Summary: Most strikingly we are called to remember the walls of Hostility between God/man and man/man, and how in Christ we find peace, as he tears down the walls, building us up instead into a holy temple where he dwells. Our "remembering" provides the motivatio

The Sermon was preceded by the prayer of a “broken man” expressing his thankfulness for all the Lord had done for him. It was a prayer prayed in light of what Ephesians was teaching us about all the blessings from God in Christ, from the abundance of the Lord’s riches.

There are some things I/we don’t want to remember

• The time I stuck the cat in the freezer

• left the gate open and all the cows came out

• brought home some stranded motorists who ran up 400 dollar phone bill and stole silver coins from my grandma’s silver anniversary

• sitting in an airport restaurant and missing my flight to come home so I could preach

• the time I laughed at a German girl reading the Bible in English at our house during my missionary kid years in Germany

Some things i/we too easily forget

• to deposit my paycheck

• my sisters’ birthdays and parents’ anniversary

• my anniversary

• the meeting with the elders

• "Independence Day." The celebration for that may have meant much more to those in 1780 than in 2006. Yet our independence is owed those people, and our real world reality reflects what is done for us in the past.

• the sacrifice men and women give for us to have greater security as a nation

• half the things my wife tells me

• that I don’t know all the answers

• that I have done some horrible things in my life

• in the midst of an argument that I too, have many failures

• biblical call for humility and thinking of other needs ahead of our own

And yet, the Bible often calls us to “remember.” In fact “remembering” is the only thing we are called to do, in today’s text. Let’s take a look at Ephesians 2:11-22. READ TEXT

It’s impossible to embrace peace around a wall of hostility!

I vividly recall my days in Berlin, Germany, surrounded by a wall that kept a formerly united people, family, and friends separate, and in many ways hostile to one another. The wall made it impossible to connect or unite: tank barricades, land mines, barbed wire, dogs, guard towers stationed just far enough apart so that anybody attempting to cross the wall would be seen and shot.

It’s impossible to embrace peace around a wall of hostility!

(Then, turning to a wall of boxes, dominating the stage, that we adapted from a Group publishing Bible Sense study guide:)

This is a wall we made in our Wednesday night Bible study group. On it we have written all kinds of words describing the walls we have: race tension, pornography, defense mechanisms, religion, status, anger, depression, etc. All of us, in some way have and still experience walls keep us from embracing all kinds of people, and most of all, God.

This was similar to the situation in the city of Ephesus, and Paul wrote to the Christians in that area to declare that:

It is only in Jesus that we find real peace. And Paul declares that our remembering of what Jesus has done for us will be the basis for real peace to find its way into our lives:

1. We find peace where there was no Peace.

(Hopeless cause, barren wasteland, gulf/divide, wall)

We all have walls that need to come down

This text is not an easy one to get excited about on the surface. Christopher exclaimed at our Bible study (along with me, and half the group): “What’s the point?” It is difficult to grasp the Bible’s meaning when it seems so far removed from our experience. But one of the key principles in making the Bible relevant to us in the 21st century is to understand, as much as we can, what it meant to its readers and hearers back in the days it was written.

The point is that Paul is highlighting conflict between man and man, as he describes the incredible tension and conflict between Jew and Gentile

There is:

• Name Calling: v. 11

• “Status” issues: v. 11

• Wrong race/nationality

There was a great divide between, or as v. 14 declares, a “dividing WALL of hostility between them.”

There was real bad blood among them, as they were separated by religious laws, and political and racial barriers. This spilled out into the streets. One commentator noted that

“Around the time Paul was writing these words, arguing for racial unity in Christ, Jews and Syrians were massacring each other in the streets of Caesarea, a city where he had been not long before.” (Keener, IVP Bible Background Commentary)

We know ourselves the tension that exists between people based on race:

• Mel Gibson’s drunken rantings

• People in this area may remember the “race riots” in Detroit in years past

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media

A Father's Love
PowerPoint Template
Trinity Mountain
PowerPoint Template
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion