Summary: This sermon explores on how we can have peace with God and what it means for us to be living and sharing that peace.
Throughout history humanity have been in the habit of building walls.
Of building walls to bring comfort, safety and peace.
When a problem arises we often want to put walls up.
In otherwords humanity has constantly looked at barriers as ways of making life better, of bringing peace.
Probably two of the most significant walls in human history are the Great Wall of China and the Berlin Wall.
From 8th Century BC to 1644 AD the Great Wall of China was used by various dynasties to protect their empires.
And in August 1961 the Berlin Wall constructed by East Germany officially to prevent the evasion of the West
and also to prevent East Germans leaving.
But history tells us both of these walls ultimately failed.
Both of these walls created a false sense of peace,
They only managed in creating a short term artificial peace.
when true peace did not actually exist.
The Great Wall of China was first torn down in 221 bc and in 1644 it was also breached.
As a result of the wall being torn down and the breaching China was unified.
And as a result of the Berlin Wall being torn down,
we no longer have East and West Germany there is Germany
Both these walls ultimately failed, offering only temporary protection, comfort and peace.
And likewise in Jerusalem there was a wall around the temple.
This wall separated the Jews from the Gentiles,
when it came to following God.
Gentiles were unable to worship God with the Jews.
On the temple wall was a plaque that read
No outsider shall enter
the protective enclosure
around the sanctuary.
and whoever is caught will
only have himself
to blame for the
In otherwords the plaque was saying to the Gentiles you are not allowed to come and worship God with us.
That wall was a division between the Jewish people and the Gentiles.
And between the Gentiles and God
And so for the early church they faced a problem.
They faced a question.
There was a number of Jewish Christians who wanted to emphasis and rely on the law for people to be truly one
They did this to such extent that Jesus didn’t seem that important, but the law did.
They felt to be one, to be at peace with God you must obey the law completely.
To be obey something Jews were comfortable with.
And so you see in the New Testament on various occasions discussion occurring about whether everyone had to obey the laws.
At one stage you see the Jewish Christians seeking Gentile Christians to be circumcised.
On another occasion there is a discussion about whether certain types of food should be eaten.
The Jewish Christians were attempting to use the Jewish Law as a wall to keep people in and out.
But today we heard God through St Paul
Who was talking to the Ephesians
who were mainly Gentile Christians
that being at peace with God and others including the Jewish Christians
doesn’t come from what you do
doesn’t come from how you act
it comes only from Jesus.
Nothing else can unite us.
Our peace with God can come only from Jesus.
In the Old Testament the most common word for peace is shalom and in the New Testament it is eirene.