Summary: For people so greatly advancing in technology as we are, we seem to be declining at the same rapid pace morally.
This morning we are going to take a look at Breaking Down Walls, I will be reading from Ephesians 2:11-22;
Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh--who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands-- that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from 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.
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
For people so greatly advancing in technology as we are, we seem to be declining at the same rapid pace morally. Heart transplants are becoming commonplace, but hearts of compassion are seemingly non-existent. Instead of tearing down the walls of hostility between ourselves, we have been erecting them with great care and diligence.
Do we think these walls help and protect us? We certainly must, for we spend a great deal of effort building and mending them.
The history of mankind is filled with the hostility of one person against another. Our text today deals with the hostility between the Jew and the Gentile. Paul was exposing a problem in the Church at Ephesus that we still struggle with today, prejudice and division. These walls have remained standing. All you have to do is pick up the daily newspaper or watch the news. What we read about in the newspaper or see on TV reveals to us the reality that these walls are still standing strong and high. The Berlin Wall may have been torn down but walls of other types quickly replaced it. It seems we have grown accustomed to building walls of prejudice and hostility between ourselves, and those who are different than we are. Wherever and whenever there is the "us and them" mentality, we see the walls start to go up. We are to be different than those who are lost. The Word of God commands us to come out from among them and be different.
Paul is dealing with the prejudice that is within the church. What Paul is dealing with is what we might call denominational differences or the color of ones skin. Sometimes we can become very judgmental or critical toward those who are of a different denomination or some one with a different skin color.
Paul say’s, " Wherefore Remember ". Paul is telling the church at Ephesus, when you think you are better and more spiritual than others because of your racial or denominational differences, remember where God brought you from and what He did in your life as a result of His saving grace. You are no better than the next person who has accepted God’s offer of salvation. So don’t think of yourself more highly than you should.
Romans 12:3-10 (NIV) For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.