Summary: Exam what Christ has done in order to make us all one in Him.
From Alien to Citizen
Vs 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Those Gentiles who are now in Christ Jesus are no longer far off. They are made near to the things of God, and this is accomplished by the blood of Christ, by His sacrificial death.
Through the blood of Christ: Many people suggest different ways to come to God.
But the only way to be brought near to God is by the blood of Christ. What Jesus did on the cross, suffering as a guilty sinner in the place of guilty sinners, brings us near to God.
Romans 5:8-9 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him.”
2 Corinthians 5:21 explains it like this, “God made him who knew no sin to be a sin offering for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
It’s important to know what Jesus did for us. And that is the only way we are brought near to God.
Vs 14 For He Himself is our peace: Jesus Himself is our peace; He hasn’t simply made peace between God and man and Jew and Gentile; He is our peace.
Vs 14 Who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation: The work of Jesus on the cross is the common ground of salvation for both Jew and Gentile. Therefore there is no longer any dividing wall between Jew and Gentile. Jesus broke that wall down.
In the temple, in between the court of the Gentiles and the court of the women, there was a physical barrier, an actual wall of separation between Jew and Gentile.
Paul was, at the time of this writing, under house arrest in Rome, awaiting trial because he was falsely accused by the Jews of taking a Gentile into the temple past the literal wall of separation dividing Jew and Gentile. Paul makes it clear that in Jesus, the wall is gone.
Ill. When I attended the very first Promise Keepers Conference in Memphis, TN at the Liberty Bowl, it was packed with blacks and whites, and other races. On the first night, the air was filled with praise and worship and great preaching. Then the next day, the subject was racial reconciliation. And it just ripped my heart out to see that so many white brothers, more than half of the stadium got up and walked out rather than deal with their problems.
The work of Jesus not only removes the barriers between God and man, it also removes the barriers between groups of people; we can find common ground in the Lordship of Jesus.
If the Lordship of Jesus Christ is not greater than any difference you have with others - be it political, racial, economic, language, geography or whatever, then you have not fully understood what it means to be under the Lordship of Jesus.
Vs 15 His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
Gentiles and Jews are brought together into one body, the Church, where our unity in Jesus is far greater than our previous differences.
So as to create in Himself one new man from the two: Early Christians called themselves a "third race" or a "new race." Early Christians recognized that they were not Jews, not Gentiles, but one new man embracing all who are in Jesus.
Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Don’t miss the emphasis Paul places on the work of Jesus on the cross in accomplishing this: we are made near by the blood . . . having abolished in His flesh the enmity . . . in one body through the cross. This unity didn’t just happen, it was the hard-fought accomplishment of Jesus.
Vs 19-22 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 corner stone, in whom the whole building, being joined 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.