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Summary: One in Christ. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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SERMON OUTLINE:

(A). Separation: What The Gentiles Were (vs 11-12):

• (1). Without Christ (vs 12a).

• (2). Without Citizenship (vs 12b).

• (3). Without Covenants (vs 12c).

• (4). Without Hope (vs 12d).

• (5). Without God (vs12e).

(B). Reconciliation: What God Did For The Gentiles (Vs 13-18):

• (1). He has brought the far-off near (vs 13).

• (2). He brought peace to the divided (vs 14-16).

(C). Unification: What Jews And Gentiles Are In Christ (vs 19-22):

• (1). A common access to God (verse 18).

• (2). A common citizenship (verse 19a)

• (3). A common family (verse 19b).

• (D). A common faith (verse 20-22).

SERMON BODY:

ill:

• The Great Wall of China was built to keep out;

• The invading hordes of Genghis Khan and other powerful enemies.

• This amazing defensive palisade stretches for 6700 kilometres (4163 miles).

• Over the Chinese frontier.

• It has stood for over 2000 years and is a symbol of a peoples’ desire to be safe.

ill:

• In Great Britain Hadrian’s Wall was built for a similar reason:

• To keep the wild tribes of the north;

• From threatening civilized Roman settlements in the south.

• It was built in the second century;

• And ran 73 miles long through the English countryside.

ill:

• How many of you can remember the infamous Berlin Wall;

• It had a different purpose two the other two walls mentioned.

• Its prime objective was to keep people in.!

• Like me were probably shocked at its destruction in 1989.

• Because it looked like it was going to stand forever!

• Yet in 1989 the wall came down;

• West Germans were reunited with East Germans;

• To become one Germany after 45 years of painful division.

This section of the letter to the Ephesians:

• Reminds us that Jesus came to destroy walls.

• His mission was to remove the barriers that keep us from knowing God,

• To remove the barriers that keep us from knowing each other,

• And ultimately living in true relationship.

• In this part of the letter to the Ephesians,

• The apostle Paul describes how Christ breaks down walls and brings people together

(A). Separation: What The Gentiles Were (vs 11-12)

• In the first ten verses of Ephesians chapter 2,

• Paul has talked about God’s plan to save sinful people,

• In this next section he is going to teach the Ephesians by way of contrast:

• In verses 11-12 he will remind the Ephesians of what they were.

• In verses 13-22 he will then focus on what they have become!

Most of the Christians in Ephesus were Gentiles (non-Jews),

• And verse 11 informs us they were called “the un-circumcision” by Jews.

• This was more than a description of a Gentile;

• It was also a derogatory remark!

• For Jews, circumcision was a badge of honour, a mark of distinction:

• Not to have that badge of honour meant you were in some way inferior.

Ill:

• The origin of circumcision is found in the Old Testament book of Genesis;

• When God spoke to Abraham:

• He made a covenant (a sacred promise, an agreement) with him,

• That from his family would become a great nation.

• As a sign of the covenant;

• All Jewish men (Abraham’s decedents) were to be circumcised – no exceptions.

• Throughout history and even today;

• All Jewish boys when they are eight days old are circumcised.

• i.e. They have a physical operation, minor surgery;

• When the foreskins on their penis is cut off,

• Remember a Jewish male had no choice in the matter,

• It was not an optional extra;

• It was an essential qualification;

• If he wanted to be included in this covenant, agreement.

• The Jews therefore looked down on anyone who was not circumcised;

• And sadly this happened not just in society;

• But also in the Church (i.e. Acts chapter 10).

• Some who had come to faith in Jesus Christ (been converted);

• Held that opinion that the ‘uncircumcised’ were a kind of second class believer,

• This obviously caused problems, division in the local Church;

• Especially as the Church in Ephesus was made up mostly of Gentiles (non-Jews):

So in these verses Paul will show that God has not only

• Made man and God to be at one.

• But he has also made both Jew & Gentile one!

Paul reminds the Gentile believers at Ephesus 4 things:

(1). WITHOUT CHRIST (vs 12a).

• Before they had become Christians;

• Most of these Ephesians worshiped the goddess, Diana,

• They had no idea concerning the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ.

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