Summary: The Church is one in Christ.
“New Life Corporately,” Ephesians 2:11-22
a. CIT / CIS: The Church is one in Christ.
a. (v.11-13) No racial boundaries in the Body of Christ.
i. No longer Jew or Gentile.
ii. Racial reconciliation then and now.
1. Biblical ideal and cultural reality.
b. (v.14-15a) Christ alone is the remedy for hostile humanity.
i. Man’s methods fail because they are inherently flawed.
1. Based on man’s wisdom. Based on man’s measurement of sin and success. Based on man’s ability.
ii. Extends beyond racial boundaries. Christ is our peace.
1. Christ alone is the head of the Church.
c. (v.15b-17) Christ’s purpose.
i. To create a people unified in Himself.
ii. To destroy hostility at the Cross.
1. "I've found the paradox: If you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” (Mother Teresa)
2. The Cross is the prescriptive formula for new life.
a. Its revolting beauty is our mandate and victory.
b. Its power is to tear down the walls.
iii. To create a people whose central ideal is the glory of God.
d. (V.18-22) The Church has new life corporately.
i. The Church is God’s household.
ii. The Church is built on a foundation of truth.
1. I don’t have room in my relationship for a religion.
2. I don’t have room for religious games.
iii. The Church is the Temple of God. (Acts 17:25)
“New Life Corporately,” Ephesians 2:11-22
E.Y. Mullins recounts the following. He says, “I teach students for the ministry. Some of them grow impatient in their preparation, and I have often said to them: When God builds a tree, it takes Him about three generations, but when He builds a squash, it takes Him about three weeks. A man can choose which He will be—a tree or a squash. We misjudge children, we misjudge church members, we misjudge the church itself, when we forget that the Christian life is progressively realized, that it comes slowly. I once saw in Pilgrim Hall at Plymouth, Massachusetts, the restored ribs and keel of an old ship that was dug up from the sands of Cape Cod. They were worm-eaten and moldy. As I gazed upon them I reflected that when the ship was built, hundreds of years ago, these ribs and this keel were in the same position. Then, however, it was a prophecy of a ship that was to be. When I saw it, it was a reminiscence of a ship that had been. The imperfect Christian is a prophecy, not a reminiscence. The imperfect church is a prophecy of the glorious church that is to be, not a reminiscence.”
The Church, though it is imperfect, is nonetheless of the highest importance in the plan of God. The message of this text is plain. We have new life corporately. Through the Cross, in the Church, God has crushed the dividing lines of ethnicity.
Through the Cross, in the Church, God has gathered for Himself a people called the Church, the Body of Christ, to live in unity with one another to His glory through the power of the Holy Spirit, according to the sacrifice of His Son.
God’s plan is to reestablish universal unity within and with His creation. His primary instrument to that end is the Christian Church.
CIT / CIS: The Church is one in Christ.
(v.11-13) An immediate and obvious aspect of this text is that there are no racial or ethnic boundaries in the Body of Christ. That is, this is true at least according to God’s perfect will and plan for the Church.
Of course, we know that there is a significant distinction between principal and practice in this regard. There is no longer a distinction in God’s economy of salvation between Jew and Gentile. God’s plan to bring salvation through Israel has come into full realization.
We see Messiah now revealed as savoir, not only of Israel, but to the Nations. The full impact of this is in its historical context is probably largely lost on us today. Even righteous gentiles who converted to worship Yahweh, the One True God, were not allowed to worship in the inner courts of the Temple.
In fact, there was a wall separating the outer courts from the inner courts that stood 4 ½ feet tall which served as a dividing wall for Gentile worshipers or those Gentiles who had traveled simply to marvel at the great Temple, as it was something of a tourist attraction of the ancient Mediterranean for its grandeur.
The Nation of Israel was the chosen people of God. He had delivered them from Pharaoh, from the Babylonians. The orthodox people of Israel saw and see to this day if they are not in Christ, a radical distinction between them and Gentiles.