Series: Accounting [#7]
Paul began the book of Ephesians with praise and continued with prayer and then he began to preach. Paul preached that we are made alive in Christ, raised up with Christ, and seated in Heavenly places in Christ. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
In today’s text, God wants us to understand that He has made both Jew and Gentile 1 new man. When Karen and I got married, 1 of the 1st things we did is join our bank accounts into 1 account. My money became her money and her money remained her money, (just joking). We share our bills, our money, our belongings, etc… That day we were married, we began a process of becoming 1 person. This morning, I want you to see how God has joined us together through Jesus.
Ephesians 2:11-12 (NIV)
11Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)- 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.
1. By sin.
We live in a world where people use their identity to set themselves apart. It is generally called discrimination or racism. People assume because I’m a white straight Christian male that I am rich and privileged- My family and I are set. The funny part of that is that all 6 children, their 4 spouses, and Karen and I are all paying Student Loans. We all pretty much live check to check. Now, I’m not complaining; we are all so blessed. The point is, we all think we know all about others and we have preconceived notions about them that usually are not even close to the truth.
This is how it was between the Jews and Gentiles. The Jews knew that they were God’s chosen people and treated everyone else like 2nd class citizens; but what they had forgotten was they were sinners just like the Gentiles. It seems that Paul was pointing out what separated Gentiles from Jews; but really, he was pointing out what separated all of us from God.
On our own, we are…
? Without Christ.
? Without citizenship.
? Without covenants.
? Without God.
? Without hope.
Ephesians 2:13-18 (NIV)
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility. 15By setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
2. In Christ.
Through the blood of Jesus, all can be saved. Even with all of our differences, God makes us 1 in Jesus. The barriers between race, economics, and prominence were all destroyed through Jesus. The sacrifice of Jesus has closed the gap. Jesus is our peace. Religion or faith or good deeds does not bring peace with God. Jesus destroys the barrier that separated us from God. Jesus is the one who has reconciled us to God. Jesus has done more than simply reconciled us to God; but He has made it possible to be reconciled to one another.
In Herod’s Temple there was a wall that separated the Court of the Gentiles and the Court of the Jews. The Court of the Gentiles was to be a place of evangelism and witness, a place to demonstrate the truth about God, the character and attributes of God and to bring Gentiles near to God. This was the place where the money-changers and crooks worked. Jesus referred to this Court as “My Father’s House” and that it should be a House of Prayer.
During a time in our Nation and State when it seems like God isn’t even present; we have the answer to victory against our enemy, the devil.
Galatians 3:28 (NIV)
28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Every Christian, regardless of their race, wealth, denomination, etc…; is 1 in Christ. It is time that Christians pull together as the Body of Christ and allow Jesus to be the Head of His Body. We are joined together in Christ Jesus. We have victory in Christ.