Summary: I used to be.......BUT NOW I’m....
I once was lost BUT NOW I’m found.
I once was blind BUT NOW I see.
I once was dead BUT NOW I am alive.
The picture of time from Genesis to Revelation gives us a grand scheme of God’s plan for mankind. From Genesis to the Gospels we find God’s plan mostly applying to the Jewish people. God planned for more but we are only given glimpses of that until the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Tonight we will listen in on Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus as he explains God’s plan for the Gentiles.
I. WHAT WE WERE:
A) Without citizenship. Non Jews were spoken of as strangers and heathen. A gentile could enter the Jewish nation as a proselyte but one was not born into this chosen people.
B) Without covenants. God’s covenants of the Old Testament were made with the Jews. The Pharisees would pray on a daily basis “Oh God, thank you that I am a Jew and not a Gentile.
C) Without hope. The Jews lived their life with the promise of the Messiah. One who would be born of a Jewish virgin girl. One who would deliver their people.
D) Without God. The Gentiles had many pagan gods. They worshipped the goddess Diana at Ephesus. But before Christ, they did not have the opportunity to know the One true God. They saw examples of His power but had no intercessor.
II. BUT NOW:
A) The “but now” in Eph 2:13 parallels the “but God” in Eph 2:4-6
B) We have many people striving toward world peace. The anti-Jewish sentiment is sweeping the world as Israel and the Palestinians continue to make the headlines of the nightly news. But God’s plan for peace is a spiritual plan. He will one day bring world peace to this planet but not until after He returns to take believers with Him.
C) We are reconciled to God----Reconciled means to “bring together again.” Sin destroyed that union. Christ’s death provided a repair of it.
III. WHAT WE ARE:
A) Gentiles and Jew alike (When they have accepted Christ as the Messiah and Savior) are:
1) One nation 19a; I Peter 2:9-10
2) One Family 19b No matter the racial, social, national, or physical distinctions we are children of God IF we have accepted His Son.
3) One temple 20-22;
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? I Cor 3:16
Unity and Peace are good things that the world around us is going after in the wrong way. The world says we find peace when we are so tolerant of others that we don’t judge their beliefs as being right or wrong. God says there is one way to me. It is through my Son Jesus Christ. He wants us to be at peace with other believers and to boldly spread the Gospel to the unbelievers.
What do you need to do tonight to be at peace with other believers? Do you need to repent of racism? Do you need to change your opinion of people who are socially and financially in a higher or lower bracket than yourself? What about someone of a different political party? Ask God, Do I have the burden for lost souls that will overcome my prejudice or bias of others.