Summary: One in Christ. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
(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).
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.