow policies to be more important than people, we are neglecting God’s command to love others.

I’m not saying not to have opinions, but watch how we think of others or treat others.
If someone has a different opinion than you, do you seek to convince them they are wrong or to understand them?

Someone’s view on politics is a great opportunity to ask questions, to seek to understand. Why do they feel that way? Why do they want that policy?

As we consider policies, we must consider why do I want this policy? Is it to benefit simply myself or am I thinking of others?

We naturally will think about ourselves, and think what benefits me benefits others- but we are quick to assume often.

What assumptions are we making about others who hold a different opinion than myself?
Do we assume young people are lazy? Do we assume some people are greedy? Do we assume people are judgmental?

How can we love people?
I never want my opinions to become an obstacle to the Gospel or a hindrance to loving someone.
This helps also as we consider our values and our vote.

 

Pray

We are commanded to pray for kings and rulers. How often do we do that? We are more apt to complain about our government leaders than pray for them- even the ones we like.

Now there may be some we didn’t vote for. We may even consider them enemies of the Gospel – still we should pray for them. Jesus said to pray for our enemies. Even if we consider them enemies we need to pray for them. Pray for Christ to work in their heart, pray for them to turn to God.

More so we should pray for them as they lead our country. Since God is sovereign, they are there by His choice. They could not be in power if God did not allow it. So we should pray for them, that they have wisdom.

We should pray for wisdom ourselves as we vote as well.

God truly is sovereign, so that allows us to pray for our government. He has the power to change things. He is working things out for good beyond what we can see or understand. He may do things in our time that will utterly astound us- like He told Habakkuk or many of the other OT prophets. That does not mean God is not sovereign, that God is not good.

God truly is our only hope- so we should pray to Him to work for His glory.

Jesus said to pray Thy Kingdom come, they will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Pray for God’s Kingdom. Pray for God’s glory.

Prepare yourself to make wise decisions

I once wrote that I not only have the right to vote but also the right to not vote. And I do think if I am not prepared, then I am not sure if I should be voting.

While I don’t think politics is the most important thing in the world, it does influence our world- so we would be wise to consider the effects of politics. We would be wise to consider different policies and different candidates.

We don’t want to just vote how someone else told us to vote. Or based on a couple sound bites. Or our upbringing. Or even just one policy.

We may not make the perfect decision, but since God is sovereign (and we hope in Him) and has given us a mind, we can use that mind to make a wise decision and trust He will do the right thing.

In the end, since we hope in Him, even if what we wanted does not come to pass, we can be content in Him. We can care for people and live in peacable ways. And we can pray for those in authority over us.

Personally work to produce change

Be the person who brings change.

We can talk a big game, but do we follow up our talk? Do we walk the walk?

We say we are pro-life- how do we demonstrate that? How do we show we value human life?

We say we love others & care for the poor- how do we demonstrate kindness? What are we giving to? How are we helping and serving others?

James says

 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, [o]be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? (James 2:16)

And John tells us

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his [g]heart[h]against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. (I John 3:16-18)

We say we are for traditional marriage – but what is our marriage like? How are we promoting healthy marriages?

The church used to be known as a place that took care of the poor. The Romans were astonished by how Christians took care of the needy. Christians founded places like the Red Cross of the YMCA.

The church should be a place where people feel loved and cared for and come to for advice or help, for sympathy, compassion and empathy. Is it?

Some say they don’t want government interfering with us or the church – but what are we doing? Perhaps if we were doing more to help others- the government wouldn’t need to.

Then others want the government to interfere to prevent abortion- but what are we doing to build relationships with people to care for pregnant moms? To care for abandoned kids? To love single moms? To shepherd teenagers?

Ultimately our hope is in God. Jesus is our King and our Savior. People need Jesus, then we should make it our aim to help people know Jesus by loving them, caring for them and talking much about Jesus.

 

 

The thing about praying big and trusting God

Recently been really liking the song “Trust in You” by Lauren Daigle.
Combined with looking at Habakkuk recently, makes me think a lot about faith.

Well, that and our own lives.
We are currently raising support, and we want to see God do big things, so we pray.
This last year or two in fact we have prayed a lot of things.
And sometimes we see God answer.
Sometimes it is quite evident God is faithful.
Then, there are our kids – who continued to have nightmares or wake up in the middle of the night every night. Back pain, sickness, conflicts, troubles. A slow ministry. And sometimes i wonder…

Support raising hasn’t been bad. We have seen God provide. Still, with such a large amount to raise, we begin to wonder- how will it all come in?
We believe in God, we believe He is a good and big and powerful God. We believe He answers prayers and He is faithful.
Yet, we struggle. We doubt. We lack faith.

It seems much easier to remember the disappointments and the times God didn’t answer prayer. All the times we have had to wait. All the times we felt let down.

Sometimes it just feels like i am talking to the air.
It feels like wishful thinking, or positive thinking, or convincing myself or giving myself a pep talk.
Is God there?

Sometimes i don’t want to pray big, so that i can give God an excuse. If i don’t pray, then God can’t let me down. But if I actually ask for something big, something only He can do, well, then, then I will see that He doesn’t answer prayer, perhaps He isn’t real.

But does God need my help? my defense? If He is real, He can handle any problem. Nothing is too big for Him.

I seem to be like Abraham pretending Sarah is my sister- and only putting her in danger, not fully trusting God.

When I pray, I give God an opportunity to show up, to reveal His greatness and power and care and provision, and sovereignty and love.

But truth be told, i don’t often trust God to be those things. i rely on myself. I give God lip-service.

So, perhaps i need to pray BIG things.
…Not that just that God would provide the bare minimum support needs- but enough so we don’t go into panic mode when an emergency strikes, enough so we can give generously to others without a second thought, enough so we can do special things for our family, enough so we can scholorship students to conferences and pay for baby-sitters, and go on any mission trip
…not just for a house in downtown, but a house that has everything we need – enough bedrooms for our growing family, space to invite people over, good heat, a good-sized kitchen, space to park, a neighborhood people wouldn’t feel terrified to come visit and that our kids would feel safe in, a little yard, a fence, and a garage. Could God provide?

How about when i pray for a person – do i just pray for a good conversation? Or do i pray for God to change & transform a person? Do i ask God to bring someone to Christ, to make them a disciple, to use them to not only come to Christ, but to lead others to Christ as well?

 

but i digress… see i want to pray in such a way that even if You don’t answer, You don’t answer the way i think or want – i want to still trust You.

More than wanting what I pray for, I want to know You, I want deeper relationship with You, I want stronger faith in You.

Several years ago when i was at UofM, we had a faith week – where we prayed for big things, we prayed for God to move in people’s hearts. And we prayed  A LOT.
But we didn’t see God answer. There weren’t many conversations, and no decisions for Christ.
The students who planned the week, couldn’t understand, they were disappointed.
In a flash of insight, I commented- maybe this is what God wanted to increase our faith.
Isn’t that what we said we wanted this week to be about -to grow our faith?
Well, what makes our faith grow more than having to trust God and continue to pray after He doesn’t answer the way we thought He would?

This takes more faith.
God grows our faith by answering prayers. Then He grows our faith by stretching our faith.

 

And Habakkuk 3 is one of my favorite passages of Scripture

Though…
nor…
and even if…
And though we don’t…
Yet I will rejoice

I will take joy in the God of my salvation

 

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
   nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
   and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
   and there be no herd in the stalls,

18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
   I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

19 God, the Lord, is my strength;
   he makes my feet like the deer’s;
   he makes me tread on my high places.

 

And even though she sounds like an old lady in this song, i really love the song “Trust in You”
The verses are powerful as well, but i’ll end with the chorus

 

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

My marriage charge

Today is our 6 year anniversary. It was quite the miracle. I thank God every day for my wife. I love my Soo, and I am glad to be married!

Matt&Soo_Wedding-9378.hi2

God has blessed us greatly. Yet, it has not always been easy and we feel like we fail often. It was somewhat a surprise when we were asked to give a charge at a wedding last summer.

We were so honored. And not only did we give the charge but Halle was the flower girl and Josiah was the ring bear(er).IMG_6063

After presenting the charge, many came up to us saying they appreciated what we shared. We were a little anxious about it, but really the charge was a reminder for us as well- and today as i approach our anniversary, i want to review the charge i gave someone else as a charge to us as well.

Many people think marriage will be easy or solve all problems. Recently watched master of none and the marriage scene was kinda  funny as they exchanged their vows and all the other couples rolled their eyes.

While the charge was personal to them, i think it could be helpful for others- i certainly think it would be helpful for me to listen to.
Here is the charge we gave:

Ben, as I have known you, you are one who loves adventure- and you are about to embark on the greatest adventure of marriage…
I also know you as one who has followed the voice & direction of the Holy Spirit. And you will need his empowerment and direction as you embark on this new journey with Sarah together.

And so I give you this charge from God’s Word

Be filled with the Spirit… Husbands, love your wife as Christ loves the church.

It’s simple right? Love your wife.

Not really.

You spent a year in India, and I’m from Indian decent, so I’ll share this. In America, you marry the one you love. In India, it’s love the one you marry. You have a great blessing to marry one you love, now you have a great challenge to love the one you marry.

Love you wife, as Christ loves the church.

That means you love Sarah sacrificially. You not only are willing to give up your life, you give up your life. Giving up your life  may not mean taking a bullet and dying for her- it will mean something much more difficult – dying to self, dying to your dreams, dying to your rights. You love her sacrificially by giving her time even when you don’t feel like it, when you feel like being by yourself or with your buddies or watching a movie. You love her sacrificially by investing in the things she enjoys.

Loving as Christ loves the church means being gracious, being faithful, being kind, being a servant. That is doing good to her, when she has done wrong to you. Speaking words of encouragement when you feel put down. Serving her when you feel she should be serving you.

And if you are to love her as Christ loves the church, you are going to need to continually fill yourself up with God’s love. So I charge you to walk with Christ, and look to Him to fill your needs and satisfy you.

I pray you will know the width & length and height and depth of God’s love. And that Sarah will know that as well thru you. And then you can be fruitful and multiply that love to others.

Sarah, You are a beautiful bride, and today is such a beautiful wedding. We know you love weddings and you have been looking forward to this day for a long time. But today is not the culmination but the beginning of your beautiful marriage.

You may be tempted to look to Ben to be the one who makes all your dreams come true and to satisfy every longing of your heart, but he won’t. Marriage does not bring an end to insecurity or solve all problems. Only Christ can satisfy, only Christ will bring contentment.

And so the way Matt ends, I begin: I charge you to look to Jesus to satisfy your heart, for ultimate comfort and perfect peace. Do not allow Ben to become your savior. Seek first Christ, make time with God a priority.

You are the bride of Ben, but marriage reflects the relationship of the church with Christ, so just as you prepared & planned for this wedding day, prepare your heart to meet your Savior by pursuing holiness and purity of heart for the Lord.

And thus, when you are commanded to submit to your husband, you can rest in the Lord as you respect Ben’s leadership.

Respect Ben. Respect him unconditionally. Don’t make him earn your respect by figuring out what to do for you or by doing everything perfectly. Give him your respect before he even deserves it. Affirm him and encourage him. Do things that he enjoys. Go with him on journeys that sometimes may feel uncomfortable. Be honest with him, respecting his care and love for you. Learn to show respect to him, even when you are feeling rejected. Reject opportunities to be critical and instead show grace.

You will need the power of the Holy spirit, so I charge you as you develop your marriage, rely on the power of God, rather than your own strength and intuition, which will often be your first instinct, but be filled with the Spirit.

Ben & Sarah we charge you to make God known thru your marriage first to one another, then to the others around you. We love you and we are so excited for how God will use you to bless each other and the community you are in.

Here’s the truth about marriage:
1. Marriage does not eliminate loneliness & insecurity.
Some may think if they just got married they would feel secure. They always have someone with them- but just as a person can be ain crowded room and feel all alone, many feel that in marriage. Furthermore, Soo has pointed out- now fear is even stronger. What is something happens to my spouse? Death is going to happen. And though Divorce is not something we even contemplate, it is all around us, so we can’t escape the fear… Especially when there is Difficulty- which will happen, and which will make the insecurities abound – is there something wrong with me? Why can’t i ever do things right? Which leads to the 2nd and third truths…

2. Marriage is not easy
One may think if i am with the one i love, with my best friend – then, well, it’s easy. But think about it- the people who have shown us the most unconditional love and care are often the ones we have the most conflict – our parents. The more we know someone, the more we see their sin- and worse, the more they see of our sin. There will be conflict, there will be trouble. It will become difficult to love sometimes.

3. Marriage does not bring satisfaction.
And often the reason we have these troubles is because we are looking to marriage to something it can’t fully do. Marriage is good, but only God satisfies. And if i make an idol out of my spouse- my sorrows will multiply(Psalm 16:4). I only burden my wife when i do this, and only frustrate myself. Surely Soo is a blessing, someone who brings much joy in my life and one who loves me and who i love deeply. But she isn’t ultimate.

Here’s another truth- Marriage is good.
Good in that we are blessed by another.
Good in that it was designed by God.
Good in that God uses it to reveal and shape our heart and to point us back to Jesus.
We need His strength and power and presence to make marriage work, to love and respect.
And marriage reflects our relationship with God – a relationship that God desires to show love and a deep intimacy He desires, and a relationship that will truly satisfy- the relationship with Him.

i thank God for Soo and thank God for these 6 years and looking forward to the next 60! i thank God that He is cord that binds us together.

We do celebrate each other and celebrate our marriage. More so we celebrate the God who gave us each other, and the God who gave us Himself.

The one with Hope for Muncie

A couple years ago, our good friends the Holowells announced they were leaving staff with Cru to plant a church in Muncie.
Though they left staff earlier than we thought, we were glad to know they were staying in town. But it left us torn as well.
We love the Holowells, but we love our church here at Ball State. The Gospel is preached every week. The teaching is great, the liturgy edifying and the doctrine sound (even though i don’t agree with everything they hold to).There is a good mix of young and old, contemporary worship and old hymns.
The community is solid. And our kids love it. A big part were the Holowell kids who are the same age and bestest of friends, but they were developing other friends…

Then they said they were going to plant a multi-cultural church, and that made it EASY – we would not be going with them.

Multi-cultural churches are hard to get going and even harder to maintain. There would be awkwardness and difficulty. Worship styles, teaching styles, personalities… too much work, too inconvenient, too uncomfortable…

But as we continued to hear about it and pray about it, the more Lord laid it on our heart to go.
It was a vision on my heart when i initially joined staff. God in making me Indian and making my wife korean, has given us plartform to connect with people; There are less barriers for us than many others face; we are given more grace. And we have experience working in other culturals – America being one of them, as well as living overseas and working with internationals.

We have bought into the Vision- Hope for Muncie.
In some ways it feels like there is a church on every corner- why another church?
But a multi-cultural church? One that is trying to bring people together from different social, economic, cultural backgrounds?
We are excited to be part of a dream that is an extension of a dream we celebrate today on MLK.
Surely there are many good churches in the area that are effective in reaching out to the community. We are not opposed to them or in competition with them. We want to work alongside them, and create attention for Christ in a community that has mostly forgotten Him.

We don’t all of a sudden think it will be easy.
People in churches where people are very much alike have conflicts- how about one where the people are very different?

But we are not choosing the easiest thing for us, but the best for us- the best for God’s Kingdom purposes.
We will have to leave a comfortable environment, a familiar one – to help plant a church and make a difference in a community.
Church is a place to worship, but also to serve. A Community that provides an environment for others to worship – not by taking people from other churches, but gathering families that are not worshipping, or not worshipping fully.

And by being part of a multi-cultural church, we are committing not just to a comfortable community, but to the kingdom. God’s kingdom is about all peoples. People who are not like us. Bringing together people who are not naturally friends- and making them family!

In Ephesians, Paul writes that Christ has done thru His flesh what nothing else could- He has broken down the dividing wall of hostility. HE Unites Jews and Gentiles. HE is our peace who makes us one.  He brings the far near.
HE reconciles us all – to God, and to each other!
And James tells us that God shows no partiality – be it rich or poor.
Heaven will be a beautiful place of many colors.

They don’t let kids sing this anymore – but – Jesus loves the little children- all the children of the world: Red, Yellow, (Brown), Black, White – they are precious in His sight!

We feel by taking this step of faith, we will see God’s heart, see God’s power, and our faith will be stretched. We will gain a greater vision for eternity. We will be blessed beyond measure as we gain new friends, and exposed to the beauty of diversity.
And we trust God will take care of us along the way.
Yet, ultimately, it is not about us- but the Glory of God.

As we consider our involvement, we are now praying about moving into downtown Muncie.
Downtown Muncie may not be like downtown Chicago or downtown LA, but it is not the suburbs either. At first I thoght it doesn’t matter.
But, there is crime, there are drugs. Muncie may be the highest producers of meth in the country. There are certain risks.
And because of that. Lord-willing, I want to move there.
Soo grew up in an environment like that- and she is walking with Jesus now.
But if it is dark place, well then it needs light, it needs hope.
We want to be there to provide it.

Long ago, i went to Chicago on a Spring Break trip. They gave us “With Justice for all” by John Perkins, and shared his model for ministry. If we want change for communities, we need to go there and live there. We need people to live in these communities to be the light, to show the love, to be like Christ and go live among them.
Reading Tim Keller’s Generous Justice concreted that in my mind.
The goal isn’t just a church, but restoration.

We’ve committed to going (Lord-willing of course), we would love for you to join us and bring hope for Muncie.

11 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— 12 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. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken downin his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself onenew man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,[d] but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by[e] the Spirit.