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Summary: Paul showed the Ephesians how God answered the world’s plea for oneness. It was in Christ.

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Introduction

For the past several weeks, on our “Faith Lessons” we at the ministry of Titus on the Island of Crete.

Paul’s mentoring of Titus the same issues he faced at Ephesus.

These same issues are present today in our own culture.

We live in a world divided.

Black/white, Arab/Jew, male/female, and rich/poor.

In the first century, the world was no less divided.

Then the basic distinction was Jew/Gentile.

For the reason some Jewish Christians had trouble accepting Gentile converts.

Some even insisted they must first become Jews.

So turn with me to the book of Ephesians as we look at how Titus’ was mentored by Paul and how the issue of:

“Bringing Us Together”

Paul showed the Ephesians how God answered the world’s plea for oneness. It was in Christ.

1. The Former State (verses 11-12)

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—

12that 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. Ephesians 2:11-12

A. The Greeks despised those outside their cities; they called them pagans.

The Jews hated those not of their race they called them

Gentiles.

• Neither group had any use for the other.

• Spiritually speaking, the Jews had the edge.

• Salvation was of the Jews

• God had revealed himself through their prophets.

They held the answer for the world.

The world needs peace of mind and soul.

B. The Gentiles were not so blessed.

Paul lists five dramatic aspects of their condition;

• Christ-less

• State-less

• Friend-less

• Hope-less

• And god-less

Many today are just like them.

Do we care about them?

Are we concerned about those different form us, separated from us?

It took Christ to bring unity out of division in that day and He is the one who alone can do it in our time.

2. The Broken Wall (verses 13-18)

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

14For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,

15having 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,

16and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

17And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Ephesians 2:13-18

A. The barrier between Jews and Gentiles was both

figurative and literal.

An unseen wall of hatred stood between them.

But at the temple in Jerusalem stood a real wall, one that kept Gentiles from the temple proper.

On it were these words: “No foreigner may enter within the barricade which surrounds this sanctuary and enclosure. Anyone who is caught doing so will have himself to blame for his ensuing death.”


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