Summary: Eph. 2 gives a historic overview of our situation before & after Christ. It deals with questions of our past position before God; how we were so seriously separated from Him & how we were recipients of His anger.


One time a pastor had a group of children up in front of the church to give them a children’s sermon. He was trying to make the point that money can’t buy everything. He was trying to drive home his point when he asked them, “What would you do if I said I would give you $1000 to quit loving your Mum and Dad?” Everybody was quiet. Finally one little boy in the back raised his hand. He said, “Pastor, how much would you give me to quit loving my sister?”

- Everyone knows what I’m talking about when I refer to tension between a brother & sister

- Those scuffles have happened to all of us

- But when someone from outside the family goes at your brother or sister, we soon discover that we have a strong bond in spite of the little spats that happen


Q. But what of those who have no family?

Q. What of those who were born into slavery?

- Slavery is not something that we see in western culture

- However, in the screen of history, slavery has only recently been abolished

- Even after slavery was abolished in the US, those divisions remained for many years after

- Remember in the 1960’s, Martin Luther King rallied a quarter of a million people of all different ethnic backgrounds to Washington to protest the inequality that still existed

- They sought the end of such things as racial discrimination in employment & the racial segregation in public schools


- In the middle of the slave trade, I dare say that most white people never really appreciated what it was like to have to belong to someone else

- That a slave was not an equal deciding of his own free will to engage in a mutually beneficial business arrangement with a white employer

- But he had to work, because he was not free - he had no choice - that was his lot

- He was property, his life belonged to someone else


- Racial trouble marked divisions in society

- But it could also have marked divisions in the church

- The main problem in the early church was the very real possibility of division between Jewish & Gentilic Christians

- That is, between Jews & everyone else

- In the history of the church, there has been different ideas & beliefs about the Jews & how Gentile Christians fit in


- In most of the history of the church, there has been the belief that the Jews were responsible for the crucifixion of Christ

- There had been a “look down upon them” attitude

- Also, it was believed that God had rejected them & that they had no part in His kingdom

- Hence during Hitler’s mission to exterminate the Jews, there was little opposition from the institutional church at that time

- In this scenario, a Jewish Christian may have been seen as second rate by the Gentile Christians


- On the other hand, since the two World Wars, there has been a general pessimism about the world & that God was going to come & stop evil in an apocalyptic way centring on the Jewish state

- The formation of the Jewish state in 1948 has fuelled those apocalyptic expectations

- Many in the church have the belief that Israel is still God’s people & have a special place in His purposes

- In this scenario, a Gentile Christian may be seen as second rate by the Jewish Christian


- But I am not interested in what the church has or does believe or in what we get caught up in - fashion trends always dictate what we wear & theological trends always dictate what we believe

- I want God’s word, read in it’s context, to shape what I believe

- I want to have ears to hear what the Spirit says to the churches

Q. What about you?

- It’s always someone else we think who needs ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches, but we need to consider if we are the ones that need those hearing ears


- In today’s passage, Paul highlights the plight of Gentiles (pagans) who were excluded & separated from God without any hope for their future

- This is a message that addresses us here today

- You are Gentiles (non-Jewish) - at least I think we are all non-Jews

- Paul wants us to reflect on the past historic picture of what it was like for us before the time of Christ

1. Remembering the Past

- We consider it important to remember certain past events

- Especially when those events have had a huge impact on us as a nation & as a people

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